(Very Vague) Scuttlebutt: Old McCormick Paint Building at 15th and P St, NW to Become a Restaurant?

McCormick Paints recently moved from 1460 P St, NW to 3124 Mt. Pleasant St, NW. I’ve been getting a number of emails inquiring what will be going into the old space at 15th and P St, NW in prime Logan Circle (near Whole Foods). Well I wish I had more concrete info but I’m hearing a restaurant will be going into this space. I promise to update when I get more info on the plans. Given the space and location, I think a restaurant would do very well here.

27 Comment

  • I’ve heard it’s going to be a Mexican restaurant. Plans have already been submitted, including outside seating. And no, it’s not Lauriol Plaza East.

  • should be bulldozed. no reason to have a 1-story building and a parking lot in that space.

  • I pose the following question (which has no doubt been posed many times before):
    How many restaurants is too many?

    • On P Street, in DC, in the entire US, or in the world? I need some context here.

      The non-snarky answer is: as many as the market will support; that’s how capitalism works. Restaurants are expensive to start up, and investors (specifically restaurant groups) in restaurants are rarely dumb enough to open a restaurant if they think it will fail.

      I for one would rather see restaurants than liquor stores. But, I’d also prefer to see more variety (like a book or comic book store, or a skateboard shop – just something more interesting).

      How about a Trader Joe’s Express!

      • I’d really like to hear from restaurant owners how business is going lately because I know retail is taking hits, I know people are holding tighter to purse strings, so I’m very skeptical lhere.

        And, hell yes, of course more retail would be fabulous, but the property owners are extremely greedy and won’t lower rents enough for neighborhoods to actually have some diversity and interesting businesses.

        Restaurant food is a low wholesale and high-profit biz. Imagine turning a head of lettuce into a ten dollar item.

        • So true. And, I will admit that while I like diversity in shopping, when it does come, I often never shop there, shopping instead online because it’s cheaper… But, I also rarely eat at restaurants either, so maybe I’m just cheap.

          I did shop at Big Monkey Comics, though! And, it was a 2nd floor retail, so I can’t imagine rent was that bad, but comic books are probably the most discretionary-income purchase I can think of. Maybe DVDs also… both things easily given up as wallet thinness demands.

        • I’m not a restaurant owner, but I’m pretty sure your last statement is false. If restaurants were low-cost, high profit businesses, there would be more individually owned ones instead of liquor stores. Sure, a head of lettuce is cheap (assuming they are in season, don’t have to be shipped from Latin America, non-organic, and half the crop hasn’t been killed by harsh weather) but unless you want it on top of McDonald’s hamburger, the proteins you eat along side of it are not cheap, even in bulk. Not to mention build costs, rent, salaries, taxes, etc. In general, prices are high at restaurants because patrons in DC expect high quality ingredients and for a restaurant to make even a minimal profit margin, the food can’t be priced cheaply. Frankly, there’s more to the price of your food (or frankly anything you buy) than ingredient cost + X% mark up. A lot more.

          Ultimately, if restaurants were such a high profit, low cost business, there wouldn’t be such a high first 3 year failure rate.

          • Here’s some insight form someone in the restaurant biz: typically, food cost accounts for about 30% of an item’s menu price. Add it payroll, rent, and utilities, and most places are running on thin margins.

            Sure, some items are higher profit than others, but this is a decent rule of thumb. Especially in this economy, restaurants aren’t making money hand over fist; why do you think so many have to sell alcohol?

          • Hm. Liquor.

            Thanks for your responses.

            Just to be clear, I’ve always thought restaurant management is one of the hardest jobs ever — EVER! But if it *isn’t* a good profit then why do so many people go into the biz rather than retail?

            If your choice is to:

            a) manage many employees, health and sanitation codes, food, decor, logos, menu, food purchases, client satisfaction, alcohol, licenses, etc.


            b) become a buyer and marking items up to resell

            then why choose to run a restaurant over retail?

            You also answered the question Anon. It is a hard time even for restaurants.

            Sad. Sad. Sad.

        • I think most of the people who patronize these retaurants (childless middle or upper class with stable jobs) are probably not adjusting their dining habits in light of the economic situation. The frequency that one eats out is a somewhat ingrained lifestyle habit.

          Retail spending, on the other hand, can easily be cut down by going to a less expensive big-box store instead of the small local retailer. To some extent you can do that with restaurants, but there often is not a big enough difference in price to compensate for the less enjoyable experience.

          • maybe I’m an outlier, but I actually cut back on eating out first. I’m not sure anyone in logan is going to “big box” stores. we live there because we can walk to everything and we can’t walk to huge crappy chain stores.

            I’d love to see a restaurant here only if it is better than all the depressingly bad places on P street and 17th street. otherwise, I would personally love for an independent gift shop or coffee joint to open there.

    • The market will determine that, not you, honey.

  • Well, at least they won’t have to look too far for busboys, given that there are about 10-20 illegal day laborourers hanging around all day long, waiting for work, watching people park their Bikeshare bikes, and leering at pretty young white chicas.

    • So you’ve done a complete background check on the people you’ve seen at that corner to determine their citizenship or lawful entry status?

      Please go back to your comic books and skateboards and leave the blog race-baiting alone.

      • I actually did try to hire a few, thank you. And, I wanted a legal worker for some house repairs, and I shouldn’t have been surprised when only 1 of the 10 guys didn’t turn away when I asked about his status. So, while no background check was done, their response was a pretty good indicator.

    • The “leering” comment was a low blow. I live right there and the men are quiet and tend to keep to themselves. they did offer to help me move in and I took one of them up on an offer to help me with my dresser. he was polite and there was no leering.

  • It’s going to be Tortilla Coast from the people who brought you Cafe Deluxe

  • I would imagine that a restaurant might not be the long term use of the property as tax records show that it’s owned by the same developer of the Hudson and Desoto apartments across the street (and condos on Church St)- http://www.sjgproperties.com

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