End of an Era – All Traces of Wagamama Now Gone from Penn Quarter


For about four years we were taunted with Coming Soon signs for Wagamama in the old Olson’s bookstore at 418 7th Street, NW. Even though we learned Wagamama had pulled out in Oct. 2012 we were still subject to the giant Wagamama lady looking down on us:


Alas, all remnants have finally been removed. Maybe a new tenant will soon be taking over this prime space?


13 Comment

  • Maybe it can go back to being a bookstore?….

    • ah

      +1. I realize Olsson’s was going out of business anyway, but it’s too bad they cleared ’em out so we could have an empty space for 4 years. Plus, the Footnotes cafe did a pretty good job.

      • actually-the space has been empty for a little over five years. (Former Olssons employee here). The rest of the stores closed at the end of September 2008, but the lease at the Lansburgh ended in June of that year because they allegedly had Wagamama in mind to take the space.

  • I can’t believe Wagamama was allowed to drag its feet for so long. When Michael Landrum’s Ray’s project took too long to come to fruition at City Vista, the management company took steps terminate the lease and, shortly thereafter, we had a Sweetgreen. If there weren’t similar remedies available in Wagamama’s lease, there certainly should have been.

    • ah

      Why would the management company really care as long as the lease payments are made in a timely fashion? I’m doubting the lessor was expecting Wagamama foot traffic to also go to its other stores nearby (e.g., a mall owner could be more concerned about deadspace).

      • Well, for one, commercial leases are typically structured to provide the landlord with a share of the retail tenant’s receipts. Allowing your space to sit is not economically efficient if you have a means to put it to use (this assumes the lease clause that I mentioned). For another, the deadspace argument that you mentioned is a factor greater than zero. And I suppose there can also be negative political and business consequences to being seen as a landlord that tolerates violations of its lease agreement to the detriment of the community (not saying this last one is a huge factor).

    • I can’t believe Wagamama actually paid nearly five years worth of lease payments on this space to never use it. That’s an incredible level of corporate waste and mismanagement.

  • Meh we’re better off without it now. Wagamama in the States was always subpar and expensive. We have enough of that combo already

    • Exactly! The locations in the UK are delicious, but all the US locations are in and around Boston, which is not exactly known for its restaurants.

  • i remember not going there soooo many times in the past few years!

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