Pret a Manger Opening this Summer in former Cosi space on Capitol Hill

301 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

In Feb. 2014 Cosi closed at 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave, SE and we heard they were aiming for a spring opening. A few months behind – but progress is being made – now aiming for a summer opening:

Thanks to @aadragna for tweeting us the update:

“Signage up for new Pret at 3rd and Penn SE”

14 Comment

  • justinbc

    I’ve only briefly popped into a Pret A Manger, but isn’t essentially the same thing as Cosi, just that they make the crap ahead of time?

    • Food tends to lean a bit more towards healthy fare (they make a quinoa egg cup for breakfast, which sounds gross but is actually quite good), but you’re right in that it’s not a huge change from what was there before.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Everything is made fresh through out the day – and what is not sold that day is donated to charity. I particularly like the breakfast sandwiches, fresh turkey sammie. They are ubiquitous in Europe (so my sister tells me). They also have better wages and benefits than others (I looked when I was unemployed for six months).

      • justinbc

        That’s really cool about the donations, I wonder if most customers are aware of that? I guess I’m just curious how one place that sells turkey sandwiches (just to use your example) is going to differentiate itself from another placed that closed who also sold turkey sandwiches. Though I don’t really know the circumstances behind the Cosi closure, I suppose it could have been unrelated to how well the store was performing.

      • Ubiquitous in the UK more than Europe. The ones over there offer a wider array of eats, though, and the quality is better. I won’t touch Pret anymore after getting food poisoning from the one at 11th and F.

        • I love Pret in the UK (well, at least the few non-mayonnaise sandwiches they carry), but I was disappointed to find that Pret in the U.S. is more expensive BEFORE tax than Pret in the UK is including VAT. Usually it’s the other way around.

    • Pret a Manger is better quality, and uses different types of bread than Cosi which serves eveything (I think) on their signature flatbread. Pret also ends up being slightly pricier than other fast-casual places, but I think it’s worth it. Their staff also tend to be more friendly than their competitors (perhaps because they treat them better, apparently!) That said, I wish Cosi would open up in one of the empty spaces in Union Station so that I could go there for lunch more often.

    • The salads/sandwiches at Cosi are made to order. The ones at Pret are made ahead of time (though throughout the day, as Anonymous_Dianne notes), packaged, and put in refrigerated shelving displays.
      Pret also has its own house canned sodas (maybe other drinks too, but I always make a beeline for the canned sodas).

  • You make a good point, but Pret v. Cosi may be as drastic as Whole Foods v. Murray’s. Perhaps others disagree but the difference in quality is stark (imho).

    • justinbc

      Yeah, like I said I’ve never actually tried Pret to compare. I stuck my head in one and saw what they had to offer and figured that (premade sandwiches and salads) was not for me.

      • Yea, I can understand the assumption. Plus, I’m very biased and recognize that my cosi / murray’s comparison is probably a little harsh – I just can’t stand Cosi. Bias aside Pret really does have better quality and, as someone mentioned above, a slightly higher price point. That said, it’s still a sandwich chain, so try it or don’t try it – the sandwich likely won’t be memorable.

  • Selection at both of the places is pedestrian and the food is quite bland. Ambiance is like a Starbucks without the green.


  • I was skeptical of the pre-made stuff at Pret at first, but I’ve become a convert. I like being able to fly in and out of the place in a few minutes, even during the lunch rush.

  • Yay, another crappy fast food joint imported straight from Britain.

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