The Plans for the Petworth Wendy’s

Georgia Ave at Randolph St, NW

With the opening of the Stroller Safeway (I’m just testing it out…) lost of folks have been wondering about the future of the Wendy’s across the street. Thanks to a reader for sending this update from their regional corporate office:

The short answer is yes we do have renovation plans for the interior, exterior, and landscaping. We are in the process of seeking permits for a number of restaurants in the District, and PG and Montgomery Counties. We are hopeful that work can begin in the short term, but I’m sure you probably understand the permitting process. We have been operating since November of 1983, at this location, and hope to remain and trusted option for quality food. I’m sure that you will find our improved look fitting with the surroundings.

Thanks you for taking the time to reach out and express the concerns from the neighborhood.

72 Comment

  • Accountering

    Translation: You’re stuck with us.

    I believe they have a 99-year lease. Wish they could redevelop, and put in a Wendy’s on the first floor with some apartments above.

    • why do you wish that they would build apartments ontop of wendy’s? do you want to move there?

      • I imagine Accountering wants to see greater density/better use being made of a parcel of land so close to Metro.
        I agree. More mid-rise apartment buildings in parcels like this — NOT “pop-ups” in the middle of rowhouse4 blocks — are the way to increase density.

        • I don’t know where that “4

        • I don’t know where that “4” came from. Eek, I seem to be plagued by keyboard problems today!

        • Agreed. There are too many suburban type developments that take up way too much valuable real estate that could be put to a lot better use. Obviously this site could support a much larger building than a row house turned into 2-4 condos.

        • but since these lots are private property, its quite possible a less intense land use will remain. That is one problem with the belief that every single “soft” parcel will be developed to maximum legal density – a beilef often expressed in debates over proposals to increase allowable density (such as the height limit discussion) and proposals to decrease it (the pop-up downzoning.)

      • Accountering

        Because this Wendy’s is a dump… A relic of when Georgia Avenue was a dump. If they rebuilt from new, there would be more residents in the neighborhood, and a much nicer building.
        Pretty much what Textdoc said… haha!

        • I didn’t mention the aesthetic aspect, though, and that’s a very good point — this Wendy’s looks crummy.

      • Accountering

        Also, no, I would not want to move there. I am quite happy with my living situation. Not sure how that is relevant. I know there are plenty of people who would happily move there though.

        • Ok all i am saying is….why rush to re-devlop this spot? I am sure in 5 even 10 years if this spot is still undevloped it could be redevloped into something nicer than whatever it is currently. I just dont see the need to say “i wish this would turn into condos”, why do you wish it would turn into condos? I just dont get that. What benefit is it to you? It wont bring rent prices down, may or may not have retail, that retail may or may not be beneficial to you. So i guess i am getting caught in semantics

          • I can’t speak for Accountering, but I’d like to see this spot get redeveloped because 1) the Wendy’s that’s there is pretty ugly and 2) if it were apartments or condos, that would increase the population in the area and help spur additional retail/restaurants/etc.
            But apparently Wendy’s has a very long lease, so none of that is likely to happen anytime soon unless the property owner gets Wendy’s to take a buyout to end its lease early.

          • Accountering

            I don’t rent, so not relevant. I would like to see it redeveloped because it is a nasty wendy’s, in a neighborhood that doesn’t deserve to be stuck with a nasty wendy’s. It would increase supply of housing in the city, may have retail, may have retail that benefits me… The increased density will support more restaurants and further retail.

            Mostly we would get rid of a nasty, unproductive use of space, and replace it with something substantially better.

  • Great! Can anyone verify that they have applied for permits? How can we check? Glad to see a business recognizing the need to upgrade as they neighborhood evolves.

    • I tried to leave this comment earlier, but a quick search of the highly accurate (no sarcasm here, hoenstly) DCRA website turns up that there are no permits for the address, filed, denied, or approved for this address, 3900 Georgia Avenue NW. Google search “dcra building permits” and you’ll arrive at the correct page.

      • So basically Wendy’s was lying. Shocker. No wonder this restaurant is so poorly managed given that their corporate staff is dishonest as well.

        • Oh really? Where did it say that Wendy’s has already applied for permits for this location? I mean I have no love for Wendy’s or corporate America in general but you need to learn to read what is written, not what you want it to say.

