PoP Preview – Z Burger Soft Opening in Columbia Heights Late Next Week

14th and Park Rd, NW

Well it’s been a long time coming but Columbia Heights’ Z Burger is getting ready to soft open late next week in the Tivoli at 14th and Park Rd, NW. This is the former Mayorga Coffee spot which closed in Aug. 2008 and Nori sushi which closed in July 2009.

Do you like the way the space turned out?

Lots more photos after the jump.

60 Comment

  • wait. is it spring 2011 already?!?!

    • Each time I walk by, I keep thinking I want to change the Opening Summer 2011 sign to Opening Summer 2014. It would be quite simple really.

      The place looks great and I wish them well. My ope is that they control the litter their customers will inevitably drop on the sidewalks.

      • none of the other businesses do, why should they?

        • you would think that the businesses there would band together more to control the litter. wouldnt a cleaner place bring more business?

          • You mean like a BID???!?

            Definitely frustrating. Columbia Heights could be so much more. DC really dropped the ball on this whole area.

          • Have you ever been to Dupont Circle on a nice weekend afternoon? The trash cans are 5 times overflowing with Starbucks cups. Yes, there should definitely be a tax/fee/something for all take-away shops that burden the city trash cans (in the best case – worst case, as mentioned, is more litter) with their cups & plates.

        • FroYo causes most of the problem. I happen to like the place ok, but in summer, their cartons fill the trash cans to overflowing. That square either needs more cans or FroYo needs sweep every day. Z Burger will only add to the problem.

    • +1,000,000 That place has been such an eyesore, just sitting there for so long. Glad that it’s FINALLY opening.

  • Breaks my heart that such a gorgeous space is a fast-food joint. We couldn’t even get Jose Andreas to open something there? Or maybe a giant Peregrine, at least?

    • I wouldn’t claim to be a fan of Z Burger or anything, but anything is better than the nothing that had been in there. I’m especially looking forward to a reduction in the number of hopheads sitting on the stoop in the front of the interest at all hours.

    • Wow, I expected some of these replies to get “LOLs” for their blatant sarcasm but they are actually serious….

    • A giant Peregrine? So people can hang around all day taking up seats surfing facebook and not buying anything?

      But if they went no wifi, the PoP army would explode with rage about “DON’T COFFEESHOPS KNOW THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE BY SELLING INTERNET FOR FREE?!”

  • WOW… I think it looks incredible! Very creative use honoring what once was a beautiful theather. Are the murals new or restored?

    I am happy someone had the guts, vision, and courage to open such a cool place in our cool part of town.

    I for one, unlike others, appreciate this type of movement in the neighborhood and will be a regular customer for sure.


    • Those murals have been there for a while. They were renovated a while back, and are just part of the space that Z-Burger got. That’s how I understand it, at least.

  • At least it’s SOMETHING. And the interior is beautiful. I will go just to see it in person!

  • what beauty am I looking at?. wait a minute. you want me to eat a rescued burger inside Neimam Marcus?. let’s hope five guys moves in. what time does the show begin?. wait a minute. five guys have rescued and reconditioned burgers. dmmt. Ok. lets hope for burger king to move in. wait just another minute. BK will just make me realize just how overpriced these r & rr burgers are. no ending.

  • would have been more pumped about this finally opening if i still ate meat. these jokers took too long. i hope their veggie burgers don’t suck…

    • You should STILL be pumped, bro! Go in and try their 16oz PSPS! It’s the large version of the Penis Shrinking Protein Shake! Wait. Is it to late for that too? Man, f*#@ this place!

  • I love the renovation; love the space. I just hope it doesn’t become a place where rowdy teenagers want to hang out at all hours. I can see the inside being destroyed in six months…

  • It’s about damn time.

    I wonder how long the wait for the actual burgers will be. Will the receipt say “your burger, coming in spring 2015”?

  • im sure I will be the fourth in line waiting, just so I can eat my words and give the world a chance. AND NO, I DO NOT LIKE THE WAY IT TURNED OUT. what ever hapened to just being a burger spot. just like too many cooks in the kitchen, this was too many int decorators and architects with too much time on their hands.

  • I’m personally not a fan. The ceiling and upper area is gorgeous, with muted colors, and then you have the bright ultramodern burger joint decor at ground level with absolutely no transition in between. It looks very odd. I hope they go out of business soon so something more appropriate can go in.

    • you GO, debbie downer!

    • That seems really harsh. No matter how disparate the top and bottom are, I wouldn’t wish this business to fail after how long it took them to open (even while part of me thinks ‘how could it POSSIBLY take that long to open!?’ every time I walk past – I’m guessing they had to jump through a lot of hoops to get to this point, and I hope they didn’t go bankrupt from it.

