Trader Joe’s Coming to 14th and U St, NW?

Back in June ’10 we spoke about some scuttlebutt regarding a Trader Joe’s coming to 14th and U St, NW. At the time the Washington City Paper said “this particular bit of rumor is almost certainly baseless.” This afternoon the City Paper writes:

“Well, I’ve since heard from a very good source that Trader Joe’s is, in fact, headed for the massive new development just getting underway on the intersection’s [14th and U] southwest corner”


74 Comment

  • Ho. Lee. Shit.

  • yayyyyyyy! although still quite a walk for me, better than going to 24th street. i need a cheap option now that the giant’s closed and my only option is whole foods or target. any idea when it might happen?

  • Best news I’ve heard all week! No more schlepping to Foggy Bottom! Woot!

  • Take that, Elwood Thompsons!

    I only wish TJ’s would move to DC USA, but with the chronic shoplifting I have witnessed in Columbia Heights I really don’t blame them.

  • LIFE CHANGING! 2013 will be a great year 🙂 Still, I’m super excited!

  • Utopia! literally.

  • Just emailed my roomies with this link, and the subject line said it all:


  • If you think the lines in Foggy Bottom are bad, wait till this one opens. Hopefully Trader Joe’s has the foresight to build a store here that is suited for such a high-density location, and not like the Foggy Bottom location, which on most days feels like it was designed to serve a town of 5,000 people.

  • Srsly? I’m not a fan. I’ve gone a few times and not, in my opinion, worth it. But let me know, what’s the attraction? Perhaps I’m missing it.

    • In my experience TJ’s gets better and better the more you go to it. The first few times it’s confusing because the signs are kind of artistic (so can be difficult to tell what the product is) and they don’t carry a lot of the typical name brands that you can identify just by color/design. So it ends up taking a long time to get your shopping done until you get a system down.

      But once you get a system down it is super awesome. And the $2.99 bottles of Charles Shaw cabernet CANNOT be beat.

      • saf

        I do not understand the love everyone has for that wine.

      • SouthwestDC

        “In my experience TJ’s gets better and better the more you go to it.”

        I’ve had the opposite experience, actually. I used to like some of their products when I was in a high school/college, but as time goes on I find there’s less and less I want to buy there. I go four times a year, at most, and I don’t think that would change if one opened up nearby.

        • I agree. Lots of packaged, processed products and produce from Mexico. And the “c’mon down” style of check out grates on my nerves. I’d rather Harris Teeter or Wegmans go in there.

    • Three. Buck. Chuck.

      Also, I like their produce and cheese—as good as Whole Paycheck, but for only a quarter of a paycheck. I also like their brand of soaps, shampoos, and lotions.

      • Agree about the cheese and soaps/shampoos. I’m not so impressed by their produce (or meats), but I always appreciate the 19 cent bananas they have.

      • you’ve got to be kidding — I love TJs, but their produce is sooo terrible. It’s the one thing I won’t buy there. Some of their cheese is good, but Whole Foods wins on variety and quality.

    • I seem to buy mostly junk food there; for instance, the last trip I came home with peanut butter filled pretzels; chocolate covered pretzels; sea-salt caramels; Christmas candy-type stuff; the sweet & savory trail mix (1lb guaranteed to make you gain 10lbs); cashews; and chocolate croissants. But their fruit strips (like Fruit Roll-Ups but just fruit) are good, as are their simmer sauces (Indian- and Thai-style curry sauces for when you’re too lazy to mix curry paste with coconut milk). My husband likes a lot of their frozen stuff, like chicken fried rice and all the Thai/Indian curries. We made a meal of frozen dumplings the other night which were all pretty darn good. I’ll second the recommendation for their cheeses and the horseradish hummus is pretty awesome. I couldn’t exclusively shop there, but it’s good for convenience foods. And it’s taken me a while to figure out what I like and want to buy.

    • I agree, Trade Joes,,, meh waste of space if you ask me.

    • I wanted to like TJ, having lived a block from the one at Foggy Bottom, but after twice buying fish that had horribly gone bad (manager even admitted that it had sat out on the ground for some time after delivery) and a yogurt that actually had mold growing inside it when I opened, I pretty much stopped going accept for the quick dried goods (like a bag of pasta) or drink (hard to go wrong with a bottle of water or juice). Prices are good and I suspect they improved their freshness issues at Foggy Bottom, but I pretty much decided to stick with Whole Foods after those several poor experiences. That being said, excited for the neighborhood generally around U St. that they will get a TJ – much better than seeing a CVS or something going in the space.

    • Agreed. I do not get the fascination with Trader Joe’s. (And I tried. I shopped there sporadically in college (in Ohio) and have been to the Foggy Bottom location a few times, so it’s not a “getting used to it” thing for me. It’s not that I dislike it, I just don’t get the love for it. Then again, I try not to eat processed food and that’s a big portion of what they stock, so that could be part of the reason.

  • YES! A TJs that’s actually on my way home from work would be AMAZING!

  • ledroittiger

    Yo – Trader Joe’s sucks. I’m hooked on the Teet.

  • now if we could get a dean & deluca, too… and then maybe a freaking post office.