          • To quote Wendy’s, “we are in the process of seeking permits.” So yah, I guess the process of “seeking” may not mean “applying” yet, but if so; isn’t that a bit disingenuous and misleading?

          • Of course, but it’s not lying. It’s quite possible that this Wendy’s is one of many in the area that is slated for renovation and they just haven’t started the official permitting process yet. And it’s just as disingenuous to accuse them of saying something that they didn’t actually say.

  • This place holds a special place in my heart… I’ll never forget the storm of 99′ when I got violently ill there after eating chicken nuggets… The state of the building and it’s bathrooms are a testament to how much the corporation cares about urban communities until the neighborhoods become gentrified. Actually, you don’t have to look hard to find locations that still have coin operated bathrooms, which serve to depress lower-income residents as they hold their pee in frustration while being required to stand in line to buy a small frosty.

    • We shall overcome coin-operated public bathrooms.

    • jim_ed

      Or…. the token operated bathrooms keep people from trashing them, which has helped keep those bathrooms in surprisingly serviceable condition compared to other fast food joints around town.

      • Well there’s another way to keep bathrooms serviceable without token gates… It involves actually cleaning them on a regular basis.

        • Ehh, I can understand fast-food places finally instituting coin-operated bathrooms when they get too many non-customers using them and trashing them while they’re at it, using them as a place to shoot up drugs, etc.
          The McDonald’s in Adams Morgan made its bathrooms coin-operated at some point during the 2000s for this reason. I can’t remember whether they’re still in place.

          • It’s a cost of doing business… If they find people mis-use them, they should call the cops. Public accommodations should not be different in the city versus the suburbs just because of a few bad seeds, that’s the same kind of discrimination we had during the civil rights era.

            It’s pretty much a fact that Wendy’s and many other restaurants save money by requiring regular employees to clean bathrooms, those employees take it for granted, and god forbid a cook be required to clean bathrooms and then handle food!!

            Wendy’s (with all it’s current DC locations) should organize a revolving cleaning crew for each location they have that circles locations all day to clean restrooms. Even with the token system, their bathrooms are almost always in a horrible state as it is because only regular employees clean them if at all, and most of the time with only water.

    • The Champ Elysees (really a lot of downtown Paris) has coin-operated bathrooms…
      Your point about the state of the buildings is spot-on though. I once walked in on a man bathing in the sink of the NY Ave Wendy’s.

      • saf

        As does all of Prague.

      • I remember walking in on a dude bathing in the sink at the McDonald’s at 17th and Corcoran NW back in the ’90s before they put in the door buzzer system they have now. Probably an interesting start to the morning for both of us.

        • I’ve got all of you beat. We have a dude who’s coming onto our lawn when no one’s looking and using our hose to shower. It happened about two or three days in a row over the last week.

  • Hopefully the renovation plans include new management and employees. I walk by that Wendy’s nearly every day, and consider walking in for a quick bite sometimes, until I see the line. They consistently have the slowest service of any fast food restaurant I ever go to. Having more than one register open at dinner time would probably help, as would hiring teenagers who actually give a crap about doing their job.

  • This building doesn’t need such a big foot print. I say tear down and open up on the ground level on residential building…but then who would want to live about a Wendys?

  • The management and cleanliness of this Wendy’s is among the worst I’ve experienced. Maybe that is what the reader should have questioned corporate about! Don’t worry. Petworth is rapidly changing and with that comes new expectations. Businesses that don’t step it up and provide quality service, clean facilities and good food will fall by the wayside.

    • This place is also a pit stop for Marylanders who are coming in/out of the city. Hence why they have such a large property. I’m sure they will do fine, regardless of upgrades.

      • I’ve lived within three blocks of this Wendy’s for two years and have not been one time. It’s always gross. Trash all over the parking lot. Smells from the outside. No thanks. In contrast, I’ve been to the new Safeway six times this past week! Hey Wendy’s, beat it!

        • saf

          They never clean. In the winter, they do not shovel. They are lousy neighbors.
          (The same goes for the Safeway. I hope that changes with the new Safeway, but am not holding my breath.)

  • Sell the property for millions. And move up Georgia Avenue. Or buy a smaller lot. With houses selling for $800,000 and a new grocery store across the street, why wouldn’t you? Maybe Wendy’s doesn’t realize how much this property is worth?

    • saf

      They don’t own the land.

    • Maybe they actually offer ok service and have a line always for a reason. I bet someone is making a ton of money…

      As for the mess that is just poor management.

