Pulp Closing at 14th and S St, NW in November

1800 block of 14th St, NW in 2008

“Dear PoPville,

The cashier at Pulp informed me last weekend that they were closing the store by Thanksgiving. He said that they had tried to find a buyer but they were not able to.

If this is true it would be yet another store closing on 14th St. I think that unless you have a liquor license (or sell overpriced furniture), you won’t be able to afford the rent.”

It appears to be true as Borderstan spoke to the store manager (last day November 23) and also notes how many businesses have recently closed/changed hands on the 14th St strip. Most recently we we spoke about 1409 Playbill Cafe closing at the end of the month.

Pulp is located on 14th St just north of S St at 1803 14th Street NW. Just reading ‘meet the staff’ will give a good indication of how unique this place was.

At the end of the day I also think it is important to take a step back and see that today, there is still a pretty unique mix of retail on the 14th St strip with newly added Current Boutique as well as other clothing stores like Universal Gear, Redeem, Rue 14 and others plus all the diverse retail on nearby U Street. Though I do admit this is only for today and clearly this is a decent indication of what the strip may look like tomorrow.

35 Comment

  • The owner of the store died 2 years ago. The sale of the business did not go through as planned. No rent was increased to my knowledge.

  • So sad. I always go here for cool Xmas cards and unique gifts. I’m already mourning the funky 14th Street I once knew and loved. Candidas, Sparkey’s, Go Mama Go, Ruff n Ready, Miss Pixies, ACKC, Just please don’t take Reincarnations!

  • Noooooooooooooo! I’ll have to go out and stock up on cards and gifts!!!

  • This is so sad–I wonder if Ron had lived if the store would have lasted.

  • Sadness. Pulp has always been a treat to visit.

  • So sad. When they opened, I read about how he worked with homeless teens before moving here. I went to him & asked for birthday cards for volunteers at a homeless shelter. He gave me 2 years worth of cards deeply discounted. It is sad to see so many Places closing. I still miss sparky’s too. 🙁

  • Lets hope for some funky (non-chain) retail to fill its place.

  • Dang–I really love this place. A friendly staff a nice selection and free, funky gift-wrapping, right in the neighborhood. I’m going to have to start planning ahead for birthdays, etc. This is going to crimp my lifestyle.

  • Over-regulation and taxes take another. The only businesses that can afford DC are large corporations who can deal with the shakedown.

    • propercharlie said: “Over-regulation and taxes take another. The only businesses that can afford DC are large corporations who can deal with the shakedown.”

      You have no idea why Pulp is going under. None whatsoever. What’s funny about your comment is that you are clearly a conservative but if you had ever been to Pulp you’d no they are as lefty as they get.

      Very, very sad to see Pulp go. It was an important part of our neighborhood.

  • “Over-regulation and taxes take another. The only businesses that can afford DC are large corporations who can deal with the shakedown.” And yet other small businesses keep opening in the corridor, yawn.

    It’s really sad to see this place go.

    • Most small business in DC are bars and restaurants. They survive because they can launder money (i.e., avoid taxes) and let the customers pay the help. Other businesses must navigate red tape, lawyers, regulations, taxes, healthcare payments, etc. Yawn yourself.

      Believe me, I want DC to prosper. I just think taxing and regulating small business to death isn’t very smart.

      I used to live in Paris. There were many kinds of businesses in every block. It must be easy to start a business in Paris. DC by comparison looks like the old Soviet Union with large concrete apartment and office blocks and no shops. Sorry, but that’s my impression.

      • I think that you have no idea what you are talking about. Restaurants do not launder money. The only ones that do is the burger joint in your paranoid fantasy. Sorry, but your comments have no basis and no merit.

        • The key for money laundering is lots of cash transactions–then you can run in your illicit cash and there’s no way to prove it’s not legitimate earnings from the business. –Philip Brewer, WiseBread

          But trade-based money laundering is likely where the real money is. Less understood and perhaps more pernicious, this includes the stereotypical restaurant that never seems to serve any customers, except for a few toughs at the back table, but “rakes in” profits. – Business insider

      • No offense, but your a f’n idiot to compare DC to the Soviet Union. Especially if the thread is about a store closing and the commenters are concerned over which new “type” of business will have the capital to move in. Doofus!

        “Compared to Paris…” Lame!

  • Politicians, bureaucrats and quangos don’t care about the left per se. They care about maintaining their jobs. They are the establishment and make a pretty good living shaking down bankers, lenders, large corporations and even small businesses. What they fear most, if you know anything about DC, are small entrepreneurs regardless of political persuasion, even naive lefties. You can’t refute my argument but merely make an attempt at slander, as if calling me a conservative will make the world go away.

  • That’s a real shame. I regularly get my cards here – I’ve been happy to say it’s been years since I actually bought a Hallmark card. I guess it’s another reminder to enjoy, and patronize, these quirky shops while they last.

  • Who buys cards anymore?

    • Didn’t you ask this same question on another blog?

      That said, I would wager the answer is “most people.”

      Pulp has certainly been my home for all card shopping for years. I don’t know where I’m going to find a selection that matches theirs.

  • The other card store I loved, even a bit better than Pulp, was Treasures on 17th St. It went away a long time ago and Pulp somewhat filled the void for funny cards. I’ll be sad to see it go.

  • This is SUCH a bummer. Pulp and HomeRule are my go-to little card and gift shopping combo. Pulp always had the perfect card. Now I’m going to have to make them myself.

    Depressing that a buyer couldn’t be found; given how much money *I* spent there, I find it really sad that it wasn’t an attractive business for someone to buy.

  • Just sad. Ron Henderson, of blessed memory, had a wonderful vision-“Feel the love”-for Pulp. It was his vision. To walk in there was a positive and loving experience. To browse and buy-cards for friends newly married under marriage equality law changes, silly or moving cards for any reason,gifts of substance or silly, books for children-always made one’s day better. Bev Jones, the exceptional person and Pulp GM, and Raven and others, took Ron’s vision and kept it going. Oh how I wish for a miracle to keep Pulp! DC and the n’hood need more places like this. Andy Shallal-don’t you want to take this under your wing?

  • When you visit Pulp before it closes, make sure you also go to Home Rule and buy something. Save Home Rule!

  • Its so sad to see this happening to 14th St. No more Pulp, Mid City, ACKC, or Go Mama Go. Even Miss Pixies wants to move and the Lincoln Theater is thinking of closing. I hate that the neighborhood is becoming a spot for suburbanites to have a “night in the city” or for transient yuppies to live for a couple of years. I wish there was something that could be done.

  • I asked this past weekend and ACKC said they are not closing. So go and buy some chocolate! They also have brunch now too.

  • Noooooooo!!! I love this place.

  • I always wondered who buys the overpriced furniture on 14th… I walk by those stores all the time and never ever see a customer in them.

  • I don’t think Home Rule is closing or in danger of closing, they seem to be thriving. Go Mama Go closed due to the owner’ death. ACKC is a crappy store but still open to my knowledge. Miss Pixies building id probably going condo from what I’ve heard. People stop ringing the alarm.
    Any idea how much it costs to buy Pulp?

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