  • German family, Aldi’s , 80% Branded items, etc.

    Also hooked on the Teet.

    • You know that Stoneybrook vanana (vanilla/banana) yogurt you buy at Harris Teeter for something like $5? The Trader Joe’s banilla (again, vanilla/banana) yogurt is only $3.

      The really interesting part? They’re both Stoneybrook – TJ’s just pays $$ up front to have them put their own brand on it and then sell it for less money. That’s the case with all Trader Joe’s products. So, with something like this, the joke is on you for paying more elsewhere for the same product.

      • My reason for preferring Harris Teeter over Trader Joe’s is that so much of Trader Joe’s stock is processed food. I’ve never been to one without a lacking produce section nor have I been to one with a great cheese selection. I tend to find certain Harris Teeter stores a lot better in both of these regards.

    • I like Aldi’s since they allow their clerks to sit!! All stores should as having people stand for hours on end for little good reasons makes me mad.

  • I don’t understand why it’s taking so long to get a good grocery store in the Ledroit/Bloomingdale/Shaw area. I guess we’ll have an improved Giant in a few years, which is okay. But how come these places cluster together in a high-rent area like 14th and don’t see the potential of being around 6 or 7?


    • there was to be a grocery store at Howard Town Center, but i’m not sure that’s still in the works.

      • I’m pretty sure the plans for HTC live on, but that the project has no financing at the moment. It’ll come back though. Now that Progression Place and O Street Market are actually on the way, and with the Kelsy Gardens and Wonder Bread projects **hopefully** kicking off in 2012, money will flow into Shaw. Bet on it.

    • I’d guess that the population density in the immediate vinicity of 14th & U and the per capita income of the surrounding blocks is much higher than 6th or 7th. Higher incomes = more $ per customer, maybe?

    • Because that’s where the density and foot traffic is. The whole foods at 14/P is one of the highest grossing in the country. There is tons of additional demand around 14th for a grocer, especially with all the new apartments going in. This will be great for the neighborhood.

  • Trader Joe’s stuff makes you think it’s good/healthy and then you read the label and see that there are laboratory ingredients. I’ve also had the misfortune of getting spoiled chicken twice from the foggy bottom store. Whole foods is expensive, Safeway never has anything you need, Giant is a mob scene and Yes! leaves alot to be desired. I have one suggestion, KROGER- the best supermarket ever.

  • Don’t get me wrong, this makes me happy.

    But come to DCUSA instead!!!!

  • This is the bestest Christmas present ever!

  • Rant: I wish they had put it in the new building going up where the Nehemiah Shopping Center used to be….

    Revel: About freaking time. Now, I’m excited about the Utopia project.

    Rant: The project is going to make things nuts at that intersection for a while.

    Revel: Yummy TJ Chocolate Croissants a mere walk away.

    • i too wish this was coming at the 14 and belmont new building. I mean that would be a great location both for Columbia heights residents as well as U street area residents, and of course it would have been half a block from my house 🙂

  • Life just keeps getting better and better in DC 🙂

  • I’m just trying to figure out what they’re going to displace over on that corner. Are any of those buildings officially on the market?

  • Very happy, indeed. Love that place. Now if we can only overcome the new DC prohibition against selling wine before 10am. Seriously putting a cramp in the style of those of us Morning People who like to get their weekly TJ shopping done before the crowds.

  • SouthwestDC

    I also read today that Mario Batali has the DC Eatlay site narrowed down to four possible locations. Sounds like this might actually become a reality soon!

  • I can’t believe that no one commented on the irony of a certain author of the City Paper running this story after chastising POP for not knowing what he is talking about and saying that it was crazy to speculate that a TJ was coming to 14 and U.

    Props to POP!

  • brookland_rez

    Good, we need another Trader Joes. The other one is always crowded.

  • is there such a thing as a Trader Joe’s effect in terms of property values? Would love to know how the TJ’s in Foggy Bottom impacted home values in that ‘hood.

  • It’s a great development. However, when I lived by the one in Manhattan, I barely went because it was such a shit show every time I visited. Still, if you go at odd hours, the deals are incredible and the variety is impressive.

  • Interesting frozen entrees, party and snack food, terrible produce selection. Another ‘they don’t have what I came for but whoa shrimp dumplings and chocolate covered blueberries mmmm’ 4X a year store. Hope they have parking.

  • Great News! Gotta love my Giotto…their prepared products and wines are their forte I think-no cheese, produce etc at Joe’s though…I’ll pay more at Whole Foods for those…speaking of which am I the only one who still feels guilty for shopping at WF??? Texas Republicans are well hum still so “STRONG” but I can’t ‘quit’ them

    Wegmans is the best -If you build they will come. How about more nice NYC indy’s Fairways, Murrays, Todaro as well.

  • come to DC USA!!!!

  • This is confirmed. I work for the developer on the project. Trader Joes is in fact going to be located at 14Th & U. The building will be called Utopia.

  • The only good thing about Trader Joe’s is that they don’t have a trash compactor, so you can salvage food from their dumpsters. But their food is so bad that it’s not even worth eating if you get it for free.

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