      Regarding the restroom just charge. I mean really public bathrooms all over Europe and the UK charge, they are clean, well maintained, and always open.

  • SHit. I got excited when I saw the header thiking this would be redeveloped. Interior renovation means nothing. that store is sooooo ghetto. I feel like when I was a kid Wendys was considered better than McDonalds too. What a waste of a great space. Almost as bad as the wendys in the traffic circle at NY Avenue!
    I would urge caution on the folks excited about “upgrades”–its going to look the same. And its still going to be a shitty wendys where people sell oils and socks to customers as they are waiting on their orders.

  • Work a deal with them to move to the new ground floor retail spots over the Petworth in exchange for development rights to land for high-density market rate residential.

  • I’d like to see the letter that the reader sent to Wendy’s. I hope they were trying to speak for the whole neighborhood with complaints about the exterior appearance of the restaurant.

    I enjoy this Wendy’s and hope it doesn’t go anywhere!

  • Seriously, this is DC…did that corporate rep think we wouldn’t see that crap non-answer. I dunno why I am an apologist for Wendy’s…but I am. I’d love for the store to modernize, but Im hoping it stays.

  • I live just up the street and during the winter time I have to email and call the Wendy’s Corporate office to get them to shovel the snow off the sidewalks. Their parking lot and walk ways get shoveled almost immediately after it snows, but the they won’t shovel the public sidewalk until someone complains.

    I would like to something that uses the space better, even if that is a mid-rise with a Wendy’s on the first floor.

  • brookland_rez

    Tear it down. Wendy’s in general sells awful food that is awful for you. That location is notorious for having terrible service.

    • Speak for yourself. Wendy’s is one of the few Fast Food restaurants I don’t mind indulging in every once in a while. Live a little.

      • im with him…
        that food is terribe for you, stopped eating all o fthat mess years ago
        a wendys burger would probably tear my insides up

      • As a general rule, I’d say Wendy’s can be one of the better fast food options, but I believe people are complaining about the management, cleanliness and quality of this particular one. Not all Wendy’s are created equal.

      • brookland_rez

        I do indulge in a nice, juicy, quality hamburger from time to time. But it sure as hell isn’t from Wendy’s on Georgia Ave.

  • Oooh Wendy, hot n’ juicy redhead

    Sir, this is A Wendy’s…

    • The funniest part of that quote is the word “restaurant” as in “Sir, this is A Wendy’s restaurant…”

  • brookland_rez

    Salty! Has over 30% of the daily max
    Over 50% of daily saturated fat!
    For dieters: FoodPoints value is 24
    One of the worst products in its category
    This product is in the bottom 10% of the products in its category
    I stand by my comment that it’s awful food. Look I like ice cream and milkshakes and indulge sometimes, but why waste an indulgence on something as bad as a frosty? There’s better quality indulgences out there. We all have choices, and you are free to choose a frosty if that’s what you like, I just don’t get it.

  • djdc

    I thought the rumor from back when was that when Jair Lynch Co. was planning for the 3 Tree Flats building next door, they begged and begged to incorporate the Wendy’s parcel into their site, thus making for a much bigger residential building, and promising Wendy’s the prime corner spot in the new building when finished. Wendy’s said no. Granted, that’s hearsay.

  • This Wendy’s gave me food poisoning in 2001. It smells like bowel in the hallway leading to the bathroom, and dont get me started on the bloody tampon that was in the sink in the MENS restroom. Just last year a school teacher was robbed in the wendys parking lot while their security guard hungout. This place needs to be shut down

  • I don’t think the upgrading plans have much to do with the neighborhood “evolving”, as one poster put it. I think the plans have everything to do with the fact that McDonald’s has recently stepped up its game by redesigning and updating the interiors of almost all of its stores. Every McDonald’s I’ve stopped in between DC and NYC has a new interior. And whether you like the food or not, the interiors are pretty sweet. I am sure Wendy’s and Burger King now feel the pressure to do the same thing. I stopped at a Burger King in Delaware on Saturday and I felt like I was back in the 1980’s. It wasn’t dirty or sketchy, just incredibly dated. The one saving grace was an automated soft drink dispenser that dished out Raspberry Coke Zero. Seriously . . . Raspberry Coke Zero! The chicken wrap was pretty good too.

Comments are closed.