Chateaux Animaux becoming Nooshi Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar on Barracks Row

This is pretty big news if you live near Barracks Row. A recent liquor license application states that the building currently housing Chateaux Animaux at 524 8th St, SE will become Nooshi:

“Fusion Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar. No entertainment provided. Seating and total capacity is 160.”

There is currently a Nooshi Restaurant at 1120 19 th Street, NW. It’s Web site says:

“Nooshi is showcased along with the country cooking of Southeast Asia and decor of a mix of furniture and artifacts from China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Stepping into this epicurean Asian retreat in the downtown district will transport you into the world of Eastern exotica.

The menu with a wide selection of regional Asian dishes as well as mouthwatering sushi is among the finest served in the District of Columbia area. Dishes are inventively light, low in fat, visually arresting and vividly flavored. Each dish is expertly prepared by the talented, skillful and innovative chefs using the freshest and top quality ingredients.”

You can see their menus here.

And apparently there will actually be two restaurants coming to this space. In addition to Nooshi, ANC Norm reports:

“On the first floor will be another Moby Dick’s House of Kabob restaurant, an addition to a chain of 15 restaurants in the Washington area, including places in Georgetown and Dupont Circle.”

Do think these restaurants will be a good addition to Barracks Row or will you miss Chateaux Animaux?

74 Comment

  • thats some bullshit. replace a respected pet shop with a second rate asian restaurant. booooooo. and i do not even live in the hood, but i feel it is just wrong

    • I do live in the hood and I’m perfectly happy to hear about this. I certainly don’t think that it is any BS. (what does that even mean) I don’t have any pets, so Chateaux Animaux did not appeal to me (not too mention there are still a few ‘mom & pop’ pet stores in the area). I like Nooshi and Moby Dick and as a local busy parent who occasionally needs a break from cooking, I’m more than excited to hear about more restaurants coming to the area where you can get a quick meal or maybe even delivery.

  • I hate to see a retail business close for another restaurant, but there’s another pet store across the street. And besides Popeyes there aren’t places to get food to go quickly. This will be really tempting when getting off the Metro from a late night at work — especially if they have a grab-n-go sushi case.

    • Good additions. All the fast carryout places are gone from 8th Street, and there’s only so much Popeyes you can take. Really looking forward to the kabobs. Decent midrange middle eastern options are pretty sparse.

      But I f**king HATE being visually arrested by my food, man. I thought we was cool?

  • Mixed feelings on this one. This part of Capitol Hill is really tacking off when it comes to eating and drinking places. At the same time, it is sad to see another retail establishment fold up shop.

    Ideally, it would be great if the area could model itself on Old Town Alexandria. Vibrant street scape that really has everything (cafes/delis, fast food, high end restaurants, local boutiques, galleries, furniture shops, and even some chain clothing retail.)

  • I didn’t like Chateaux Animaux the couple times I went in (nothing I looked at had price tags so I had to ask about it, and was surprised at how expensive it was) so I welcome the new folks…I’m especially excited for Moby Dick. But I hope there continue to be things other than restaurants on Barracks Row.

    • to sb and i love lulu: I think the prices are reflections of the rents these business owners have to charge to stay in business. A while back I had a conversation with the owner of a restaurant on 8th Street and I could not believe it when he told me how much he had to pay for rent. This goes city-wide – I will support local business but I refuse to pay those prices.

  • The front of the store service at Chateaux Animaux has nosed dived in the past year. I really like a dog groomer there, but I really shouldn’t have to work so hard to pay my bill.

  • Thank god! I’ve been dying for an actual sushi place on the southeast part of the hill. I can’t believe it took this long. There’s no competition so it should do well if it’s at all decent.

    • TWO Sizz-Ex’s and Jordan 8 all sell sushi. And all 3 have a dedicated Bar for sushi…Jordans has an entire floor for sushi, and its across the street from chateau.

      • Jordan’s has the worst service I’ve ever gotten at any restaurant in DC. Ever. My favorite parts of the evening were when they forgot to place half our order until the rest of our food was already, and when they confiscated our soy sauce between the first half of our group’s dinner and the second half that had to wait half an hour for their food.

