Yes, IHOP is Coming to Columbia Heights!

Photo by flickr user Sikario.

Thanks to all who sent emails (sorry I didn’t get back to everyone I was at a wedding out of town). But ever since we last discussed IHOP coming to Columbia Heights in the DCUSA, I’ve been getting regular emails from folks asking if it was still happening. Last week a simple tweet from @dcjobscouncil said:

“New IHOP coming to Columbia Heights _ with 110 new jobs.”

And with that we can continue the celebration or the mourning period depending on your perspective. I see an IHOP coming to Columbia Heights kinda like the establishment of the State of Israel, some people (the Jews) celebrate independence day and some people (the Palestinians) call the same day the Nakba, the catastrophe.

Will you celebrate or weep?

102 Comment

  • Joy! Watch the robbery rates rise as teenage hooligans wait for the droves of drunk staggering patrons that spill out of IHOP at 5am.

  • yeah all the people on here that will claim to be stoked wont actually go there. Like any other city ihop it will smell like dirty bleach and doodoo in a matter of weeks. This won’t be the ihop you are fondly remembering from whatever suburban town you came from. CH should change its metro name to Potomac Yards at Columbia Heights

  • WEEP. I’m all for jobs in the neighborhood, but if it’s anything like the jobs that were created for Target then I won’t be patronizing this establishment, in the afternoon or at 5am. Every time I go to Target it seems like it is the employee’s first day on the job and thus I don’t go there anymore. I was also under the impression that we were trying to drive down obesity rates? Quadruple layer pancakes and scrapple aren’t exactly what this neighborhood needs. Also, chains=dislike. Nakba.

  • Seriously, Columbia Heights is starting to become Every Suburb, USA condensed to 3 city blocks.

  • Booo! Rather go somewhere with character.

  • Dreadful. Really dreadful.

  • it’s no waffle shop.

  • yeah the reason it will create 110 jobs. (doesnt that seem a lil high to you all) is because they will break them down into mini shifts so nobody works full time. so 110 people working 15 hours a week at 7 bucks an hour. GREAT!

  • Yay – fat people are coming to columbia heights

  • Here we go again with all the latte-sucking conservative Democrats of Columbia Heights again. News flash: You aren’t the only ones living here, even though that’s how you’d like it to be.

    • Stereotype much??? As a liberal, I think we can do without another lame chain store in CH. Especially one with a horrible labor relations record like IHOP.

      • If you think it’s so horrible, then why don’t you come up with some proposal for a locally-owned, organic, free-range restaurant that pays local residents a living wage with great benefits, AND serves meals that the local residents who weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths can afford.

    • I’ll have you know that I’ve switched to macchiatos!

  • I want to set up an urban duck blind outside to watch 2-5 am happenings. I wonder what corporate drone thought this was going to be a good idea.

    • To the corporate drone, making money = good idea, no matter the consequences.

      Witness: BP, Kentucky coalmine and Wall street.

  • Great news!

  • I’m okay with it, it can or will serve the majority of the residents of the neighborhood. I suspect that it will become a teen hang out spot pretty quickly, and most of this blog’s commenters will go once and never go again.

  • Come on people – dreadful. REALLY? I bet it is packed everyweekend with lines…

    I guess my vote for Denny’s doesn’t count.

    • I’m just with the liberal masses who don’t want another generic chain in CH. Especially one that serves really mediocre food.

      • You have obviously never tried an IHOP omlette. Say what you will about the character of IHOP and the over-commercialized, cookie-cutter blah blah blah – they make some fine pancakes and they put a little pancake batter in their scrabled eggs for omlettes which makes them SO good. Cannot wait.

  • Blech.

  • Are you sure it will be open 24 hours? Having never been to an IHOP, is the asumption that all IHOPs are open 24 hours and attract the after-bar crowd?

  • Where will this IHOP be located?

  • ” I see an IHOP coming to Columbia Heights kinda like the establishment of the State of Israel,”
    Wow. That’s one of the most idiotic statements I’ve ever read on this site.

    • Heh. Who hasn’t sat down to a pile of pancakes with maple syrup and a cup of coffee during Sunday brunch and said to their dining companions, ‘You know what this reminds me of? The creation of Israel.’

  • Awesome. A much closer alternative than The Diner for my husband to bring our 1-year-old on Sunday mornings while I get to sleep in. And the fact that it’s closer might mean I get to sleep in on Saturday AND Sunday.

  • I won’t go myself — would much rather, when I have a pancake hankering, make it up to the worlds-better Original Pancake House (yummm) in Bethesda, but I am glad this is coming. Listen folks, DCUSA is what it is, and it’s not going to change — it’s a high rent urban mall that pretty much is affordable only to chain stores. That isn’t going to change. Given that reality, I say a full DCUSA, with more jobs, tax revenue, and human activity in the area is better than a half-empty one. Let’s focus on getting cool, small local businesses into the still-plentiful smaller, more affordable vacant spaces with character on 11th Street, northern 14th Street, and Georgia Ave., and let the mall be, well, a mall. we can have the best of both worlds that way. Just like a Giant and Ellwood’s and farmer’s market are not mutually exclusive, same goes with Ihop and whatever new stuff is coming to the other commercial stretches.

