This Week in Scuttlebutt – Chick Fil A to Columbia Heights?

3100 14th Street, NW

This week’s prime scuttlebutt is likely to excite half and infuriate the other half. Ed. Note: It seems that most of the Columbia Heights/14th Street scuttlebutt I post has a similar division. Back in Dec. 2013 we learned that Lime Fresh abruptly closed their DC USA location in Columbia Heights (they still have a spot open in Chinatown.) Since the closure, lots of folks have been wondering who will take over the 14th Street space by Target. I’ve heard that a Chick Fil A is strongly considering coming to the space. Nothing in stone yet but I’m hearing it’s a very good possibility. Stay tuned.

14th Street looking north

105 Comment

  • OMG. Just what I need… a place to buy delicious hatechicken when I go shopping!

  • What is happening in the space in CH where a Friday’s was supposed to be? Hopefully anything else is going there.

  • I’m in the infuriated half. But from a business perspective, I think it’s probably a great fit.

  • Chain Heights strikes again!
    That said, I love me some Chik-fil-A. I’m mad that hate tastes so damn good. Ugh.

    • I doubt we’ll ever see a non-chain restaurant be successful in the DCUSA building (RIP Senor Chicken/People’s Noodle Bar!). But no need to get too up in arms about chains until they start invading the restaurant strips on 11th, Park, and 14th above Monroe.

      As for CFA, if this rumor is true I suspect it will do incredibly well in that location, despite the reservations that many people have. Does anyone know the secret to how CFA has way better customer service than any similar chain? Do they pay their employees better, or is it something else?

      • Yes, their pay is quite high for the fast food industry and they are very loyal to high performers (i.e. they promote from within). Employees, I imagine, also must love having Sundays off, even if they’re not religious.
        The owners are odious, but it seems that they treat the employees very well.

        • Odious, but they treat the employees very well. Got it.

        • Does anybody know if Sundays off are paid for employees? I did a little googling and didn’t see anything mentioning that employees would be paid for Sundays, so it seems like the policy of closing Sundays would hurt part-time employees that are looking for more hours.

          • This is a ridiculous point. By this logic, part-time employees looking for more hours are also hurt by any business that doesn’t stay open 24/7. Private businesses get to decide what hours they operate, employees choose to work there or not. End of story.

      • The Cuban restaurant seems to be doing fine.

      • It’s the difference between rather organic change in existing properties (11th Street) as opposed to what you get with new construction on a big scale with a big developer.

    • +1. I have enough moral dilemmas in my life, do I really need to walk past one every night (except for Sundays).

    • brookland_rez

      I don’t have a problem with DCUSA catering to chains. They have their place. I like to shop at Best Buy and Target for some things.
      Now if the whole city got taken over by chains, that would be a problem for me. Right now, it’s fine. There’s plenty of mom and pop shops all over Columbia Hts/Adams Morgan.

  • Was hoping to hear that Chop’t would be there instead.

  • Best. News. Ever.

  • Damn I love me some Chick-fil-A, but it’s on the boycott list. As someone who cares deeply about human rights and equality, I’m clearly in the minority here in DC, as places like Walmart, H&M and Chipotle are doing a booming business.

    • Why H & M? They have done a ton of work to fix their sweatshop problem in the last few years. They are not perfect but have made major strides in the past few years. Check out some recent press. The others, yep I boycott them and Chick-fil-A too.

    • Where do you get clothes? I’d like to not support sweatshop labor, and wouldn’t mind paying 5x as much to avoid it, but H&M clothing fits me so well and I don’t know of a good alternative.

    • JC Penny’s traded slaves… That didn’t stop people from spending their money there. If you knew what half the leaders in modern businesses personally thought about each of us, we’d puke. What matters to me most is that they’re not spitting in my sandwich. People should really stop digging up PC dirt, it’s ugly everywhere, not just with Chick Fil A… Sorry, just venting;….

      • Emmaleigh504

        “Traded” as in past tense? To me there’s difference between doing something in the past and a company currently doing awful things like sending money to hate groups.

        • The past is the same to me as the present when it comes to genocide, and exposing profiteers…

          Chick Fil A’s CEO is not sending money to hate groups, that would be illegal. They’re sending money to groups that are politically against gay marriage. Although I’m not against gay marriage myself, they have a right to their views and the ability to make a meaningful argument because America is a Democratic country. The minute we shut them down for expressing their views (in a legal manner) we’re doing an injustice to everyone in terms of free speech. The minute they express hate through their actions then that’s another story.

          • Nobody’s shutting them down; they’re boycotting them and refusing to do business there.

            But more importantly, hateful views have no place in modern society.