        But the kicker was when we got the bill and were overcharged TWICE. The second half of our order was placed after happy hour had ended due to their error, so we were charged full price for our sushi. Then they tried to include an automatic gratuity for parties of 6 or more on our 5 person party. I’ve never stiffed a waitress before, but the idiot we had to deal with got no tip after that one.

  • It is a bit sad to see this city become a place that can’t support non-food and drink businesses. I feel like every time I turn around, another hardware store or barber shop or dentist’s office is getting turned into some sort of asian fusion-belgian tavern thing.

    • How often do YOU actually go to those hardware stores, barber shops, or dentist offices? Because Fragers Hardware is right up the street, and there’s still two barbers on 8th (no idea about dentists).

    • I was going to bring up Frager’s, as well. And, Hill’s Kitchen seems to be doing well in this area. I think Chateau Animaux is closing because it was overpriced and the service was consistently bad. Also, as someone else mentioned, there is another pet supply store nearby.

      I wonder if the opening of Metro Mutts back in the spring took away some of Chateau Animaux’s customers, as well. Yes, it’s on the other side of the Hill, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who live near Metro Mutts or in between the two who used to go to Chateau Animaux and switched. I’ve always found Metro Mutts to have much better service.

      • Love Love Love Metro Mutts!

      • The only other pet supply store in miles is Pawticulars. I am a pet owner and Pawticulars is WAAAAY more expensive and much smaller. The service at Chateau isnt that bad. Even though i never expected for cashiers to become waiters.

  • There used to be a Mcdonald’s in Eastern Market back in the 90′s where the Mattress Discounters is at. Wonder why they closed it they had plenty of business at that location. Now Capitol Hill has no type of fast food.

    • False.

      In addition to the Popeye’s many mentioned, there is a Quizno’s on Penn at 7th, Sweetgreen is relatively fast (even with a line, I’ve never waited more than 5 or 10 minutes), there’s a Cosi, there’s Burrito Brothers, Marvelous Market has grab and go food, there are multiple sub shops (Mangialardos, Prego, that place at the south end of Barracks Row), a Subway in Jenkins Row, a McDonald’s at the very end of PA Ave before you cross the bridge, Checker’s on Maryland Ave. etc.

      I stopped shopping at Chateau because they didn’t carry my dog’s food (and Metro Mutts on H does and the service there is a thousand times better) and I like both Nooshi and Moby Dick… but retail on 8th street is closing left and right. Whether it’s because shop owners got complacent (I would argue that’s part of the issue at Chateau) or because rents got too high etc. it’s hard to know, but it’s sad. That said, in this case, there is a locally owned alternative with better service and the products I prefer, so this isn’t much of a loss for me personally.

    • food court, union station.

  • I have a hard time believing restaurants replace retail when they are paying their taxes properly.

    And the “other” dog shop on Barrack’s Row is a run down mess. Chateax is expensive, but they were the best in the area and they had a differentiated product assortment.

    Is Barrack’s row is going the direction of Adam’s Morgan? I hope not.

    • Metro Mutts is MUCH better than Chateau. By leaps and bounds. Their product selection is better and the service is fantastic. Granted, they don’t have the fish stuff, but Dennis said they were losing money on that anyway, so clearly not a huge demand for it.

      I don’t understand how Pawticulars stays open, since I never see anyone in there and don’t know anyone who shops there, because they don’t really have anything in there.

      • Where is metro mutts? I agree with you on Pawticulars.

        • It’s on H Street NE at 5th, in the street level space below British Ink. Owned by Hill folks who are all really dedicated to being part of the community. If they don’t have something you need, they’ll usually order it, or are happy to recommend alternatives. They helped me with food for my pup (who has some allergies and some skin unpleasantness) that was less expensive than what I had been feeding her and has been great for her issues. You’d think I worked for them the way I rave about them, but I seriously can’t say enough good things about them.

      • My girlfriend and I joke about Pawtuculars being some kind of drug front/ money laundering outfit. There’s literally nothing in that store save for a few leashes. I’d love to know how that place stays in business.

