Trader Joe’s Begins Build Out at the Louis Project at 14th and U – Could Open as early as this February!

To be located on 14th Street just north of T Street

“Dear PoPville,

I was wondering if you know what the status of the Trader Joe’s that is supposed to come to the Louis at 14 complex? Previous reporting said the end of the year but I walk by that place often and it doesn’t look close to complete. With winter approaching I wonder if it will be pushed back to next year.”

Great news from the folks at Louis at 14th – they tell me that Trader Joe’s has begun their build out of the space. If all goes well they will most likely open up in February. Trader Joe’s will be located in the space right next to Taylor Gourmet (in photo above) and will incorporate the old El Paraiso restaurant facade into their store. I’m also told they will use some of the old bricks for an exposed brick wall in the northern part of the store. February can’t come soon enough!

14th and U Street, NW

101 Comment

  • Oh boy! Fresh pizza dough closer to my hood!

    • What do you mean? Most grocery stores sell fresh pizza dough (even pizza places if you ask nicely) and it’s also super-easy to make.

    • houseintherear

      The dough at the Teet is *amazing*. Take this from a person who is very picky about pizza dough and totally understands your rave. You have to ask the bakery person at the pizza area for the dough.

      • My HT (Jenkins Row) has the dough in the deli section near the prepared salads. I usually make my own, but sometimes I’ll pick up a ball when it goes on sale for $1 and it’s just as good. They have a whole wheat version too.

      • hate to burst your pizza bubble, but the dough at HT is frozen then thawed. Saw it the other day when I went by during off hours. all the dough balls were hard as a rock.

    • I’m a huge TJ’s fan, but I actually think their pizza dough is one of their worst products. It’s cheap, but it really isn’t tasty.

    • Pete’s sells their pizza dough if you ask. It’s stupid expensive at $5 a ball. But, it’s 24 oz of dough. Plenty for a couple pies.

  • Does anyone know how this will compare in size to the one in Foggy Bottom? I imagine this one is going to be A LOT more crowded than the Foggy Bottom location.

    • My guess is however big they make it, it’s not going to be big enough.

      • The lines will be long — will probably reach out the door, down U St. to New Hampshire, snake over to M St, 25th, and end at the entrance to the other Trader Joe’s.

        • Seriously.

        • The Yes market is just a couple blocks away, much more expensive though. I’ll probably trade off between the two and try to hit the HT outside of peak shopping time.

        • I’m imagining it’ll be like the TJs on Boylston street in Boston, which is more or less one line that snakes through each section of the store. Which is not as bad as it sounds. It’s almost impossible to move around during peak hours at the Foggy Bottom location.

    • more crowded than foggy bottom? have you ever been in there? it is one of the top grocery stores in the country in terms of $s/square foot sales.

      • I do all my grocery shopping at Trader Joes in FB, despite living on U Street. I’ll probably still go down to Foggy Bottom, as I can drive there and it will be less stressful than the new location.

      • Exactly – and that one is right by a Whole Foods. And even more people live in this part of the city (near 14th & U). It’s going to be insane.

    • Anyone ever been to the TJ’s at Broadway and 72nd in Manhattan? Talk about a total clusterfuck. Not uncommon for there to be lines outside just to get in to shop. I hope this one isn’t that bad.

      • That’s insane. Why would anyone tolerate that? I can’t think of a single thing I’d buy at Trader Joe’s that I can’t get somewhere else, only with different packaging.

        • you’re not their target customer then.
          i buy stuff there because its is almost always cheaper than elsewhere.

          • What kind of stuff? You’re right, I’m mostly buying fresh produce so I’m not their target customer, but even the pantry staples that I sometimes need are not any different price-wise or quality-wise.

          • 1:11,
            i’ll buy a bunch of their pre-made sauces. they have really good deals on stuff like that. their frozen vegetables are great quality and cheaper than other places. their cheese is inexpensive ( though not costco inexpensive). olive oil is a great deal at TJ. as are soy products like tempeh, tofu and some faux meats. their nut selection used to be really cheap but i think i need to reassess that. their house brand stuff is always great quality so thats a safe bet. i get my toms of maine deodorant their too. and sometimes the kissmy face olive oil soap. thats really about it. other things are more expensive their.

        • Anonymous at 12:05 said “I can’t think of a single thing I’d buy at Trader Joe’s that I can’t get somewhere else, only with different packaging.”

          I buy lots of stuff there that I could not find elsewhere. My examples:
          Frozen section:
          – flatbread alsace tart
          – flatbread mushroom tart
          – rasberry tart
          – pear almond tart
          – croissants and chocolate croissants to proof overnight before baking
          – several frozen veggie mixes that beat the traditional supermarkets ones
          Dairy section:
          – belgian chocolate pudding
          – organic carrot juice
          Deli and meat:
          – sliced rosemary ham
          – grilled lemon pepper chicken

          My boyfriend says that the TJ “Simply the best” trailmix lives up to its name, and it’s the only one he’ll eat.
          My mom will go to TJ just to buy a half dozen bags of dehydrated strawberries, which she can’t find anywhere else.
          I’m pretty sure their creme fraiche is $2 cheaper than Harris Teeter’s.

