Another Chinese Takeout Spot Closing

3618 14th Street, NW

Last week we talked about China Inn closing on Upshur Street, now Spring Garden is also for sale at 14th and Spring Road, NW.

Also of note – the former ‘3 for $10’ store next door is being redeveloped into a three story building with retail on the first floor:


32 Comment

  • Let’s be honest. These take out places are a dim a dozen. Hopefully and enterprising individual will take advantage of this closing and bring in a different type of restaurant. There are plenty of carry out, greasy hole in the walls. If a person wants to succeed in this area with the ever-changing makeup of the neighborhood and the huge influx of young families, a person is going to do something a little more upscale and hip. It’s time to accept things are changing and the commercial enterprises should reflect that change.

    • As if we need more restaurants with small plates or places where well-off parents let their kids runamuck and scream.

      • i eat out regularly and have seen / heard kids running amuck maybe .1% of the time. Racking my brain I can only recall an incident at Meridian Pint, hardly upscale. The other times I’ve seen kids running amuck has been in low-class suburban fast food and fast casual joints, and in the airport.

      • Upscale doesn’t have to mean small plates. And I also didn’t say gourmet. The places just need to be more upscale than this joint. I wouldn’t go in there and I don’t even have kids! Thinking similar in concept to the Coupe, Meridian Pint etc.

  • The mystery is why Chinese food has never gone “upscale”. Americans have greatly expanded their culinary horizons over the last 20 years – Thai, Korean, Indian all manage to open and run “real” restaurants that appeal to both immigrants and native born Americans. But somehow Chinese food is stuck in the 1970’s – it’s either a greasy take-out joint (with wings/subs) or a completely Americanized diner-style menu. I wish one of these owners would respect the community enough to open a real restaurant, with quality Chinese cooking.

    • lovefifteen

      I have often wondered this, too, because I have the same impression.

      • +1. Just not even any effort. One of the games I play is “spot the blatant spelling and grammar errors” on the menus from various establishments I get in the mail and left on my stoop. I’ve noticed that most of them have fine print (in Chinese) and a phone number, usually 212 or somewhere non-local. Even if the food is the same, stop farming your menus out to a cheapest cost desktop publisher, find a native English speaker, clean up the presentation, and work on marketing a bit. If the food was good, I’d be willing to give a pass, but ….

    • There’s Mei Wah in Friendship Heights. There’s a wonderful restaurant in Silver Spring with dim sum, and lots of other more authentic, upscale versions in the burbs. Besides, lots of American’s still like their egg rolls with spareribs and fried rice. There’s a range — and in DC we’re lucky that we don’t have to go too far to find it.

    • go to Sichuan Pavilion on K Street, or any of dozens of places in the suburbs.

      you’re welcome.

      also, the food served in most thai food places is hardly authentic. not sure where you are seeing much americanized diner-style korean food.

    • It could be because China itself is not very upscale. It is, after all, a third world country. There are a few upscale places here and there, such as Wing Lei in Vegas

    • Twenty years ago, I lived in China for a year. It ruined Americanized Chinese food for me. I too have always wondered why it’s so hard to get quality Chinese cooking in this country.

  • I have been living around Spring for the last 30 years and that business was there, but they did not want to clean and remodel that place. The lady from the dryclean next to the billar on 14th st remodeled and adapted to the new customers.

    • Great point. This corridor has so much potential seeing as thought it can cater to the CoHi, Mt Pleasant and Petworth crowds. Look how well Red Derby is doing. And another place is set to open next to them. But hole in the wall places like this aren’t going to attract the people living in the area.

      • binpetworth

        I respectfully disagree about what attracts people. I live very close by, and love “hole in the wall places”–just not this particular one. For example, the newly opened Salt & Pepper Grill is fabulous but totally sketchy looking from the exterior. I’ve patronized it about a dozen times since it opened, and have never once set foot in Red Derby, as it simply isn’t my scene.

        The ‘hood needs a variety of places that cater to a variety of lifestyles (parents, singles, teetotalers, etc.)–the focus should be on the food (or other product) and not the “concept”.

        • I would hardly classify Salt & Pepper as a Hole in the Wall. It’s clean, great food, respectful owners. I love it. To me it’s more of a casual eatery.

          • binpetworth

            True, it is clean, with great owners but I guess I don’t consider something a casual eatery unless you can actually dine in (not sure if S&P is going to ever offer that option). By the way–I’m referring to the new S&P on upper 14th.

  • I’ve entertained a few meals from this place on a few drunken nights stumbling back from the Derby. Even for generic DC carryout chinese it was a non-event.

  • My guess is that pretty much all of these low-rent Chinese joints in gentrifying parts of NW and NE will close up shop the next time their 10-year lease comes up for renewal. The only ones that will stay are those who own the actual building.

  • Hey DC hipsters of 2025, we used to have to order our Chinese and fried chicken through plexiglass and LIKED IT!!! NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!

  • Never got food from there and never met the owners, but this can only be an improvement for the neighborhood as there is always some scary riff raff hanging around inside and outside that place. Now if the “tourist hostel” across the street closed, hopefully 14th and Spring will be a lot less dodgy, especially during the day.

  • China Dragon at 11th and P NW, you’re on the clock.

  • 4250 Connecticut Ave NW – Charlie Chalin’s – ask for the “authentic, Chinese menu” when you arrive. They have basically a secret menu with non-Americanized Chinese dishes. Was very good.

  • Any details on the development next door?

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