Capitol Supermarket Gets a Facelift – Thumbs up or down?

1231 11th Street, NW

Back in 2011 we noted the 35th anniversary of Capitol Supermarket. Their website says:

Originally a Safeway store in the 60’s and early 70’s, the store became Capitol Supermarket in April 1976. We are a hard working Korean-American family with 3 decades of experience in the grocery business. We started by selling mainly mainstream everyday items at a low price, but as time passed our grocery store changed with the times. Because our nation and our city is such a melting pot, we began selling international foods including a full line of Latino, Asian, and African products. In 2006, we added a full line of fresh seafood including fresh whole fish, fresh clams and mussels and live blue crabs in the summer. In 2008, we updated our beer and wine department to add more fine and imported wines and a wider selection of micro-brew and craft beers. Also in 2008 we upgraded our produce case to hold a wider selection of fresh fruits and vegetables for healthy eating. More recently we began selling more all natural and organic food items and for those on the go, we partnered with the Culinary Circle brand and added a full line of gourmet ready-to-heat and eat entrees.

We are not finished upgrading!

We are planning even more exciting changes in the upcoming years including adding more hard to find products to our store. Although our store has changed over time, we have not forgotten our original vision of providing savings to our loyal customers. So please keep checking in and see what’s new at Capitol Supermarket!

So what do you think of the facelift?


Prior to renovation:


New sign:


I’ll admit I preferred the old sign:


15 Comment

  • I don’t care which sign they use. I am just happy that they are still in business and provide an alternative to Whole Foods and the other over-priced markets in the Logan Circle neighborhood.

  • I missed the post with their narrative – I will shop there for the international items. The awning looks fresh but those big color photos do not look good and will age poorly.

  • diploj

    I think they’re great for the basics and inexpensive produce. I do have a hard time trusting their meat and fish sections, though…wish those looked a little more fresh.

    As for the face-lift, I think it’s still pretty ugly, but it won’t stop me from buying the few items I need on my way home from work.

  • I’m glad they are working to improve, but I liked the old sign and colors. Doesn’t look like too much of an improvement from the outside.

  • Same as the old boss.

  • I live a few blocks from here and love Capitol Supermarket. There are some awesome Asian and Latin groceries here. I am very happy to have an alternative to Whole Foods. I hope the new Giant is not squeezing them too hard. I am cheering for them, but I think the new look is pretty awful. The exterior needed a coat of paint, but these choices are a little puzzling.

    • +1 to “The exterior needed a coat of paint, but these choices are a little puzzling.” The new version looks sliiiightly better than the old one… but only slightly.

  • Used to live up the block, now around the corner – super convenient for a few things, but honestly I thought their prices were always ridiculous other than produce (which never looked that great, I stuck with stuff with a natural wrapper like citrus). They have some unique items – I once bought my husband ghost chili salsa. But otherwise, convenient, expensive, and pretty dirty. I LOVE the guy (kid? he looks young) in the check out line who always had ear buds in, though.

  • I live near the U Street Metro and have never tried this supermarket. But with their facelift and very nice story from their website regarding their changes over the years to meet new customers’ needs, I’ll definitely stop by soon. I wish them luck!

  • I dig it!

  • Want to root for this place but often has an unpleasant smell when I walk in there and I wish they could focus on that instead of putting photos out front.

    • +1 on the bad smell. Whenever I bring people here from out of town (usually to buy beer) I always feel the need to warn them before we enter that it’s going to smell bad. My sister once asked “How bad is it?” and I said “Bad enough that I feel the need to warn you”.

  • I love this place. I don’t shop there all the time, but whenever I do, I’m pleasantly surprised. They have way more variety than you would expect, and the prices are pretty great.

  • Capitol Supermarket is great – lots of stuff that’s relatively cheap. It certainly got me through the reconstruction of the Giant a few blocks away, and even with Giant open now I’m still in there once a week because they have Cloverland milk (which is delicious) and a Redbox machine that always seems to have a better selection than the others nearby.
    That praise aside, that paint job is horrible. It looks like a weird combination of a Bolivian, Ethiopian and Cameroon flag. Plus, despite keeping the name “supermarket” the only thing called out on the awning now is “cold beers”. No more mention of groceries, fresh meat and vegetables, or wine. Looking purely at the “cold beer” part of the awning and the colors out front, I doubt I’d just wander in there today the way I did when I discovered the store years ago, because it no longer presents from the street as somewhere that would have something I would want or need, like delicious Cloverland milk!

  • Prefer the old signs and awnings. The color is awful, the pictures are tacky. They would have done well to take out some of the paving, add some landscaping, and maybe a faux window or three. Top it off with a neutral paint color and voila!

Comments are closed.