Chipotle Asian Themed Restaurant, ‘ShopHouse’, Coming to Dupont Circle!

Back in Nov. ’10 it was widely reported that Chipotle would be opening up a series of Asian themed restaurants in 2011, likely to be called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen.

I have it from a very good source that Chipotle/ShopHouse has signed a lease in Dupont Circle, next to BGR, at 1516 Connecticut Ave, NW (near the Dupont north metro stop). It appears that this will be one of the first if not the first ShopHouse to open up in the US. It’s not clear when the new ShopHouse will open up but it is likely to be this year.

Given how popular Chipotle is around town, do you think the Asian themed ShopHouse will be similarly successful? Do you think Dupont Circle is a good place to launch one of the first ones?

29 Comment

  • I think they’ll do great. They’ve got a great business model and are healthyish for fast food. This location is also pretty starved for lunch spots as the lines outside the door at sweetgreen attests to.

    Speaking of food, I watch the movie Breaking Away (1979) the other night and was amazed at how thin everybody was -from the actors to the extras. It was filmed entirely in central Indiana, an area not known for an absence of fat people. An amazing transformation has occurred in the last 30 years.

    • I was going to say – the US needs more fast, healthyish options. We still have a long way to go, but it’s nice to see traditional fast food dieing off…..

    • Seems “healthyish” but it is really difficult to create a burrito that is less than 1000 calories and not loaded with saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol..

      • It’s not like they don’t serve things other than burritos though. I always make out well on the calorie/fat/sodium front on the rare occasion I go (however, now that I have a pressure cooker I don’t really have a good excuse for not making my own rice & beans).

        • Right, the Chipotle salads are pretty healthy if you go easy on the dressing and don’t load them up with a pound of cheese and sour cream.

      • Which is why I just do the two tacos – enough food for me. Unfortunately you have to ask for it , as they don’t advertise they do less then 2.

      • I usually get a burrito bowl and split it between two meals since it’s so much food. It’s really not hard to get a relatively healthy meal there.

    • Did you see me? I was an extra in that film. Yes everyone was skinny back in those days…including me…sigh…

  • Oh dear god. Another venue for them to peddle their cilantro poison.

  • The area is hardly starving for lunch options, but I’m pretty excited for a faster, cheaper version of Teaism.

  • I think they’ll do well, but it’s sad to see the smaller businesses leaving that stretch of CT Ave. Well, except for mean coffee lady.

    • If they follow the Chipotle model – great ingredients, fast production line – I think they’ll be incredibly successful. Like the flavors/concept or not, Chipotle is undoubtedly at the top of what fast food should be.

      I will commence dreaming that they’ll open in Park Place atop the Petworth metro station.

    • Pete’s had a letter of intent to sign a lease for that space (two bays plus some basement space) and started preliminary engineering and design before the landlord canceled the LOI and sent us packing to find another space. They were not easy to work with. In the end, they said they didn’t want a third restaurant in the building, for sanitation reasons. That was in early 2009. I guess two additional years of vacancy has had an effect on their thinking re: restaurants…?

      At any rate, we opened our second location in mid-2010 in Friendship Heights, and it’s been great.

      • Come to Capitol Hill next!

        • Aww! We’ve come close a couple times. Looked at the space where that wonderful Ted’s Bulletin is located now, but we weren’t ready at that time to do the full build-out, and Matchbox had just signed a lease a couple storefronts down the street. We’re opening in Clarendon next. Then taking a break for a while before thinking about any more new locations. We think it’s important not to grow faster than our ability to handle the growth. We’re not in this business to make it big fast and sell out. We’ll be here for a looooooong time.

      • Oy, you’re breaking my heart! I almost wish I didn’t know that. Love love love Pete’s and live a block from the Petworth metro. You’d have been perfect there. So sad the landlords dropped the ball. That stinks. I bemoan those empty corner spaces every day.

        • I think michael@petesapizza is referring to the CT Ave space, not the Park Place space. The placement of the reply may have confused things.

          • You’re right, rooty tooty — what I meant to say, @petworthian 12:19, is we negotiated with the landlord at Dupont Circle. We weren’t looking at Park Place – too close to Columbia Heights. We deliver all the way up to Missouri Avenue from the ColHts store. Sorry for the confusion.

          • Ah, thanks RT & Michael. Seemed way too good to be true. And too close to CH as well. Though Park Place seems to like its empty anchors as well. Sigh.

      • I live in Dupont and there is a SERIOUS lack of pizza — really nothing in Dupont except Alberto’s. Pete’s would clean up here. There are other places to lease.

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