        • I just asked my friend who knows the owner and she said that Pawticulars makes most of their money in dog walking services. Not sure why they continue to spend the money on a storefront, but it’s better than a vacant space I guess.

          • I used to live near the owner and tried to patronize it because of that but the selection of cat items kept getting thinner and thinner. The pet sitting got lame too. I paid so much per day for someone to stop by while on vacation and it was pretty obvious the sitter skipped at least a couple of days (ie I set out so many dishes and two were unused). I stopped using them.

  • I’d be lying if I said I shopped at Chateau Animeaux more than once every couple of months, but it always seemed to do brisk business on the weekend. I’m torn here, because I hate to see more retail dissapear, but I’m excited to see reasonably priced restaurants come to barracks row instead of overpriced junk like Ted’s Bulletin and the Chesapeake Room.

    What I’d really like to see is more development on the southern half of 8th street, be it retail or restaurants. Levi’s port cafe is delicious, but aside from the gay club next door, there’s very little going on down that way, and development would help pull M street into the neighborhood better.

    • I think everyone’s holding off based on construction projects. I heard a rumor that Virginia Ave is going to get torn up for a few years and there’s the huge construction project going on 11th and M. Why start a business before a construction project gets done.

      • It’s not a rumor, the CSX tunnel construction will have VA Ave torn up for a couple of years, plus the Marine Barracks CIMP relocation project is slated to begin soon enough, and they are also leaning toward a VA Ave location. (Bye, bye community garden) That area is going to be a mess, with businesses like Dogma likely being forced to close.

        • That’s what I thought I had heard. There’s no reason for anyone to open anything on M St for at least a couple of years.

  • Bring on the Dick.

  • Sad to see more retail go. But, that is the trend all over the city. This isn’t SF or Manhattan, we just don’t have the density and income levels to support neighborhood retail.

    • That’s absolutely untrue.

      • you talk like you’re an expert on everything, so why do we have so much retail closing but restaurants thriving?

        • Think about how a restaurant operates. They have very little staff overhead costs (no benefits, patrons pay salaries in tips). You only have to pay your cooks and, as is the state of today’s urban restaurants, many of those staff are illegal (and if they are legal, they’re competing against staff that’s illegal for wages).

          In any cash based business performing a proper accounting is very time consuming and it’s easy for owners to hide money. With very lax tax enforcement by DC office of Revenue, you can pay whatever tax you feel like. Therefore you have more money for profit and, if you chose, to set aside for rent.

          If you’re a property owner, you go with the business that’s going to generate more income. Restaurants generate more income right now because they have remarkably lower overhead costs.

          But to pretend that DC doesn’t have the income or density to support retail businesses is insane.

          • ah, i see. we’re kinda talking different things. the density argument is neighborhood specific, not dc wide.

            obviously very dense areas like columbia heights, downtown, and ever georgetown have different factors than most of the hill, or petworth say.

            anyone have hard numbers to offer in terms of startup costs for restaurants vs retail?

    • If we have the density to support restaurants, we have the density to support retail. Look at Columbia Heights, Georgetown, etc. Restaurants fail too, not because there is no demand but because they do not provide what people want. Successful retail fills a neighborhood need and/or a city-wide need.

      • I think Capitol Hill has a harder time supporting retail because it gets a lot of competition from the suburbs.

        The Hill is more car-friendly than many other parts of the city– it’s relatively easy to find street parking, and a lot of the houses have driveways or garages, so many residents do own cars. From The Hill it’s extremely easy to get on 395-S and be in Virginia in a few minutes, which makes it very easy to get to a major chain store. In the case of Chateaux Animaux, some Hill residents would rather go to the Petsmart at Potomac Yards because it’s cheaper, and a short drive away, and they can hit up the Old Navy and Barnes and Noble while they’re at it.

        Much of the restaurant traffic comes from visitors, and people who work in the area. Many of these people live and shop in the suburbs, so they are unlikely to support any retail on the Hill.