          That’s what comes to my mind without even being there. I have lots more TJ-only groceries.

          • Well, since I don’t buy food items like those I stand by my assertion that “I can’t think of a single thing I’d buy at Trader Joe’s that I can’t get somewhere else, only with different packaging.” 😉 But thanks, that was informative.

          • You can get pretty much everything you find at a normal grocery store. TJs also has really good, cheap whole bean coffee in a wide variety of flavors/strengths. They get a lot of seasonal stuff that rotate in on an annual basis, so you have to buy when it’s available. Shopping at TJs is always a bit of an adventure, since there’s always something new to find. 🙂 Their wines and beers are also the cheapest in the city, by far.
            The weakest point of TJs is lack of fresh seafood.

          • And TJ is particularly bad about the kinds of non-fresh seafood they stock. Lots of unsustainable fisheries represented. This is true at other groceries, of course, but TJ stands out that nearly all of their offerings are on the “do not eat” list for health and/or environmental reasons.

          • pru — you are a seriously committed commenter. Quite a shopping list yuo posted.

      • LOL, I lived in NYC right near the TJs at 14th/3rd Ave under the NYU dorm. That place was the epitome of a clusterd#ck. Lines outside the door, just to get inside the store! I think this one at the Louis will have the same issues at peak shopping times.
        Nothing says “luxury condo” like a line of hungry TJs shoppers outside your window! :-/

  • Can’t wait for this project to be complete, been a long time!

  • yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  • I’m going to have to find a sturdier grocery cart, for hauling my TJ goodies up that hill!

  • Does anyone know what’s going in across the street from this? There’s another giant, street level space going in there too.

  • This place is going to be so slammed – but I’ll deal with it!

  • does anyone know if it will have free parking like the foggy bottom trader joes?

    • Do you know if the whole foods on P street has free parking, and if so for how long?

      • Yes, it does. Both below and on top of the store. I believe it’s a 2 hr limit, but it’s free and you don’t need a ticket or anything to get in. I do believe that it’s pretty closely patrolled for that time limit.

      • Yes it does – 2 hours I think.

  • Sort of unrelated….but Whole Foods is now CONFIRMED for H Street.

    Looks like the high end grocery market is blowing up in DC.

    • Holy crap. 2016 is a long time away but wow.


      • I forget, is that before or after the Navy Yard one is supposed to arrive?

        • I think Navy Yard is 2017. Why does it take so long?

          • if i read it correctly, they’re using the murry’s space on H street for the whole foods. the navy yard one is a part of a larger complex being built from the ground up.

          • My understanding is that a lot of development determine the opening date for their new retail in mixed use developments based on whether they think the demographics will be in place. The Navy Yard WF is part of a larger development, maybe they think the neighborhood won’t have the density they want until 2017. H has a couple of buildings going up between now and 2016 (the Insight project, of course, but also one across the street from Senate Square, one on the 1100 block of H, and another at the intersection of Florida and New York).

  • Exciting! No more driving to Falls Church! Although I’m going to plan to be there 10 min before opening on Sundays because that’s the only time it’s ever remotely pleasant to shop at ANY trader joes.

    • Yeah, those of you speaking of the epic lines at Foggy Bottom should know that the ones in the ‘burbs are just as bad, only with wild and dangerous parking lots you have to navigate as well.

      • Really? Bethesda TJ’s is tight (nowhere near as bad as FB though), but Rockville TJ’s has plenty of room to accomodate rush hour, IMO.

        • Ah, well, I’m not to familiar with the MD ones. But the Northern Virginia ones, much like everything else in Northern Virginia, is severely overcrowded.

    • TJs in Foggy Bottom isn’t bad at all after 8pm on weekdays or on Saturday. Just avoid lunch hour rush and 5-8pm on weekdays and all day Sunday.

      • After 8PM on weekdays there are no people there, but there is no food on the shelves either. That place is completely stripped every night, it’s like a plague of locusts flew through. The volume done by the foggy bottom TJs is truly remarkable.

  • Woohoo! As soon as it opens I’m getting rid of my car and relying on my tranny cart instead!

  • Thank God I have AWS. The only time I will brave this place will be Monday mornings or post-lunch/pre-evening rush hour.

    The TJs in Clarendon has never been chaotic the few times I’ve been there (generally weekend evenings). Foggy Bottom on the other hand… Yikes…

  • There’s something I don’t grasp about grocery store economics. The DC population has grown from 570,000 to 630,000 in the past decade, yet the number of grocery stores seems to have at least doubled. How is there this much extra grocery store demand?

