Dear PoPville – What’s Going on with the Bloomingdale Minimart?

1828 1st St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

The Mini Mart on 1st St in Bloomingdale (between Red Hen and Yoga District) has also not been open since Christmas, and I’m wondering if you or any of your readers know what’s going on? It’s one of a few prime commercial spaces in our neighborhood, and I hate to see it going to waste.”

Hmm, I noticed it’s gate just got a fresh coat of paint – so something’s going on. Anyone know?


59 Comment

  • I heard rumors a new wood fire pizza joint is going in. Im not sure how true that is, but that is the rumor I heard.

    • MO’ PIZZA.

      • It is actually Chef Bart who runs Belga Cafe and B Too. I was mentioning to someone in the neighborhood that he is one of my favorite chef’s in DC. I was told that he is very interested in opening a wood fire pizza place that also sells Belgian brews. He has already done the belgian thing a few times, so this is more of a true european pizza joint. i.e. expect things like a fried egg or corn on your pizza. I am sure mussels will still be on the menu too. He really helped spearhead Barrack’s Row revitalization, so might as well get in B-dale while there is still space.

        • Mussels??? oh.em.gee. That would be amazing and terrible for my budget. Do we know if this is the actual location or if he is just interested in Bloomingdale in general?

  • Top 5 List

    1. It is going to be the DC Crack Memorial Museum
    2. It is going to be an artisan pizza shop
    3. It is going to be an organic gluten free vegan vegetarian diner
    4. It is going to be the last straw on the haystack that broke the camel’s back when it becomes a hipster bar and officially turns Bloomingdale into Adams Morgan.
    5. It is going to be bitch-fest 2014 for Bertha and her party of 5 as they contest the inevitable liquor license to be associated with this place (unless of course it opens back up as crack central, that would be ok).

    In all seriousness, between the Seaton Market and the MiniMart closing at the same time, this really frees up some much needed space in the hood for new businesses to come in. Bloomingdale is really BLOOMING.

    • #5 comment is my fave!!!!!! YEAH!

    • Top 5 hopeful list
      1. Bakery with bread, not sweets.
      2. Hair salon.
      3. Indian restaurant
      4. ice cream parlor
      5. hardware store

      • There’s “Fiddleheads” on the unit block of Florida for a hair salon. Bacio’s has a bunch of tasty ice-cream. I do agree about an actual bread bakery – that would be absolutely incredible!

        • I checked out Fiddleheads and had a good experience, but man it was expensive. I ended up paying $90 for cut+ tip (I do have long hair). Bacio’s does have great ice cream-their cookie overload is amazing…I’ve only ever bought it by the pint though? I really wish Grassroots would bake bread.

          Oh and 6. DONUT AND/OR BAGEL PLACE

          • Didn’t know about the high price. My girlfriend’s had great luck at the Aveda Institute in Chinatown. $12 gets you a cut, albeit by a student. Completely agree about getting a donut/bagel place. Although I guess it wouldn’t be feasible to do that AND a bread bakery in that small of a space.

          • Huh, $90 for the cut alone? I’ve been to the Fiddleheads in Dupont and I think I paid $70 or $75 for the cut plus I left a $20 tip. I have curly hair, so I do appreciate stylists who know what they’re doing in that regard.
            Who did you see there? I was thinking of checking out the Bloomingdale location because it’s more convenient to me.

          • I paid $75, but that was in 2006. I have curly hair but wasn’t impressed with the cut and didn’t think it was worth the money. I was wondering if I should try the Bloomingdale location, but no way am I spending $90 on a haircut.

          • Yeah, Just to clarify, it was $70 to $75 for the cut and then the tip made it around $90 total. I was a walk-in, so I can’t remember who I saw, but I don’t have curly hair and have always recoiled at how much haircuts cost.

            Any bagel bakers out there? I will gladly contribute to a kickstarter campaign.

      • Any way we could just get Grassroots Gourmet to bake some bread? I think with GG and Catania, the neighborhood bakery market is saturated at the moment.

        • Seriously, there’s plenty of bread in Bloomingdale. It probably has better access to good bread than anywhere else in the city.
          DC will never be Paris, folks. Get over it. Want fresh baked bread? Then accept lower the real estate prices.

      • A new salon just opened on New Jersey, south of Q, in that little storefront stretch. Fini or something? I don’t know much about it, although the owners did host a neighborhood open house.

      • Hopeful list:
        1) Deli
        2) Hardware Store
        3) Drug store (other than crack)
        4) Bike shop

    • Where will I buy my crack now?

  • Maybe renovations to take down the bulletproof glass?