    • +1 to what New2CH said.

    • One of the more intelligent and thoughtful responses. Totally agree. I’d love to see DCUSA and the area immediately surrounding become a commercial anchor/draw that will help other business models find success and stability on 11 Street and into Petworth/Georgia Ave. Many of the people I work with live in NoVa, Dupont and other areas. They never would visit CH but have gone to CH for the Target, Best Buy and other chain stores and have ended up going to Commonwealth, Pho 14, Red Rocks and Room 11 as a result. There is a symbiotic relationship between DCUSA and further development of the type of locally-owned businesses that give neighborhoods their character.

    • Props to NewCH.

      Well thought out.

    • indeed!

    • Right on.

    • say it, New2CH!

      we speak your name.

    • +1. DCUSA is what it is, and I might add is a convenience to a lot of people locally.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    It reminds me a bit of our Chipotle discussions. Chipotle is nearly always filled and always filled with white, black and latino patrons…

  • I think its great for all the reasons New2CH said. I probably won’t go too much, though, but that will have nothing to do with the mythical roving hordes of IHOP muggers that people think will suddenly appear on our streets at night. More to do with the fact that IHOP foods isn’t as good as WAFFLE HOUSE!

  • Ooooh, I can’t wait! Where else can you get Magic Hangover-Curing Pancakes and free entertainment at 4 am? I hope every teenager in the neighborhood spends their Saturday nights there: the bitchy whiners will know where to avoid and the rest of us can enjoy the spectacle. Everybody wins!

  • Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity!


    Quite the metaphor there PoP; I see the debate is just as heated!

  • You’re comparing the opening of an IHOP in Columbia Heights to the establishment of Israel (and the Palestinian response)?

    Terrible analogy.

  • PaschTag

    Every day my dreams of self-absorbed elitism are fading. How am I supposed to separate myself from my boorish suburban family members? I shall not get Rooty nor Tooty nor Fresh nor Fruity.

  • I just tried to post a comment here and got a message that said: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

    I haven’t posted a commment in a few weeks and in general, post one every couple of weeks. What’s that all about?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Sometimes WordPress just freaks out for no reason. Please ignore that message. I’ve never quite figured out why it happens and it sometimes sends comments to a spam folder for no reason as well. Hopefully it won’t affect your posting. Please email me if this continues. Thanks.

  • People, seriously, its just a fucking IHOP. Relax.

  • When they said they were bringing Target, I protested, Now I love Target. Our urban “ghetto” Target is the nicest Target I have ever been in.

    I haven’t eaten at IHOP in 20 years, and my instinct it to say “Nooooooo”, but I’m going to withhold judgment. If IHOP can co-exist with CommonWealth, Pete’s, and Meridian Pint, I will welcome it. And, if it doesn’t end up smelling like bleach and doo doo, I’ll probably even eat there with my sticky, noisy, PJ-clad rug rats some early weekend mornings. And, I’ll hope the next booth over had some equally sticky, noisy African American and Hispanic rug rats.

  • can’t wait for IHOP. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  • I love IHOP! So excited for it to move into the neighborhood. People think it won’t be as nice as suburban IHOPS, but seriously, the IHOPs I’ve been to in the suburbs aren’t so nice either. You go there for good, inexpensive food, and a line that actually moves.

  • PoP – I’m surprised and disappointed by your analogy. I come here for neighborhood development news, not for hurtful, casually anti-semitic fire-stoking. Reminds me of careless commentators that compare anything they don’t like to Nazis (see: Glenn Beck). I think you owe your readers an apology.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      The analogy is that some people will like it and some people will hate it. No more, no less.

    • Overly trivializing? maybe
      Anti-Semitic? that’s a bit of a stretch…

      • What on earth is anti-Semitic about noting that the creation of Israel was catastrophic for the Palestinians? That is a simple statement of the facts. I would note that not all Jews celebrate that creation or the mass dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians.

        That said, it is a stupid analogy.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Oh Lord, I just gave a poor example that for some it is good news and for some it is bad news.

          I’m not saying that the creation of Israel is catastrophic for the Palestinians, I’m saying some Palestinians say the creation of Israel is catastrophic for the Palestinians. In the Palestinian territories Israeli Independence Day is a ‘holiday’ called Nakba.

      • I think comparing liking/hating a restaurant to liking/hating that the Jewish people have a homeland is both trivializing and vaguely anti-semitic.

  • I remember eating at the IHOP in Alexandria years ago (on a trip to Target) and thinking it wasn’t so bad. About two months later, I caught an episode of Dateline NBC that mentioned that specific location was the IHOP franchise most cited, in the whole country, for health code violations. Ugh.