        In order for retail to succeed it needs to offer a product or service that you can’t get at a nearby big box store. The example I’m thinking of is Stitch DC, the yarn shop on 8th Street. You can buy yarn at A.C. Moore or Michael’s, but it won’t the good quality kind that most knitters are looking for, and even then you’d have to drive all the way out to Springfield or Fairfax for it. So Stitch DC still gets a lot of business.

        • Exactly. If your retail shop sucks, you will go out of business. If it’s Frager’s, or Hill’s Kitchen, or Stitch DC, you’ll last forever.

  • while I find it sad that Chateaux is closing, at the same time, if it couldn’t stay in business, then oh well, it is what it is.
    Kind of tells you something about our current economy. People are holding on to their nickels and not spending money on luxuries at high priced pet boutiques, which love it or hate it, that’s what Chateaux Animaux was.

    • I’m not sure that they’re going under, they could justa s easily be getting pushed out for a business willing to pay higher rent.

      This is the inevitable consequence of raising the % of restaurants in a neighborhood cap earlier this year.

      On the plus side, the 10% restaurant sales tax is probably higher tax income for the city.

      • They’re looking at space in the area to stay open. They’ll be in this spot through the end of the year. I’ve heard they’re looking in the Capitol Riverfront area, but I’m not sure where they’ll end up.

  • what will happen to the Saturday morning dog adoption program? is that still going on in front of CA? makes me sad to think that they’ll have to relocate that as well…

    • These adoptions happen all over the city and outside the city as well. There are plenty of places that gladly support them, so I wouldn’t be worried.

  • So… 160 seat restaurant…Any more parking coming to the area???? Anywhere? I mean it’s already at capacity around 8th street. Anyone have any brilliant ideas on this? The parking lot next door to Chateaux has about 15 spaces, not really gonna help much.

    • There’s all the parking underneath the overpass, plus Barracks Row is very metro accessible.

      • Yes, unless you’re determined to find a space on 8th Street itself (not impossible either if you’re persistent enough) there’s plenty of parking a short walk away. It’s not like some parts of the city where I’ve often given up after 45 minutes because it’s impossible to find a space.

      • Yes I realize Metro is very accessible. But there are still a large amount of vehicles around. It appears that Metro and the parking lot down the street are not helping to alleviate the problem, and another restaurant, which I will remind you, is not the only one opening up around 8th street. The Vets office is becoming a restaurant, the old Firehook joint by 7-11 is becoming some sort of restaurant, and I am sure it is only a matter of time before the former bike shop is one as well. So if you take 160 seats, plus whatever the others will hold and do the math you will see that there is going to be more parking problems.

        • Screw the peeps that drive down there. Metro or walk. or park 5 blocks away and walk. adding parking to a metro area is crazy.

          • I’m on the street a couple times a week, and I’ve never seen that parking lot at the underpass full.

          • its crazy when you consider it only from your personal way of seeing things and how people should behave.

          • I don’t “drive down there”. It’s on the way home from work and I love the area so I’ll sometimes stop there. The only reason I live so far away that I need to drive is because it’s the only way I can save money to someday buy a home on the Hill.

  • Based upon another blog (THIH), the pet store will (hopefully) reopen in a smaller capacity near 8th st and that their is going to be some opposition to the restaurant openings.

  • Argh so if you enter the capcha incorrectly your whole comment disappears? Grr.

  • GiantSquid

    I, like others, have mixed feelings about this. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Chateau Animaux’s groomers and have sworn them off after the third poor grooming experience there. However, they are two blocks from my house and would always have my dogs’ food and usually have poo bags in stock. I hope that Pawticulars is able to stay open because I cannot walk the dogs up to H Street.

    I’m disappointed that it’s two more restaurants moving in. 8th street is turning into another 7th NW (Penn Quarter)/Restaurant Row. I wish property owners could be reasonable about rents to keep shops that have a fighting chance open. I’m sure two more restaurants aren’t going to make the parking any worse than it already is since it’s near impossible on Friday nights. I still contend that if parking enforcement actually came around on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, DC could move towards closing that gap in the budget between all the folks illegally parked and parked for more than 2 hours w/o a zone 6 tag.

