Murry’s Closing June 11th on H Street, Whole Foods Coming Late 2016


Thanks to a reader for sending word (and photo above) with the closing date for Murry’s on H Street. The reader also notes that the ANC Rep for the area, Mark Eckenwiler, says that the despite the sign above saying ‘lost our lease’:

“in reality Murry’s had a lease through 2017 & voluntarily took a buyout.”

600 block of H Street, NE looking east

The future Apollo and Whole Foods:

Rendering via Insight Property Group

73 Comment

  • why put up a misleading sign like that? to fuel the fire of disgust towards gentrification in the neighborhood among poorer residents who shop at Murrys and live in the corridor? sounds like murry’s got a sum of $$ in the buyout deal.

    shame on them for that misleading sign.

    bring on the demolition!!!

    • the sign isn’t misleading. and if anything it probably highlights the (understandable) “disgust” among the owners and employees of Murry’s who have to move or lose their jobs because someone with more money came along.

      • yeah, true. capitalism is a bitch

      • Accountering

        Its incredibly misleading. You didn’t lose your lease… You sold it. There is a huge difference.

      • Does Whole Foods not provide jobs?

        • Accountering

          Very fair. I think we can safely assume that Whole Foods Payroll will likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4X what this location’s payroll was.

          • But it’s not like WF can offer them jobs immediately.
            Then again, based on what I’ve seen the Murry’s employees don’t have the work ethnic to survive at WF.

          • “work ethnic”?? typo or racism… hilarious

      • Sounds like the owners are doing just fine precisely because someone with more money came along—someone who is hiring.

      • If Murry’s really cared about the injustice to the employees they wouldn’t have taken a buyout. They wanted the $.

      • Sounds like you would prefer a socialist model as you could benefit disproportionally well compared to this silly economy we base on capitalism… greed is good!

      • Disgust among the owners? They took a voluntary buyout. I’m sure they’re super disgusted…all the way to the bank.

      • brookland_rez

        “Inked spoke with a Murry’s employee who informed her that Murry’s employees have the option of joining the staff at Whole Foods, so at least the potential job losses related to this change appear to be mitigated. The employee to whom Inked spoke planned on working at the Whole Foods at 1440 P St NW and hoped to transfer back to the H Street location, once that store opens in late 2016.”

  • Next to (hopefully) go: Murry’s on Georgia…

    • And why is that? The colorful cast of characters that mill about the parking at all hours? Where where the low income denizens of the area go for groceries then? Even though Murrays really isn’t that cheap.

    • +1000 their lease is also up soon, I wouldn’t mind if they could actually keep their parking lot from being a drug mart and outhouse but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • Can’t knock this down fast enough.

  • I’m waiting for the one on Georgia Ave to “lose their lease” as well. Please.

  • In all reality, I don’t think it’s Whole Foods or the developer that killed Murry’s, but the Giant that just opened, which is cheaper and has actually normal products.

  • For the record, the site is not in my SMD, but rather in SMD 6C05, ably represented by my colleague Mark Kazmierczak.

  • When I read the comments on posts like this, I really wonder why people moved into the city (this city, any city for that matter). Cities are about diversity, of stores, of people, of everything. Just because you didn’t like a store or didn’t choose to shop there doesn’t mean that others didn’t rely on it. And because you may or may not have liked the clientele that a certain store attracted doesn’t mean that it’s a bad place.

    • justinbc

      That’s completely true. However, in this case, Murray’s was awful. There was another discount grocery, Aldi, not too far away that citizens of the neighborhood could and did shop at. Murray’s chose to continually have bad produce and very little aside from boxed goods, so people stopped going there, and those who did had a bad impression about. Take off the “fight for the poor man badge” for one second and actually go to Murray’s before it closes and see for yourself just how bad it is.

      • +1

      • +1 Murray’s blws

      • saf

        “Murray’s chose to continually have bad produce and very little aside from boxed goods,”

        Funny, the same thing could be said about the former GA Ave Safeway, yet people continued to shop there and await its return!