          • It’s not illegal to send money to hate groups. It happens all of the time. Not sure where you are getting that. No one is advocating that they be shut down, we are all using our first amendment rights to advocate against them as well as making a decision of how and when we use our consumer dollars.

            I get so tired of how badly people understand the 1st Amendment and free speech. Free speech means that you are allowed to say what you want and not be stopped by the government. However, it doesn’t mean that you are shielded from criticism and others aren’t able advocate against you.

          • Sending money to hate groups is illegal? Please explain this.

          • “The minute we shut them down for expressing their views (in a legal manner) we’re doing an injustice to everyone in terms of free speech.”

            If the government shuts them down for expressing their views, that would implicate free speech rights. If private citizens, as potential customers, decide not to eat there, or protest the decision to open a location there, because of the company’s expressed support for discrimination against the LGBT community, that’s capitalism at work and has no bearing on free speech rights.

          • Have you ever seen a corporation promoting the fact that they sent money to the KKK?

            The Redskins lost their patent this year because their name was deemed offensive.

            This is what I meant by using the term illegal (not conforming to business rules). The term doesn’t just pertain to laws issued by government, but there are a lot of business sanctions that can be issued by state, local, and fed government for a company supporting hate speech, and we all have a right to protest and boycott anyone who goes against our individual views. I don’t believe this is a case of hate speech, or they’d be in serious trouble that would eventually lead to ending the company’s operations.

          • Just to be clear – they weren’t just sending money to groups that were against gay marriage. They were also sending money to religious groups that advocated violence against homosexuals in Africa and putting homosexuals in jail in Africa. (Note: I use the past tense because I’m not sure if they’ve changed this practice, but this is in their very, very recent past.)

          • Anon, at 2:51 I think you are very confused about the law. As I mentioned above, free speech rights are only implicated when the government censors speech — that can be any governmental entity, whether federal, local or state. While there are laws against discriminatory conduct , there is no law prohibiting corporations from donating to the KKK. If a corporation did that, however, and the public found out, the corporation would likely be boycotted and suffer financially as a result. That is exactly what is happening with regard to CF and those who decide to boycott it because of it support for discrimination. (And BTW, there have been allegations that CF’s owner has contributed to groups that have supported the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda, as noted by a commenter in this thread). The decision to revoke the trademark for the Washington football team does not prohibit the team from continuing to use its name. It only means that the team cannot claim exclusive use of that name.

          • I totally get people taking the moral stand on Chik Fila. With that said the idiotic things that guy has said and done does not carry over into the in store interaction. For fast food, they could run clinics on customer service. Ignorance will always be a part of this world, the south is especially slow on the uptake. I will find a way to separate my hatred for ignorance and my love for chicken mini’s.

    • “As someone who cares deeply about human rights and equality, I’m clearly in the minority here in DC,” That sentence right there puts you squarely in the majority I’d say.

  • Mmmm. They have Diet Dr. Pepper on tap!

  • YES! CHICKEN!!!!!

    Am I the only one whose gay friends all love CFA?

    • I have an ex gf who is strongly for gay marraige, equality, etc. and she works at Chick Fil-A!

    • Let me guess, Log Cabin types? [My LCR friends all love CFA, my liberal friends, gay and straight, all hate it.]

      • LCR’s are mostly shlubs with pot bellies and bad fashion sense. Of course they love CFA.
        No self-respecting, Vida-attending gay would eat at CFA. It would ruin their abs.

        • You clearly don’t hang out with the same LCRs that I do. [Also, for an LCR to go to Vida, he’d have to go to DC, and we all know there’s too many of THOSE people in DC for any Republican.]

          • Oh come on. I go to Vida and I’m a Repub. I happily co-exist with all my neighbors and I hope they do the same with me.

    • No, but my gay friends are mostly vegetarian lesbians. I have fond memories of going to the mall with my grandparents and getting CFA, but I tried it once as an adult and it was nowhere near as good as I remembered it being.

    • gym-going gay here. my gorgeously ripped boyfriend and I love us some CFA. if i order an 8-piece i can have 4 pre-Nellies and 4 post-Nellies. yum!

  • I’ll be sure to go there every Sunday.

  • Be still my heart.

  • Why can’t they come to Capitol Hill? Would love to have some Chik-fil-A here!!!

    • The NIMBYs won’t even let &Pizza set up shop here because they think we have too many fast food restaurants. Chick Fil A would never happen.

      • if CH doesn’t want an &Pizza, send them over to us in Navy Yard. That’s close to CH, and we’ll welcome them with open arms. Damn, their pizzas are good.

    • Their truck is often parked near Union Station during lunch hours.