    Such a great retail location with such unfulfilled potential. No idea why bodegas in this part of the city have such a small inventory. The whole point of a bodega is to sell a wide range of goods to a wide range of customers. Places like DC mini mart never got the memo.

  • The rent went up and the owner couldn’t afford to stay open. You gentrifiers get your wish.

    • This is where we start discussing The Plan, yes?

    • Actually, my wish was for it to become a decent market that didn’t focus on selling tall boys of malt liquor to the men hanging around the sidewalk. Back before the “gentrifiers” opened Red Hen, I would frequently see the men go around that corner and pee on the building. And the last time I bought anything in that market, about two years ago, I got home and saw the expiration date had passed six months before. So yes, it’s a great loss to the neighborhood.

      • These dudes are now pissing on the Firehouse Restaurant, so they’re still around if that was your concern.

        • Well the Firehouse “Restaurant” will eventually open, transform into its secretly planned night club, and drive them to another vacant property.

    • That type of comment is unhelpful. I don’t want them to go out of business. I want them to evolve and cater to the buying habits of all local residents. If they have no interest in adapting (and neighborhoods are always evolving) that’s unfortunate. If you ever went to the store, you saw that many of the shelves were empty and poorly organized, despite the fact that there isn’t a grocery store or CVS within walking distance.

      • Agree -these places should take a look at the bodega at 10th & S for an example of the kind of stuff they can sell and should be selling.

      • Maybe they have the interest but not the funds. Neighborhood changes, rent goes up, potential customers want a wider array of stuff that caters to their needs — the interest could be there — but not the budget. Then another small business bites the dust, and someone else moves in.

    • I was wondering where the smell of piss and malt liquor had gone. Thanks for the update!!!

  • houseintherear

    I’m not a fan of businesses closing and hard-working people losing their income… but this place was often patronized by a group of older guys who would harass women going to yoga or walking by. For that reason alone, I’m glad it’s closed.

  • Why would anyone need to go there when you could go to Windows across Rhode Island Ave. for a better selection of higher-quality products? This is good news.

  • The yoga situation was really uncomfortable. And I agree with the others – of course we want a nice little neighborhood market. The one at 3rd and P is a good example. This one was emergency situation-only, and even then, they likely didn’t have what I needed.

  • Right before it got the coat of paint, they put a hand written sign up on the grate. I wish I had taken a picture of it sooner – it was down in about a day. It pretty much just said “we’re closed, call xxx-xxx-xxxx for info.” I didn’t call, obviously.

  • I hope it becomes a neighborhood deli, like stachowskis at 28th and p in georgetown

    • Can’t we have a happy medium between malt liquor and house made Charcutere? Or a place that sells both…

    • Absolutely…splitting the difference would be awesome. A good deli, beer/wine, food staples, coffee….basically a close parallel to Windows’ offerings…..but the neighborhood can sustain both. The real shame is that operations like the North Capitol Main Street Partnership (or whatever it is/was called) wasn’t utilized by the proprietors to help facilitate updating and improving this shop’s products or presentation. All that said – if the the Mini Market has in fact failed – this is a tough space; it’d be ideal to have something that generates daytime foot traffic to compliment the growing nighttime foot traffic. Would be fantastic to see a business that would be accessible to the widest variety of income levels (my personal favorite would be a DINER!). I’d think that the building owner would have some vested interest in making the property as attractive to current and future tenants as possible.

      • you mean literally exactly like windows, which is across the street. why would you want that?

        • agree – this is basically exactly what windows is, right across the street. it’s a little pricey and their produce always kinda sucks, but it’s basically definition of a solid, community-oriented corner store. timor/farm-to-city is great too, although more specialized. i’ve lived in bdale for about 4 years and i like others on here can’t really say i’m sad to see it go. shitty, expired selection, always weird dudes out front – not that the employees weren’t nice, but it just didn’t contribute anything really positive to the neighborhood, especially when there are a bunch of other bodegas going up First that have better selections (new reservoir for instance).

          LOVE the idea of a stachowski-esque deli/butcher. think it would do great business.

  • I too wish they would have evolved. Hopefully it’ll become something cool.

  • MAYBE IT’LL BE A BIKE SHOP!!!?!?!??! Or a shop that sells bikes and bagels and bread, oh my!!

  • They only sold chips and soda anyway. The demographic is changing.

  • Who is bertha and her gang….I live across from the firehouse….and some people were constantly knocking on my door pestering me to sign a protest for the liquor license (which I didn’t do). As a newer guy I became less popular than I already was. I just told the lady I don’t get involved petition signing unless its related to human rights…she didn’t think my joke was funny !

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