        • And the same thing can be said about the crappy Safeway on Columbia Road. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve picked up produce only to find it bad. I guess what I don’t get is, if you didn’t like it, fine, don’t shop there. How was it negatively impacting your life? Would people even care that it was closing if it wasn’t going to be a Whole Foods? I mean if you don’t shop at a place why do you care if it remains open?

          • saf

            Why did you go back?

          • justinbc

            You answered your own question. It negatively impacts the value of homes and the quality of life in an area when it’s taking up space that could be better utilized. People are happy to see it close so that something better can come along. This is not a difficult concept, and really has nothing to do with disenfranchising anyone.

          • People are happy that a store they won’t shop at is being replaced by a store they will shop at.

        • The H Street Murry’s had competition nearby; the Stinky Safeway didn’t.
          The Stinky Safeway (and too many other stores in less well-to-do areas) have tended to take their customer base for granted. But more gentrifiers means squeakier wheels who won’t settle for bad produce, etc. and have the means to shop elsewhere.

      • This would be the same response if they announced that the safeway in Hechinger mall was being shutdown….Sadly I also feel it’s because of the type of clientele.

      • brookland_rez

        +1 on Aldi. They’re doing a lot to broaden their appeal. Last time I was in there, they had a gluten free line. They also have a growing organic line. Both lines are dramatically cheaper than the comparable item at Giant, Safeway, or WF.

    • I can’t imagine who was relying on Murrys, since their selection was so random and terrible. It’s not like you could walk in and get all the groceries you needed without having to go somewhere else. And good luck getting a cashier to ring you up.
      The first time I walked into Murry’s I was expecting it to be like the old grocery store my grandmother shops at, which is well-run and very charming. I was quite surprised.

      • I don’t know about this Murry’s — or even what Murry’s is like now, but when I was a kid, you could by packages of frozen meat of reasonable quality at prices that were a lot lower than Safeway and Giant. Murry’s at that point was not intended to be a full service grocery store or a charming old-fashioned grocery store. It was intended to be a low frills source of inexpensive meat for people with serious budget constraints. I remember their rib eye steaks fondly, and I’m grateful to them for providing an inexpensive shopping option when my family needed one.

        • I never buy meat so I don’t know if it’s still a good place for that. I can even deal with a lack of produce if I know I can go in there and get a bottle of hot sauce or rice or whatever pantry item I need. But it’s always a crapshoot.

        • brookland_rez

          That’s the role that Aldi fills (in a much more effective way) now.

    • So where am I supposed to live? (serious question)

      • PG. It’s interesting that for all the comments about the need for more police officers and better schools, and for all the excitement about restaurants, shops and bars, there’s not an equal clamor for affordable housing so that the people who do work that is clearly valuable can afford to live in or near the communities where they work. — as neighbors and as stakeholders.

        • justinbc

          You can’t possibly be genuinely surprised there’s not “equal clamor” for “affordable” (subjective term) housing here, on this website. There are people who lobby for that, and whose job it is to ensure that it’s available, but that’s not in the casual interest of the average reader here, like, say, a new restaurant opening in their neighborhood would be.

          • I’m somewhat surprised. I’d think that self-interest would want conveniences to be as, well, as convenient as possible. To have cops and teachers who aren’t exhausted from long commutes — and who are personally invested in the neighborhoods where they work. One of the things I liked about living in some very diverse neighborhoods in the past, is that when the owners/workers live over the “store”, the stores stay open longer, and offer more flexible services. So while I’m not surprised from a social justice perspective, I AM surprised from the perspective of maximizing convenient services.

          • Whole Foods Shopper- I shared an anecdote a little while back about a police officer (around H Street) who was responding to a shooting and asked a group of neighbors why we would want to live somewhere we might get shot.
            I would bet that it isn’t just affordable housing that prevents cops, teachers, and business owners from living in these areas. They may want to have a calm escape from some of the hassle that they deal with during the day. Perhaps the increased safety that comes with gentrified areas will encourage them to spend a bit more in order to be able to engage with the communities they serve.

