Opening Signs in Park Place (Above Petworth Metro) Could Ben’s Next Door Be Coming Too?


“Dear PoP,

I talked to the folks in the leasing office at Park Place and they let me know what all was going on with the retail space below. Sala Thai wants to open at the end of this month! Not sure if that’s possible, since construction hasn’t even started. The Park Place Cafe on the northeast corner hung coming soon signs in their windows yesterday! It looks like within a month or two we will have some great new additions to the neighborhood. The other rumor I got from them was that Ben’s Next Door on U St is seriously considering opening a second location at Park Place, even though no papers have been signed yet.”

Ed. Note: I’m also told that the Sala Thai space will also offer sushi like they do on U Street. If the folk’s from Ben’s Next Door commit to this space, I may be very well attempt my first back flip!


21 Comment

  • Am I the only person who thinks the whole Ben’s Chili mini-empire is the most overrated restaurant in D.C.? The vibe at the original is fun and it is a great landmark in concept, but I think the dogs are nothing great and the chili is actually pretty awful. I’ve had better chili dogs at a hundred different places. Add in the inflated prices and massive lines from tourists and I fail to see the appeal …

    • Yes, New2CH;

      Half smokes are D.C. native and great.

      As for Ben’s Chili Bowl, it’s

      Overrated, Overpriced, and long Overdone.

  • Please bring Ben’s Original to Petworth, not the over-priced/over-hyped Ben’s Next Door.

  • I am excited!!!!!

  • Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little weird that 2 restaurants that are only 2 Metro stops away will be locating at this place? I thought as a business the point of expanding was to reach different markets. On the other hand if, say, Sticky Rice on H St — or any other great restaurant that’s not already easily accessible to Green Line residents — wanted to open a location up here I think they would do very good business and I personally would be thrilled.

  • I know this is slightly off topic…

    But does anyone know if there had been any word on the sports bar that is suppose to be opening next to Looking Glass on Georgia Ave? I seem to remember the rumor originally being that it was going to open in time for the super bowl.

    No disrespect to Ben’s and their delicious half-smokes, but a sports bar in the neighborhood peaks my interest more than anything.

  • New2CH – Maybe you just don’t like the food, that is fine. I would dare say they have done something right to survive 50 years. Most of those years were pre-Obama, pre-Cosby, pre-scenester and pre-media hype.

    If the lines are long couldn’t that also mean there is sufficient demand for another location? I like the food I would go more often but for the lines.

  • I’d be a bit more excited if there were a sushi place (like Sticky Rice) in addition to Sala Thai, as opposed to the Sala Thai twofer. Never had Sala Thai’s sushi though – maybe it’s good?

  • New2CH is right. I fail to see the allure of Ben’s Chili Bowl. The chili, at best, tastes like it came from a can, and everything else is abominable. Sala Thai is not great either. That said, we need more businesses in the neighborhood. If it must be processed meat and mediocre Thai, so be it.

  • Yay coffee shop! (I’m easy to please)

  • at this point, I’d take a dry cleaners over the empty storefronts. actually, i’d much prefer a dry cleaners over the cricket store.

  • It’s good news – period. I’ll welcome pretty much anyone who wants to open a new business in the neighborhood.

  • Divine, have you tried Qualia coffee shop just two blocks north? Great coffee. Park Place Cafe will have to serve something better than the crap they serve at Tynan to compete for coffee drinkers. They will have food though, which is a major plus.

    If they open up another Ben’s Next Door, I hope the prices are reflective of the neighborhood. I won’t pay $7 for a domestic beer in Petworth, out of principle.

  • The new Ben’s Next Door is not nearly as abominable as the landmark Chili Bowl – check it out before you diss it. I too would welcome a sushi bar but I’m just happy there are now TWO places (Pho 14 and Pho Viet in CH) that will deliver Vietnamese to my doorstep. Now a FRENCH place that would challenge perceptions about Petworth would be nice (and can we PLEASE get some artichokes at the ‘stinky’ Safeway up in here? Really? No artichokes? Really?)

  • This is excellent news. We’ll finally have Thai delivery in Petworth! (I tried the new Thai Tanic in CH, and they don’t deliver near Rock Creek Church).
    And why so mnay haters on Ben’s? Granted, I’ve had Pink’s hot dogs, which puts Ben’s to shame, but still, the place does make a mean half smoke. And it survived U street during it’s darkest days. What exactly do you people want? Should Citronelle open in Petworth? Would that make you happy?

  • I’m always stunned at the snobbery exhibited by some of the commenters here. French food? Sushi? “Good” Thai?

    You people need to open your own restaurants, because apparently, nothing is good enough for you. Better yet, open your restaurants in another neighborhood; you wouldn’t want the Petworth riff raff to infect your restaurant.

    I welcome any and all investment in Petworth. It won’t become Dupont Circle overnight, but it might, eventually, if you appreciate and reward the baby steps taken by private investors.

    Rather than badmouth the Safeway and everything else about Petworth, personally, I look on the positive side….and I see a lot to like. I plan to be in Petworth for a long time, and I am enthusiastic about where it’s going. Negative voices do nothing for the neighborhood (or your property values).

  • “It won’t become Dupont Circle overnight, but it might, eventually…” Is that the goal?

    Petworth has its own identity as it should, and it will grow AND improve organically. I believe the location needs a restaurant with broad appeal. A French restaurant with clientèle of Petworth hipsters, scenesters and yuppies alone will not pay the rent and you cannot count on those West of the park for business (unless there is parking I am unaware of). A place with good food and service (preferably non-chain locally owned) is what can flourish something Busboy and Poet-like

  • @JoeEsq 74

    I used Dupont Circle as shorthand for “nicer neighborhood.” I could have said U Street or something else.

    I agree that any new business must appeal to a significant local constituency, which means that high-minded food for a few snobs won’t cut it. My point was that some of the commenters sound as if they don’t realize what neighborhood they live in, or the kind of risk involved in starting a new business. Obviously, I’d welcome a kind of Busboys and Poets, or Tryst, or Bar Pilar, etc., but I’ll take what comes in the meantime.

    Until people start putting up the money to start their own businesses, I think they should, more often than not, keep quiet and be thankful that somebody is investing in the neighborhood. It’s easy to complain when your own money isn’t at stake.

  • Oh brother, the snob hipster, demographic discussion. Forget the snob thing, let’s mix it up, I want Ben’s AND French. What I want is healthy businesses with potential and that cater to a variety of interests in the neighborhood. Bring it on!

  • i’m sure many here would agree that “u street” is nowhere near synonymous with “nicer neighborhood.” more crime, more noise. many prefer a safer quieter ‘hood. i don’t want u street or dupont. more dining options are great, though.

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