    • I’ve gotten plenty of tickets (usually bogus because I do park legally) on Thursday and Friday nights. There’s one parking enforcement officer in particular that’s a maniac about giving them out, whether they’re deserved or not. As long as she’s ticketing the people that actually are taking up resident parking I’m ok with contesting the endeless stream of illegitimate tickets she gives me.

    • If you have an issue with illegal parking, you could write to your councilmember and ANC commissioner.

    • I agree with you on the Parking enforcement, or lack of on those evenings! I am getting increasingly frustrated at the people parking in the alleyways as well. Where are those city tow trucks now that baseball season is over. It is nearly impossible to leave after Thursday and expect to come home and find a spot. And the weekends you try to get in before 6 in order to find anything close as well.

  • @ front for drugs– Pawticulars is owned by a good friend and fellow PTA Mom and former financial industry lawyer with 3 young kids. Jen Zatkowski lives here, does a lot in the community, and is running for ANC in NE– The Paw does a good businesses in services–special orders, pet care, and keeps my cat happy, as well, with bonita flakes and such. Like many, she’d like to see a more robust advocacy for retail on 8th, I am sure. Just defending the Paw against the “drug” charges, ha. I like the quirky mix of stores that make Capitol Hill the, well, quirky neighborhood it is. Alcohol gives restaurants big profit margins that small retail cannot compete with, so some unified approach to supporting retail through whatever tax and advocacy approaches are at hand are needed if one doesn’t want pure, economics to reign supreme. Otherwise, we’d have a Target where the elementary school is. (The Hine Jr. HS WILL provide a mix of bigger-scale retail in the neighborhood in a few years)..

  • Note that Chateaux owns the building and is selling it. It’s not an issue of rent.

  • I wonder how much of this is owing to Metro Mutts. I can’t imagine that Pawticulars had anything to do with it–they have very limited retail stock, and the last time I went in there the girl working the cash register had literally no knowledge about the products, so it’s not like they’re offering superior customer service, nor are their prices any better than Chateaux’s were.

    Most pet owners I know on the Senate side went to Chateaux Animaux before Metro Mutts opened. We switched to Metro Mutts not because of any kind of dissatisfaction with Chateaux Animaux, but because of the greater convenience. I’m curious how many other pet owners were in the same boat.

    • I switched to Metro Mutts b/c they actually have things I wanted/needed and actually gave a crap about my business – a feeling I wasn’t really getting from Chateau the last year or two. I don’t really want to hate on Chateau, but Metro Mutts has proved to be superior in every way. (I’m pretty much right smack in between the two stores – and drove to both b/c a)I like to drive and b)I’m not going to walk anywhere with a 30 lb bag of dog food.)

    • I doubt Metro Mutts did in Chateaux.

      Chateaxu used to be Doolittles over on 7th literally across the Market. The were well known (not just in this area) for being a boutique pet store. Don’t know why they moved to 8th other than possibly to expand. They gave it a pretentious sounding name and got a lot more space. Maybe it was space they couldn’t really afford and didn’t know how to manage properly at which point maybe they need to revisit what made them popular in the first place instead of trying to be some fancy pants expensive pet boutique with a pretentious name.

  • “Anyone have any brilliant ideas on this?”

    Bike? Metro? Cab? Walk? Roller-blade? Bus?

  • I heard from a former Chateau employee that Chauteau is just looking to move closer to the new stadium where overhead will be cheaper.

  • What I will not miss about Chateau Animaux: the faux French. We are not amused.

    • the owners french and it would be called discrimination if everyone who worked there was french.
      what IS amusing is that ignorant comment LMAO