        • methinks you folks have no idea (1) what MPD officers make in a year (hint – more than you’d probably guess thanks to overtime) or (2) the type of housing / surrounding area that most of them are interested in (hint – it’s not usually a tiny brand-new condo above a whole foods in a sketchpad neighborhood).

    • “Cities are about diversity”

      Currently :

      Number of Murry’s in DC : 6
      Number of Whole Foods in DC : 4

      After this store flips over :

      Number of Murry’s in DC : 5
      Number of Whole Foods in DC : 5

      • Still waiting for my H-Mart…

        • justinbc

          I would love to have one here in DC, but I don’t think their business model would be able to survive with the current rent increases, without significantly affecting their pricing to the consumer (which is part of their appeal).

          • I think its business model is based on a substantial Asian, and principally Korean, population within reasonable driving proximity. “Chinablock” doesn’t exactly meet the demographic. There’s a reason H-Mart, Lotte, Great Wall, etc. are clustered in the burbs.

          • Their business model needs updating then. Plenty of white people have a need for Asian groceries.

          • I mentioned H-Mart- just wishful thinking, along the lines of the “diversity” we deem so precious. Murry’s vs. WholeFoods…ha ha. DC is not diverse.

          • How about the Asian people who need Asian groceries?!?

          • My girlfriend’s South Asian. We’ve never seen another Asian in the neighborhood except people who were obviously tourists.

          • So it’s just white people who you see in the neighborhood?

          • Never? that makes me sad. I’m Chinese. I live in Columbia Heights. Although its not too bad in CH, I wish DC in general had more diversity. I’d trek over to H-street for some H-mart. (Just noticed the name would be apt!) Great Wall would be awesome- I need some squid jerky.

          • Unfortunately a lot of Asians value having a huge house over other things. Even the younger generations tend to go for the McMansions out in Loudon. Until that changes you won’t see them in DC!

    • In Ward 8 people rely on corner stores to do their grocery shopping, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like something better. Murry’s is not much different than a corner store selection-wise.

    • I don’t think one grocery store replacing another is some crime against urban “diversity.” And I don’t think a grocery store with good service and products replacing one that, largely, seems to be the opposite of that, is some pox on the city’s fabric. Whole Foods moving in is not part of a war on diversity–it’s a reflection of changing attitudes and changing clientele in the area. And, regardless, I don’t think you can make the argument that DC was MORE diverse back when Murry’s was in its heyday (as it were), by any sort of metric.

      A city, more than “diversity,” is about change. H Street is a nice area now. Times change, people change, businesses move on. If you want a place where nothing changes, and the same tired grocery store that stood for decades, you’re the one who should be thinking about the ‘burbs.

      • Thank you for pointing out the inevitability of change and the significant role it plays in a city. I think people really forget that and are too quick to jump on the “losing our diversity” bandwagon.

  • I never see any mention of the day care that is located in the back of this building – I know it’s fun to be snarky and mock the closing of Murray’s and all the people breathlessly anticipating the Whole Foods, but there are a lot of families that rely on that day care, as there is a serious lack of affordable childcare options. Is it closing, going to be relocated, getting a space in the new building?

    • **crickets**

    • I have no info on that day care. I believe there is another day care on the 300 block, but I’m not sure how many spaces it has open (if any). I imagine it is difficult to secure the licensing necessary to open a day care, so I expect they might re-open somewhere – the problem is whether they open anywhere near their current location.

    • That building as it stands will be gone, so the daycare will not be in that location anymore. However, I don’t know whether they are closing for good or relocating.

  • Not that it would help them at the moment, but It would be nice if the Whole Foods could offer employment to some of the current Murry’s staff.

  • I hope that place in Brookland will continue to sell “Murry’s Steaks!”

  • I live on the same street a block away and I can’t wait to see Murry’s gone. Whole Foods will be a great addition to the neighborhood.

Comments are closed.