    • The people who have moved into the city are high income earners. They probably earn 2-3x as much per annum than the typical resident who was living here a decade ago. They have higher disposable incomes and can support more stores opening. The people who lived here 10 years ago didn’t have that kind of money, therefore the profit margin was extremely tight for grocers and they didn’t open.
      Furthermore, the political environment has changed A LOT in the last 10-15 years. We are now much more business and development friendly. Many companies didn’t even consider coming into DC due to the red tape and entrenched political culture, even if demand for those grocery stores did exist.

      • Um, my husband, myself and many of our friends have lived in Logan for well over ten years and we were/are well paid professionals. Not everyone was as destitute as you may think and in fact, probably had even more disposable income because housing was so much cheaper then. Us “old timers” were here before the Whole Foods and were forced to shop at the nasty IGA where Lululemon now sits. Does anyone else remember that store?

        • The nasty IGA on P st.? Sure, when I first moved to DC in 1991, I lived on RI ave between 14th and 15th and I went there often. We moved to Mt. Pleasant in 1996. I remember the liquor store across the street had bulletproof glass and a turntable. The last time I went there, they had wine tastings!

        • Thank you for your anecdotal data. But you’re hardly the norm of who was living in core DC 10 to 15 years ago. Low income people have not been moving into DC for the last decade; in fact, the data shows them leaving the District. The War on Terror was a massive government spending bubble that created LOTS of high income jobs here. That’s where the population influx came from.

        • saf

          I remember it. My boyfriend lived at 15th and O 1987-1988

    • I didn’t live here 10 years ago, but based on conversations with friends who did I suspect that the number of stores 10 years ago did not meet the demand at the time and that more people traveled out to MD or VA for groceries. Grocery store supply is only now catching up to grocery store demand (in some neighborhoods more than in others).

      • Yeah, funny to think about. I moved to the area in 2006 and remember people regularly going to the suburbs for groceries. Maybe not in Upper NW, but in much of the central city. Whole Foods was around then, but not many of the new Giants, HTs, Safeways, etc.

        I hope the city moves on from a grocery store boom to a more general retail boom.

      • Now that you mention it, I recall driving out to Alexandria occasionally to shop at TJs there when I first moved in to my row house in DC 10 years ago. At that time the grocery options were seriously, seriously horrific in the city.

      • And all the stores had names, the best being the “Soviet Safeway” (17th and Corcoran) because it had long lines and were always out of the basics like bread and milk.

        • Ah but the more Soviet Soviet Safeway was at 21st (or 22nd) and K.

          Back in the day, the 17th St Safeway was known as the Gayway.

    • Those 60k extra people that moved in came with a lot of money. Much of DC has been horribly under-served by fresh/reliable grocers. Now that there’s some “established” money here, grocers are flocking in droves. (By “money”, I mean folks making ~50k as opposed to 5-10k.)

    • yeah, there was way more demand than supply 10 years ago.
      people should remember than after the riots all the major supermarkets left.
      it was a SLOOOOOOOW rebuilding process. then crack hit, sending us backwards again. that period only ended 15 years ago or so.

    • In addition to people driving out of DC to get their groceries, I”m guessing that small convenience stores and fast food joints maybe used to get a lot more business.

    • We never had enough grocery stores in the city to begin with, and only just now are beginning to catch up.

    • lovefifteen

      DC was woefully underserved in the grocery store department 10 years ago. It’s not like the 570,000 people who lived here in 2003 had enough grocery stores. All that has happened is that a critical mass of people (with money) has moved to DC so things are improving in this regard.

    • Also – lots more of the new residents are single adults which means a larger increase in grocery demand than if most of the new residents were families.

  • what are their traffic mitigation plans? that intersection is going to be a mess…

    • Oh it’s already a mess.

      • Especially on the weekends. If you drive down that stretch of 14th, or try to cross the road as a pedestrian, you are taking your life into your own hands.

  • Could somebody explain to me why this is such a huge deal. I’ve never shopped at a Trader Joes. I live just north of here and have 7 or so grocery stores within walking distance. I don’t really follow why having an 8th store would be so exciting.

    • Trader Joe’s is a mecca for healthy goods that are also completely addicting.

      I had a thing for their cocao-covered walnuts — huge pieces of walnut coated in dark unsweetened chocolate. Nearly cried when they had to stop carrying them.

    • TJ’s has a small, but well-curated gourmet food selection that is a lot cheaper than Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and the other high end markets in the area. Unique prepared foods that you can’t get anywhere else. Good selection of tasty and very affordable wines and beers.

    • Cheaper wine than pretty much anywhere else.

  • I once waited 90 minutes just to enter a Trader Joes store. I walked out with one container of hummus and wasabi peas. Totally worth it.

  • brookland_rez

    Well I for one am glad the historic McDonald’s got preserved. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t get a big Mac before going to a show at Black Cat.

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