Dear PoP – Highland Cafe & Bus Barn Updates on 14th St, NW

“Dear PoP,

I live right near Highlands/former Mocha Hut (4706 14th Street, NW), and I’ve been there for brunch a few times (it’s been delightful – good food, nice neighborhood-y feel). I happened to catch the chef/proprietor and got to chat a little bit. He told me that a) their license was approved and they should be moving on that soon, and b) the bus barn is being developed into something that’s not a bus barn – he said he thought mixed use condos like the types that are in the Petworth/CH area. I think there was some question as to whether this was an unsubstantiated rumor? Even excluding the condo issue, that block is pretty cute, and seems prime to me for some more neighborhood restaurant/bar/retail action.”

Back in May we talked about Bus Barn rumors at 4615 14th St, NW. We learned more about this section of 14th St, NW in June.

12 Comment

  • I hope they make the bus barn a big market instead.

  • “a) their license was approved and they should be moving on that soon”

    license for what? I assume booze?

    I agree with Petworther. What an awesome location for a multi-vendor market like Eastern Market. No more mega-condo buildings, please!

  • Great news re: Highlands Cafe, that is a nice little sandwich spot. Congrats, hope the license improves their margin.

  • highlands has really delicious food!

  • I agree – thumbs up for Highlands.

    And while I understand the “condo fatigue”, businesses in DC, especially in less affluent neighborhoods, suffer because there are simply too fewer dollars in the vicinity to make sufficient purchases to keep them afloat. An Eastern Market style development would be great, but will never work without more (al lot more) discretionary dollars in the surrounding neighborhood.

  • Highlands is awesome – also my hood – but could benefit from critical mass of good reasons to be over there. Unfortunately it is a bit of an outpost at the moment.

    The dance studio on the corner moved and the space would be perfect for another dining option – with a huge and beautiful outdoor patio. The pupusaria across the street also closed and the building is getting a facelift along with an outdoor patio.

    I imagine rents are low and given the neighborhood demographics (lots of young families and professionals) there should be lots of business to be had. I actually think places like Moroni and Fusion might do better in that area than on Georgia.

  • BTW – If the Bus Barn were turned into an Eastern Market-type market, with butchers and bakers and produce stalls, I would shop there all the time.

    • Yes, that is exactly what I have always dreamed would go in there! If that happened, I would never move.

  • Highlands is great.

  • Yay for 16th St Heights. Highlands is really the anchor of something great in that area and I’m glad to see they’re on an upward trajectory. I ate there yesterday with visiting family.

    As for bus barn usage, I don’t see how an Eastern-market style setup would drive development on the 14th st hts strip like yuppie condos would, given conditions in the area. More people with money to spend could justify new stores and markets, as mentioned above. As it is now, storefronts are unrented and restaurants are closed on the strip.

    Maybe someone could consider opening a small yuppie fresh market in the closed dance space. But we’re a ways away from having our own Eastern Market, Sutton Place, or Dean & DeLuca, as nice as it would be to have that nearby.

  • I also live really close to Highlands, which is awesome. I work with the district on DC developement. From what I hear the district is currently looking at the possibility of returning the bus barn to it’s original purpose of accomodate “streetcar” parking. If and when the streetcar line is built on Georgia Ave.

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