  • I am the owner of Pawticulars and wanted to weigh in on this discussion. As a retailor on Barracks Row, I am sad to see Chateau Animaux close. When we opened 7 years ago, Barracks Row was a great mix of retail and restaurants. To see several retail businesses close – Plaid, Ipso Crafto, Maggie & Lola, to name a few – and restaurants replace them has been frustrating. About a year and a half ago, we had a difficult time balancing inventory against cash flow and I agree that our stock became lean. It was solely due to our thriving dog walking & pet sitting business that we were able to keep the store front open. My husband & I felt that it was important to keep the store front open to demonstrate stability and commitment to Barracks Row and to independent retail.
    And I must say that it has been incredibly discouraging to have our beloved stone dog sculpture beheaded 4 times in the last 2 years. I don’t think we can repair it after this last break – a woman thought it would be fun to try to ride it and the whole thing toppled over.
    We are so grateful to our loyal, regular customers who have kept us going. And I invite all to revisit Pawticulars to see our new offerings. We have new bowls, some fantastic winter coats coming soon and a knowledgeable staff. We will always order what you need if we don’t have it. We are fully restocked and here to help.
    Thank you,
    Jennifer Zatkowksi

  • As a dear customer of Chateau Animaux, i dont like how people are talking about them. They are NOT going out of business but will be moving to a new location so it not all bad news. The price of food can be pricey buy compare to other pet stores like greenpet, pawticular, big bad wolf, and even metro mutt, there prices are even more cheaper. my dog eats taste of the wild and i pay $45.99 compare to big bad wolf where they charge $50.99. The staff there are wonderful caring people. The guy that help me took his time to help me pick dog food out, and took time to get to know my dog and explain so much about the nutrition my dog is going to be getting. I never thought the people there were rude, the two boys that work on Sunday are always fun in passing time in line or to just talk to. I can say that i am Chateau Animaux number 1 fan and will still be when they move to there new location

  • AS AN EMPLOYEE OF CHATEAU ANIMAUX IT SUCKS TO SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE STORE WHEN I WOULD LITERALLY GIVE A CUSTOMER THE SHIRT OFF MY BACK. SAY WHATEVER ABOUT HIGH PRICES BUT I SEE WHAT WE PAY FOR THE FOOD AND I DOUBT WED PROFIT ENOUGH TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON IF WE SOLD EVERY BAG IN THE STORE. TO SAY WE MAKE $10 ON A BAG OF FOOD WOULD BE DRAMATICALLY! STRETCHING IT. BASIC BUISNESS PRINCIPLES ARE IGNORED TO GIVE OUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE ON NUMEROUS ITEMS. WE DONT HAVE STOCK ROOMS, WE DONT TAX FOOD ITEMS. I PERSONALY KNOW PLENTY OF CUSTOMERS BY NAME AND FACE AND SO DO MY CO WORKERS. THOSE WHO SHOP HERE HAVE VOTED US #1 IN DC, WE HAVE CUSTOMERS FROM NE, NW, SE, SW, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA! OUR GROOMER CAROLYN IS THE BEST AND INSTEAD OF GOING TO SOME NUT-JOB SLINGING CLIPPERS, PEOPLE DRIVE FOR LITERALLY HOURS TO COME GET A PROFESSIONAL JOB DONE. SHE GROOMS TO THE BREED STANDARD WHILE OTHERS DO NOT. SHE KNOWS HUNDREDS OF DOGS BY NAME! AND IF IT WASN’T FOR HER WE COULDN’T KEEP THE LIGHTS ON SELLING THIS FOOD. I GUARANTEE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WRITING THESE COMPLAINTS ABOUT PRICES LIVE IN MILLION DOLLAR HOMES, PAY TWO-THOUSAND DOLLAR RENT FOR THEIR ONE BEDROOM, DRIVE BENZ, AND FEED THEIR DOGS; DOG CHOW, PURINA, BENIFUL, IAMS, OR SOME OTHER CORN AND BY PRODUCT FILLED FOOD FROM PETCO OR PETSMART. IF YOU CANT UNDERSTAND THAT SH*T HAPPENS, FREEZERS BREAK AND THAT WE SELL OUT OF THINGS THEN IDK WHAT TO SAY. I LOVE SUSHI THOUGH! IM SURE ILL STOP BY NUSHI ALL THE TIME ON MY WAY FROM WORK! YAAY

  • Nice all caps Chateaux. This does not make your point it only annoys us all. All of your products were way to expensive in comparison to other stores. I stepped foot in your store once and never would again. Glad to see more food options take root on 8th street.

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