  • It is a somewhat disconcerting mishmash of styles, and overall I too would prefer a style of business more in line with the historic vibe of the venue, but to their credit they clearly invested a lot in the space, and it is an attractive space overall once you get used to it. I’ve never eaten the food, hope it is tasty. Most of all, just happy to have a productive use of the space. The prior businesses (Mayorga had around eight different concepts at once and was never consistent in what it was trying to do, and the sushi place served simply bad food) failed not because of location, but because of their business models. This place will do booming business so long as they serve quality fare.

    Agreed that keeping the outdoor space clean needs to be a focus. Based on the HUGE amount of trash and debris constantly loose around the main portion of the plaza, neither the city (what happened to that Green Team coming?), Park Triangle, nor the Park Triangle tenants seem to do jack squat to keep the plaza tidy. Is it too much to ask businesses that sell a ton of to-go food and have a lot of outdoor seating to jointly work to clean the plaza a few times a day? I hope that this play turns out to take more ownership of its outdoor space and the trash its customers will inevitably create. Almost wish some of these places served alcohol so that there could be voluntary agreements, accordingly.

    • Hey guys, we keep ragging on the local businesses and the DC city for failing to clean up the trash and rubbish in Columbia Heights. Isn’t there a little bit of individual responsibility in play? Is it too hard for us as a community to step up and tell people to dispose of their trash properly — even if that involves walking a bit up the street to find a proper bin?

      • OF course there is some individual responsibiltity involved, but based on past experience (as well as reports here), if you ask people to dispose of their trash responsibly, you are likely to get ignored, or even assaulted. In all events, it is not a global solution. Businesses if they pooled resources could easily keep this public space, the benefits of which they enjoy by placing tables out there, in much better shape.

        • Good citizens will reach down, pick up the offending trash, and carry it to the next can with out all this whinning, finger pointing, and blaming.

          Someone once actually told me not to worry about that, “The City is supposed to clean the streets.”

          Where is Woodsy the Owl when we need him?

          I said it before, put him in some saggy pants and baseball cap set askew and maybe the next generation will learn what we did.

          Give a hoot, don’t pollute.

        • My concerns are what many have said here: (a) What about the riff-raff that hung outside the place; (b) Will the place get destroyed by disrespectful patrons; and (c) People cleaning up their trash. Two of these things revolve around individual responsibility. The big elephant in the room is how do we “help others” to take responsibile for their trash? Furthermore, why does it have be trash? Can’t it be recycled?

  • Finally! A place in this town that actually sells hamburgers!

  • I think it looks pretty nice. It’s a good fast food burger place and it should do well in Columbia Heights.

  • Speaking of new chains coming to this corner, I noted a for lease sign just went up on the space that was purported to be an Olive Garden … does that mean OG has backed out?

  • I would rather something local and well done want in to that space (hedonistic bar / cafe / club comes to mind…) but I like it. Never thought a burger joint could do such a good job.

  • A gothic hamburger joint. Only in D.C

  • i personally love Z Burger. Love it or hate it shouldn’t we support local businesses? And let’s face it… Columbia Heights is one giant mall. Embrace it and move on

  • Aren’t they concerned about grease/oil destroying the murals?

  • It’s definitely an odd clash of styles between the restaurant seating and the ceiling, but taken separately they both look nice. I would love to know more about the building and how it was redeveloped – does GALA own the building? Do they lease the retail spaces in order to generate money to finance the building? etc. It’s too bad that something with a more obvious tie-in to GALA and the neighborhood (Spanish tapas? Mexican food?) couldn’t locate there, but something is better than nothing!

  • I just hope the ghosts will make an occasional appearance. Isn’t this place supposed to be haunted?

  • Most of trash in C-Heights seems to be coming from the destination shoppers for Target and Best Buy. They don’t live there so why not drop your trash all over. Having said that, the local stores could band together a little and TRY and deal with the problem.

    • negative, most the the trash in columbia heights comes from denizens of columbia heights who aren’t buying row houses or living in the ellison. I’ve seen people throw an empty rock creek grape soda container on the ground more often than an iPad 3 box

      • unless you count all the people buying things at Target and then getting 4 chicken wangs for a dollah at 7/11 then throwing them directly on ground.

        • also the ones who frequent starbucks and throw their caramel machiato cup on the ground conveniently next to overflowing trash can!

  • Is there a milkshake window? In the former tix booth?

  • I love it! Happy to have a casual place that looks like a million bucks. Hope the burgers are good.

  • Beautiful Space!!! The Murals are awesome!

  • This looks awesome. It brings a bit more to the neighborhood and I hope it does well and lives up to the design!

  • Maybe I missed the comment but when exactly is it opening this week and does anyone know the history of the place? I couldn’t seem to find any information online with a quick search – it looks like a pretty historic place to be turned into a burger joint.

  • Anybody know the status? Are they “soft open,” for real open, or still closed?

    I, for one, can’t wait for the Summer of 2011.

  • mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, fried onions, sauteed mushrooms, ketchup, mustard

    How is that a list of ingredients that come standard on every burger? I’ll stick to Five Guys, where the list of things I want added to the burger is shorter than the list I want Z-Burger to take off.

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