Teaism Looking to Open a Fourth Store on U Street, NW

On Friday for the FQotD I asked what retail you thought U Street was missing and in the comments a reader mentioned that they had heard that Teaism would be opening up a shop in the Moderno at 12th and U St, NW:

The Moderno located at 1939 12th Street NW (at U Street, NW)

I checked in with the folks at Teaism and they confirmed that they are indeed very interested in the U Street neighborhood. However at this moment no lease has been signed. I’m told, if things go well, we could hear some good news in about 3 months.

Specifically I was told by one of the co-owners:

“We love the neighborhood and we’re working diligently to secure a location.”

I did however, notice that the for lease sign had come down from the Moderno retail space…

Stay tuned for more info when it becomes available.

50 Comment

  • sort of wish they’d pay more attention to their penn quarter location instead. seems like the quality of their food keeps going downhill and the prices go up up up.

    • I’d like to know an eatery where the quality keeps going up while the price goes down, down, down. Besides Spike Mendelsohn’s malapropism themed pan asian noodle shop, “Freudian Slurp.”

      • i’m happy to pay higher prices for food that stays good. my point is that it keeps getting worse. and that’s a bummer. ’cause i used to eat there a lot. loved that place.

  • Ugh. Teasim? Really? Teaism has a long history of attracting the “wrong element” (i.e., people who quietly sip their tea while enjoying a light and sensibly priced meal). Their massive stores can hold over a hundredth of a thousand customers!

  • This would be great! I love the retail space at the Moderno and was wondering what would end up there.

  • FINALLY some lunch variety on U that doesn’t come from a factory! :))

  • FINALLY a place to get decent tea on U Street! It is the best thing after a long night of partying. Soothes the senses. I am a big fan of Teasism in Dupont Circle already, so this is a fine addition.

  • do places do well in the u street area at lunch?

    • McDonald’s and Popeye’s are always busy, so with any luck Teaism’s will take some of the pressure off those two fine dining establishments.

      • + 1/100th of 100.

      • Teaism’s?

      • are other places busy for lunch around there? the place i’ve been to there for lunch have always been slow. i know there is the reeves building. and howard.but is there any other demand for lunch there?

        • There’s a foundation on 12th and U (across street from Moderno) that also has a homeless legal clinic. And there are a couple of financial institutions on U.

          Few nice places open for lunch in that area. Just enough offices to keep the few lunch places more or less going. There’s room for Teaism.

  • Yessss, this would be GREAT!

  • andy

    Official book club hangout! YEAH BABY!!!

  • Woo! Nothing not to like. Would be nice if they look at Petworth or CH too, but U street is good for now.

  • I’m not a huge fan of Teasim (I actually wish they would sell coffee as I’ve been dragged there by tealovers), but I think this would be a nice addition to the neighborhood.

    That space, though, seems to be retail poison. I’m not sure anything could survive there, though I am glad that the owners of the space have resisted from leasing it to a CVS, 7-11, Popeye’s, etc. If anything could survive there (apart from a chain), I would place bets on Teasim or Le Pain Quotidien.

    I think this would mark a significant gentrification step (for good or bad) in the eyes of many residents.

    • Teaism and Le Pain Quotidien are both chains, the latter being international. And I would attribute the astronomical rent as part of the reason why nothing seems to thrive there.

      But I agree, both LPQ and Teaism have a chance here.

      • You’re right. I misspoke about “chains”. I guess I meant smaller chain stores. I know a boutique store, individual restaurant, etc. could likely never afford the rent there, but the tenants of the condo may also want to avoid fast food chains but be willing to give Teasim a chance.

  • LOVE!! I wrote to Teaism a year ago when we moved from Dupont to U Street. Teaism was a staple in our dinner rotation for those nights when we didn’t have time to cook. This is super.

  • I always want more ginger limeade.

  • Salty Oat Cookies CAN I GET A WHAT WHAT!

  • I don’t get why people like this place so much. I’ve been a couple of times and just find it expensive and not very good.

    • Same here, Teaism’s cute but I’ve never had anything there that was exceptional. I’ve been making something similar to salty oat cookies since high school and don’t understand why people make such a fuss over them. I’d like to see a real tea house come to DC but I’m not sure it’d survive.

    • +200. My coworkers always raved about it. I went with them several times trying different items off the menu, but the food was only “decent” at best. The tea is good, but it’s always crowded and they act annoyed if you ask questions about any of the dozens of teas they sell. The only thing I ever enjoyed was the coy pond.

  • Eh. Their food is SO bland.

    • Agreed. I really WANT to like Teaism. I love tea. I love Asian food. And yet…

      • I also really wanted to like them (though I hate tea), and gave them several tries. The last tofu scramble–which had nearly NOTHING in it–was the last straw.

        Don’t make me bring my own Sriracha, bitches!

  • I don’t know why nothing has survived here (has anything ever gone in here?), but it certainly is not the location. It is a beautiful side street right off of U that sees tons of foot traffic. Something like Teaism would thrive here.

    • My guess is that the condo board of the Moderno doesn’t want a late night operation that disturbs the tenants. They also likely don’t want something that attracts (more) rats to the area. AND, they likely want a ton of rent.

      The space is also too large for something like a bike shop, etc. unless they split it up.

      I think there used to be a gallery there. After that, they had some sort of weird Mastercard installation/advertisement in the window?

      Anyway, it seems like a great location, but only for the right thing.

  • this would be excellent no more downtown visits.. seems like capital tea vs teaism battle this summer

  • Love me a good bento box, but I think Dupont location is close enough no?

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