Lime Fresh Abruptly Closes in Columbia Heights


“Dear PoPville,

While walking by Lime yesterday, I noticed a sign that said “We are closed” taped on the outside of the door and a lot of activity inside, including removing the registers. Do you know if Lime is closing permanently? Or whether this is temporary for a remodel or something along those lines?”

Thanks to @wowindc for sending the photo above.

Another reader writes:

“Lime Fresh Closed. All belongings pulled/snatched out. Sunday.”

I called the store and the folks at Lime Fresh confirm that the Columbia Heights location has permanently closed. They note that the Chinatown location on 7th Street remains open. Lime Fresh opened in Columbia Heights in DC USA back in August 2012. We judged them here.

3100 14th Street, NW

59 Comment

  • Never made any sense to open one across the street from Chipotle.

    • Them opening one in Chinatown even makes less sense!….There’s a Chipotle across the street as well as a California Tortilla next door! They should have never turned the Potbelly into Lime Fresh there….

      • They did the same thing up in College Park, where Chipotle has one of their highest grossing restaurants, and closed a few months ago. Strange strategy to try and take Chipotle head on, which obviously didn’t work out well.

    • Yeah, the food was fine, but even when they weren’t busy it was slow.

  • Low quality tacos/burritos are going to be judged even more harshly in a latino community. I am not a big fan of Chipotle, but you normally know what your going to get from there. The fish tacos at Lime (which could of set them apart) tasted like week old frying oil. With all the foot traffic that walks by that entrance it very simply says that your food isn’t very good.

    It would be wonderful to see someone put tasty food in that space.

  • Stevie Wonder could have seen this one coming. Instead of these crappy franchises, why won’t more upscale, local places open? Is the rent astronomical? Or maybe it is all the people loitering and verbally assaulting women? All while cops in plain site.

    • LOL. CoHi is a bit of a shit hole. I dont see local businesses moving into those cookie cutter spots inside DCUSA, just dont see it. There seems to be a lot of cool buildings (row house type) that are commericial north of the mall. I could see that area becoming nicer…maybe

    • Those security guards arent leaving the lobby of DCUSA unless you stole something.

      • Those security guards wouldn’t leave the lobby of DCUSA unless you were actually carrying the red Target sign in your hands shouting, “I STOLE IT! I STOLE IT!” Maybe…

    • Because Columbia Heights is DC’s “chain-store-hell” district. Demographics and the available commercial spaces make it a prefect microcosm to attract chains/franchises. The city also seems to be growing/developing in a eastward trajectory, away from CH, which further discourages more small businesses from opening there.

      • “The city also seems to be growing/developing in a eastward trajectory, ”
        Ohhh, I like hearing that. Go Georgia Ave! Yay Park View!

    • “Instead of these crappy franchises, why won’t more upscale, local places open?”
      “Upscale, local places” have a hard time securing capital from banks and investors. Proprietors need to shell out their own hard earned money to get an “upscale, local place” open. And if you want something to be “upscale”, they’ll need to shell out A LOT of dough.
      Chains – even small ones – are more likely to get approval from banks due to the support provided by the corporate parent. Guaranteed supplies and logistics, a recognizable brand, perhaps some financial support, etc. From an investment perspective, the proven corporate franchise makes more sense.

  • This was about as predictable as Shanahan’s firing.

  • If a chain is the only option for this spot due tot he exorbitant rents, pls let it be a Cosi!

  • I’m hoping for an Applebee’s to complete the trifecta

  • Does this mean the Columbia Heights outdoor pop music party is at an end?

  • Their tip jars and weird half-waiting service was the turn off for me. It’s fast food, don’t pressure me for tips, please!

    Love the baja tacos. Still, California Tortilla would have done better.

  • BTW, who’s bright idea was it to open a BofA ATM machine outside the bank, next to Lime? When there’s 3 inside the bank, and another one next to CVS?

    • I never use the outdoor BoA ATM in Col Heights… I feel like I would get robbed in a flash…

      • Get robbed in a flash, in Columbia Heights? That’s ludicrous. You need to leave the wire every once in a while 😉

  • I may be the only one but I’m sad to see this go! Was a nice alternative to Chipotle, not to mention the line was much more tolerable.

  • Bye bye Lime Fresh. You were gross and annoying.

    I’m perfectly fine having national chains in DCUSA. It’s much preferable to have CH’s mix of chains and local businesses than, say, what Logan Circle has turned into (i.e., a giant festival of Stuff White People Like). But let’s at least get some more places that don’t suck.

    • Yeah! White People are ruining this once-grand metropolitan oasis. Boo to the White People! More chicken, pizza, subs, Chinese and seafood takeouts, please.

    • White people are ruining Columbia Heights! We need more drug dealers, thugs, hookers, subsidized housing and mini tornadoes of trash swirling over the discarded chicken bones and blunt wrappers to really turn the neighborhood around.

  • The best part of Columbia Heights in the 11th St Corridor. DC USA will probably always be Big Box and Franchises, but if you look at 11th St and even Upshur in Petworth, that is where you will find the quality, local places.

    I think even upper 14th near Red Derby and the area around Chez Billy offer unlimited potential. IF we can get rid of the Pay Day Loan, Pawn Shops and Liquer Stores.

    • There’s an ACE Cash across the street from Mint, Locolat, Cafe L’Enfant and D’vinos. It’s really not that big of a deal.

      • And even that will eventually leave when their lease comes up for renewal. My guess is that whole strip of businesses gets demolished for a mixed use condo development in the next 5 years. That’s a large piece of prime real estate.

  • What used to be in between Staples and The Children Store. Its empty now and I cant think of what it was for the life of me.

    Also – its not Mexican, but I love Mi Cuba Cafe right around the corner.

  • DCUSA won’t talk to anyone except chains for its spaces. Many have tried; all except the big guys have failed. Set-asides for local- and minority-owned businesses? Ask yourself this: if it were going to happen, wouldn’t it have happened in the SIX years the mall has been open? It was a political ruse to get public funding for a pet project, a Jim Graham special, if you will.

    • +1.

      Jim Graham has served his purpose for Columbia Heights. But it was time for him to go about 6 years ago.

      When your council member regularly vacations in San Salvador – the murder capitol (per capita) of the world – and holds that city up as a model for his district, nothing good is going to come from his tenure.

      • Agreed on both.

        Depressing that the place insists on chains. I tried Lime once. Blah. Boring. My boyfriend liked it, which was the only reason I set foot in there more than once.

  • brookland_rez

    Mediocre tex mex from Ruby Tuesday’s. I ate there once when it first opened. It was just ok. People In flyover states may put up with food like this but Ruby Tuesday needs to up their game if they expect to be successful here.

  • A major pet peeve of mine (and one I encounter frequently with Indian in-laws) is proudly describing one’s food as “fresh”. Thanks for the assurance, guys– and now that I’ve conjured up the alternative my appetite has decreased.

  • I’m bummed… Yes, it was fast greasy food, but it was one of the few places in CH without insane lines. RIP Lime!

  • Just cuious, has there been any further word on what might be taking its place?

Comments are closed.