  • I thought the CEO changed his mind? Got a gay bestie and decided it’s all about love and god’s cool with it. Did I dream that?

  • A California Tortilla, or a great sushi bar would be my choice pick for that location… I still cry every time I go by there because I miss People’s Bao! :/

    • CalTort is a crappier version of Qdoba, which is a crappier version of Chipotle. Luckily regardless of the hatespeak that dribbles out of their President’s mouth, their staff always tend to be awesome. Compared to most other chains they are actually attentive and polite.

  • I really hope if CFA moves in a lot of people will boycott: it will make the lines much better on Saturday AM when I’m getting my hangover Spicy Chicken Biscuit.

  • Spicy Chicken biscuits are calling me already!!!!

  • Yum! Chic-Fil-A: you can taste the hate in every bite! Any business promoted by Mike Huckster-bee must be A-OK, and I think it will fit in nicely with the Hermann Goering Brew Pub that I also hear is considering DCUSA. Hyperbole much, lilnemo? You bet!

    Seriously though, the thousands of LGBT and questioning youth who have been emotionally scarred for life by the ex-gay conversion organizations funded by the Chic-Fil-A Foundation thank you all for your thoughtful contributions.

  • I’ve refused to eat at CFA since I learned they ostentatiously closed every Sunday for their employees to go to church, which means any Jewish, Muslim or Christian Science employees are SOL. There are also reports they actively discriminate against non-Christians in awarding franchises. So it was easy to join the boycott when they unsurprisingly turned out to be anti-gay as well.

  • Sigh. There goes my diet AND my soul…

  • brookland_rez

    I don’t agree with their politics, but they make one of the tastiest chicken sandwiches.

    • It takes a strong person to stand up for their beliefs. Well done, sir.

      • brookland_rez

        Right, because people are not entitled to their own viewpoint. I won’t be eating there anyways because their food is not good for you.

  • Good lord, I’m going to go broke and get fat eating their Spicy chicken breakfast wrap every day…

    And LOL at the haters/boycotters.

  • justinbc

    Wow, 80 comments about a Chick-Fil-A. Didn’t expect that, but I had forgotten about their anti-gay charade until reading through this. I won’t be going there, but that has more to do with the fact that I think their food is not very good.

  • OhPleaseOhPleaseOhPleaseOhPlease! I’m a gay and I love The Chick. If you are 1 of the first 100 customers when they open you get a pack of cards, each one good for a CFA meal. 52 FREE Weeks of Chick Fil A!

  • Gross. Gotta love seeing all that money go to extreme right-wing /anti-gay /anti-women nut groups. They say it doesn’t go there anymore, but follow the money and it DOES. “But the food is so good!” … I guess it doesn’t take much for people to sacrifice their rights in order for some fried chicken and sweet tea.

    • “Reality”? No…I think you should call yourself “Sanctimony”.

    • brookland_rez

      If I didn’t shop everywhere that didn’t agree with my viewpoints, I wouldn’t shop anywhere. I have some pretty out there viewpoints on things.

  • Remember when all the fatties stood in line and sang “God Bless America” during the Fox News promoted “Chick-fil-A day” in response to gay people being upset that millions of CFA proceeds were going to extreme anti-gay organizations? Yeah, that’s what’s wrong with America, and why I won’t be going to this trash hole. Makes me think of the worst in people.

    • If you google “chick fil a god bless america” there are quite a few of videos from the 2012 Fox News 202 “chick-fil-a appreciation day” … a lot of white right wing drooling hungry folk

    • Let’s see, you started this off with a gratuitous crack., nicely illustrating one of the things on the list of what’s wrong with America. Yup

  • Next up: Hobby Lobby to DCUSA. x.x

  • Nooooo. Why can’t we get a sushi place in Columbia Heights? We really need a sushi place here.

  • northeazy

    I buy extra sandwiches and just throw them away to make up for all the Lefties that boycott CFA. #PayItForward

  • Awesome news!! Chicken biscuits in the morning.

  • The following is the email I sent to Chick-fil-a:

    Two whom it may concern:

    I am writing to humbly request that Chick-fil-a lease the space at Washington DC’s DCUSA mall previously occupied by Lime Fresh, at 3100 14th Street. As a long time fan, and nearby resident, I think this would be the perfect location. Plus, I could finally get all my friends on board with your breakfast. I also think your lemonade is literally the best in the world.

    So, please please please come to Columbia Heights! There’s so much foot traffic, so much money in the neighborhood, and it’s on top of a Metro station. This is the best spot ever, and it would mean I wouldn’t have to bike or bus it to Silver Spring to get my Chick-fil-a fix.

    Respectfully yours,

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