    Hopefully the new IHOP will be better. If we can have an IMF in DC, we can certainly have an IHOP!

  • This is awesome. Cheap, tasty food to eat at all hours of the day.

    The thought of someone in spitting their $4 latte onto their macbook air after reading this and angrily responding to this post just makes the above comments that much more hilarious. Sorry, but you will have to find a different place to go to “see and be seen” at the hip/trendy spot of the day.

    Considering how long these spots have been vacant, I seriously doubt that IHOP outbid some aspiring independent restaurateur for the space. Just enjoy it while it’s here. Maybe 10 years from now it will be gone and replaced by something independent and fancy. Shrug.

  • It’s great news. It will be nice to get a cheap brunch. As much as I like the heights, commonwealth etc, paying $20 bucks for an omelette and coffee is a bit much.

  • I’m holding out for a Waffle House…

  • Thanks for the news. Now a request for an update:

    (1) What vacant space in DCUSA will IHOP occupy? Hopefully not the grocers.

    (2) Will they be 24 hours?

    (3) Approximate opening date?

  • IHOPe you will tell use where in DCUSA it will live.

  • I guess my hope was that somebody smaller, less generic would do something similar. More of a local business.

    But why be negative about a new business coming in that many will enjoy?

  • seriously great news. where else nearby are you going to get an inexpensive breakfast/brunch? i’ll take IHOP over panda express over vitamin shoppe, lane bryant, and radio shack any day.

  • I like how the pro ihop people are making this about class and money. as if we haters would have a problem if the folks from Florida Ave Grill decided to open up a cheap 24hour breakfast place in DCUSA we would all still be angry. I for one would not. This is about crappy chains and the crappy quality they produce. I could care less about its target demographic or its price point. Also last I checked The diners pancakes were like 7 dollars. You dont have to be a chain to offer low priced fare.

    • Wait, are you saying that $7 pancakes are cheap?

    • I take it back. I just looked and The Diners pancakes are 6 bucks. Or you can get an Egg and Cheese sandwhich and homefries for 5 bucks. So enough with the nonsense argument that it’s either Ihop or a 30 dollar brunch place. death to the chains!

  • I dont have a problem with IHOP coming to CH even though I will never eat there (I can just imagine the filthy horrors that go on in the kitchen), but I will be pissed if it turns into a hangout for unruly, unemployed teens this summer who will use it as a base for harassing everyone else. Grr. But on the other hand, doesn’t IHOP seem like it would be an ideal cop hang-out too?? Anything to keep the police around is cool.

    • IHOP = Teen hangout??

      BTW my dad was fire inspector in Manhattan and inspected many a ‘fancy’ restaurant. While inspecting for fire code violations (chained doors, extinguishers etc.) he would see terrible food preparation practices (food on the floor, rodents, etc) You never know…

  • Speaking of DCUSA, I just confirmed that at the next NCHCA meeting, we will have a speaker from Ellwood Thompson’s as well as from DCUSA. The date will be Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00, at the Park Triangle Community Room. I’ll report back to POP on any info that comes out of the meeting (although I already know that DCUSA can’t speculate on potential unsigned tenants). Speaking of Ellwood’s, in many, many talks with the Ellwood’s reps, my sense is they are excited and fairly close to finalizing a build out, but still want a bit more evidence that the neighborhood is going to be supportive (and by supportive I imagine they mean, will spend loads and loads of dough there). So if you are excited about Ellwood’s and would shop there regularly, email Rick Hood, etc. and express your enthusiasm.

    • Email address?

    • I have emailed a PR person whose email I found on the Ellwoods site. Please provide Rich Hoods email. If an email campaign is what’s needed we can give them that. Have POP post anymore info you receive about Ellwoods. Dying for them to open.

    • i second that!!! would be happy to bug them and tell them how joyously i will spend my dollars there. i’m walking distance from 3 legit (chain) supermarkets, so i understand their concern, but this would be filling a major niche and is also close enough to the metro to be a major attraction to folks in other parts of the city. email addres??

  • before d.c usa and the new development in c.h., not that long ago really..that area was a wasteland. the expectation seems to be,by some, that it would automatically turn into another logan circle….high end commercial establishments,unique small boutique businesses, high income residents exclusively and ultimately the big pay off a fat return real estate purchased before the bubble burst. i prefer it up here their really is something for everyone. drive buy the fountain on a sat. afternoon its joyous.

  • Define “new” in “new jobs.” Apparently people who weren’t eating at restaurants, suddenly will be. This will lead to the creation of “new” jobs.

  • The idea itself isn’t bad, because the space in DCUSA needs to be leased. I know that I will never go to the IHOP, though, because it will quickly become a dirty, always crowded space for unruly teenagers and hungover hipsters. It will be a very unpleasant venue in which to eat. Not that I don’t like pancakes.

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