RCKNDY Home/Office Furnishing Store Closes at 1515 U St, NW

On Friday afternoon I started getting emails that something was going on at RCKNDY, located at 1515 U St, NW. Phone calls went unanswered at first then the line was disconnected and when I stopped by on Sat. I only saw this:

The store has been completely emptied. Their Website that is still live says:

RCKNDY (pronounced rock candy) is your resource for creating a new look for your home or office. We specialize in modern decor with an emphasis scaled to condo and apartment living. We’ve circled the globe to find the best in modern design the world has to offer including furniture from Blu Dot, Gus Modern, and American Leather. Our gift & decor selection compliments our furniture and is always changing so every time you visit our store you see something new. An inspired and unmatched inventory, creative merchandising, and knowledgeable sales team unite to give the RCKNDY customer an exceptional shopping experience.

We took a peek inside back in March ’08.

Were there any fans?

31 Comment

  • David [the owner] and his store will be sorely missed. It was a great addition to the neighborhood that will be difficult to replace. (P.S. I was lucky enough to work there part-time for 18 months before he decided to close.)

  • Might have been a nice addition to the neighborhood, but crappy quality and high prices =/= a working business model. I bought four chairs and a coffee table from them two years ago, and two are completely broken, despite light usage. The third and fourth are going soon too. I know i’m just one customer yada yada, but I tried to shop there numerous times, only to be turned off by how unaffordable everything seemed to be. Full Disclosure: I can afford it.

    • U Street was/in completely filled with stores that boggle the mind with prices…uber modern / stylistically narrow designs that cater to such a small slice of the DC demographic that it isn’t surprising they are steadily going out of business.

      Yes, U Street / Columbia Heights has a large per capita share of the six figure earning yuppies, but not enough to keep 4 stores open, all selling retro Jetsons designed plastic chairs for $500 a pop.

      • +1, my wife and I make $200K/year and would never buy furniture at this prices. we like ikea.

        • Retailers should keep in mind that DC is still a small town with thrifty people.

          Keep your prices right or specialize if you want to succed on 14th street.

        • do you also buy your business suits at H&M?

        • Most people I meet / work with are actively trying to rid their houses of Ikea as the move into their 30’s. I’d say you are in the minority. I don’t know much about this store but they carried Blu Dot which is a relatively affordable tough as nails line designed by three architects in Minneapolis.

        • I’m new but 200k each right? If 200k combined – whoa. How do you afford DC?

      • I think you’re missing the point that these places service the entire DC area. There’s a little redundancy between places like Urban Essentials and this one, but really, I think was Room and Board put this place out of business. You can do a modern look there, but it’s 10x more friendly to consumers who are transitioning from Ikea/West Elm — hell, it’s almost exactly like the Ikea showroom, but all growed up. Also, it’s a little more middle of the road, so broader appeal.

  • I randomly walked in last weekend when everything in the store was 50% off.

    The only chair left was still an astonishing $1799.

    Sorry, but if I’m overpaying for furniture in that neighborhood it will probably be at room and board.

  • David was a great guy and I’ll miss his stylish shop tremendously! I bought my first piece of “big girl” furniture there and I love it!

  • It’s just a really hard time economically for all retail, especially small business.

    That was a cute shop. Too bad.

  • Shame. But this is what furniture stores do… close.


  • We bought our bedroom dressers and some benches from there.

    I spoke to David last week, as they were closing; I think the issue is that the “lifecycle” when people’s phases of life in this city sort of goes as follows:

    1) immediate post-college: leftovers, parental donations, some IKEA
    2) several years post-college: IKEA, some C&B/West Elm
    3) a decade out: ease from modernism back to transitional, more C&B, Mitchell Gold
    4) 15 years out: now some Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware
    5) 20 years out, kids already past the “jam face” stage: start buying Louis XIV antiques or Thomas Moser.

    It’s not that this city is thrify, though people (our age) to tend to be perfectly comfortable with their homes looking like squatters’ flats, but rather that without the inclination to develop their own aesthetic preferences, when they’re finally willing to spend money, they just buy what they’re “supposed to”, at the shops their position’s predecessor did.

    • the other problem too is that furniture as a craft is dead. nowadays, it’s really just style and economics.

    • I this this is a huge generalization. There are definitely people who adopt this kind of mentality, but these are also the people who shop for exactly what Lucky Magazine tells them to buy. I think most people are grown up enough to buy what they want, when they want it, within or close to their means. At least I hope they are; my friends are.

      It was a great store, but with online retailers selling a lot of the same stuff it’s hard to keep up a bricks and mortar business. People like to go into a store like Rckndy to browse and get a physical feel, and then they go to bludot.com to place their order.

    • Ummm…RS, have you been peeping in my windows for the last 15 years since undergrad? I think I’m down to one bookshelf from IKEA and my mailbox continues to be jammed each month with the new MASSIVE catalogs from Restoration Hardware and PB.

    • Taxonomy of furniture! I like it.

  • This is too bad–they had some interesting stuff. Compared to other stores that sold similar or identical items, RCKNDY was either comparable or more reasonable. I bought couch there a few years ago, and it was actually a few hundred dollars cheaper at RCKNDY than other places that sold the exact same one.

    • Same here – a Gus Modern – and it’s held up fantastically well. We got a great deal on it, delivery was on-time, and the entire transaction was great. I’m sorry to see them go.

  • They sold Gus Modern and BluDot furniture, both have a good rep for high quality. Anyway, I loved that store for last minute gifts. I will miss them 🙁

  • What did they have that Urban Essentials doesn’t?

  • I liked the selection at Urban Essential better, but I didn’t comparison shop, so am not sure how the prices compare.

  • I’ll miss it; oddly, I was planning a trip yesterday when I saw the headline.

    I had a bit of a crush on the owner, too.

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