Jonathan’s Gourmet Deli Closes in Dupont

“Dear PoPville,

Just curious if you have any information about the closing of Jonathan’s Gourmet on 1120 19th Street, NW? The buffet-style food was good and the owners were always nice, so I’m sad to find out it has closed. I know there are plenty of buffet-style establishments such as this one, but their service was the best I have experienced – very pleasant and always remembered me.”

Any regulars of Jonathan’s happen to know the story?

10 Comment

  • I frequented Jonathan’s at least once per week (oftentimes more). They told me that the building’s owners doubled their rent to nearly $8K/month and they were barely getting by at the original monthly rate. They had very little notice (what they told me) and, thus, had to be out the last weekend of July. It was a sad day, especially because I’m seeing fewer family-owned businesses downtown (and in the entire city).

    • Wow. This seems to be a theme – what’s with the rents in this town?? Why do landlords keep driving paying business away by jacking up the rent so much? Are they refinancing their mortgages every other year or something?

      • It’s pretty simple, really. The landlords are hardly driving paying business away, they’re simply maximizing their income:

        — Jonathan’s probably signed their previous lease many years ago, when such a space didn’t command nearly the price that it does now in the superheated rental environment downtown.

        –Now the lease is up, and the building’s owner sees all the chain restaurants that have popped up downtown in the last 5-7 years, realizes that he could get MUCH more than the previous rent.

        –Owner tells Jonathan’s: Here’s your new rent; you can either sign a new lease at that price or leave. Jonathan’s leaves.

        –New tenant, likely a chain restaurant or sandwich shop, is in there in about a month, give or take, depending on what type of business it is and how much renovation they have to do.

    • This is so common in Dupont. I think the landlords are still banking on the (increasingly more outdated) notion that Dupont’s the hottest neighborhood in the city. Unfortunately, by driving out all small businesses they’re making the neighborhood less desirable.

      • This is hardly Dupont. It’s downtown.

        And, if your theory was correct, you’d see scads of empty spaces in Dupont/downtown.

  • Sorry they closed. They always had pretty good sushi on their food bar. I changed jobs and haven’t been there in a while, but I was a regular there when I was in the area.

  • Aw, man! My favorite lunch place. I just got back to work from vacation and it’s gone! I could always get a really healthy vegetable dish there.

  • I’m sad too. I worked across the street at 1111 for ten years, and bought hundreds of breakfasts at Jonathan’s.

  • I loved Jonathan’s – especially for breakfast. I did think the space was WAY to large. They had the same amount of food that other buffets in the area but 3 times the seating. I can see why their rent would be much higher than other buffets in the area. Im going to miss them dearly.

  • So did a guy named Jonathan run the place, or was that some kind of made-up name?

Comments are closed.