Pickles for Petworth (sorta) Gordy’s Pickle Jar Coming to former House of Falafel space on Upshur

221 Upshur Street, NW

The former House of Falafel space has been leased by the folks from Gordy’s Pickle Jar. According to the Petworth listserv it will only be used for the commercial kitchen and won’t be for retail purposes. As a pickle fantatic – I for one think we should lobby for some kinda retail component!

Update: The folks from Gordy’s say the Petworth listserv is not accurate. We will update with more details as soon as we learn the complete plans.


16 Comment

  • Gordy’s is very overrated for the price. I really like the hot chili spears but $13 for a jar? I stick with the District Dills from Number 1 Sons from farmer’s markets and the Old Bay sours from In a Pickle from Eastern Market.

  • At some point property owners in Petworth need to factor in businesses that actually serve the community. What a waste of a property with kitchen utensils. Granted, this is far away from the main strip (and probably why House of Falafel failed), but several businesses like Open Kitchen on Upshur by Domku have rented to caterers who are making food and shipping it out to other neighborhoods. It’s a shame that when residents are clamoring for more food options on Upshur and in Park Place above the metro that we have owners leasing property out to businesses that don’t benefit the neighborhood.

    • Well, I’d guess that the property owners rent to tenants who pass the credit checks and sign the leases. What exactly would you like the landlords to do? If someone meets the lease requirements, I’m not sure it’s even legal for a landlord to say ” Um, no, actually I’m holding out for a business that offers food options that some of the residents are clamoring for”. I’m genuinely not being snarky — I’m just not clear how this would make sense for an individual landlord, and if it could legally be done.

      • They are obligated to do nothing legally or morally. I am just saying it would be nice if “community benefit” was factored into the equation. I know of at least two eateries that were interested in the kitchen space on Upshur, but couldn’t even get the landlord to return their call after multiple efforts. Maybe some people just don’t want more development along Upshur.

  • If I were a commercial landlord, I would think about the following when choosing a tenant:

    a) do I have a choice? Are multiple people actually trying to rent this space? If so,
    b) who is most likely to pay the rent?
    c) who will do the least damage to my property?
    d) is the front runner after all these concerns going to do something loud, dangerous, smelly, polluting, or illegal?

    “Benefits the neighborhood” would fall far below this on the list. Not every storefront can have a restaurant in it. A pickle factory is not a bad thing to have in a community. It’s certainly better than a vacant storefront, and maybe it will encourage staff to live nearby or patronize other businesses.

    • I agree with sbc, however I would also add that if a particular neighborhood, block, street, or area becomes more popular and gets more foot traffic, landlords are generally able to charge higher rents. Of course, this type of strategic planning requires a long term outlook that is probably beyond the immediate need of “I need rental income,” and often requires more than a single storefront to accomplish.

  • At first I thought this was a retail place selling pickles, and was disappointed, as it seemed like rather a niche store.
    Then I read more carefully and saw that it’s not even open to the public. Even worse!

    • Maybe if enough people drool in front of the windows they’ll reconsider. To have some retail presence, even a minimal one seems like a good idea. Maybe a pickle window staffed on Saturdays or monthly sample days….

  • This seems silly – why not go with what Brooklyn Brine has… a pickle shop that showcases their pickles pair with good beer and unique dishes (iv never been but sounds and looks awesome). As someone who has tried pickling (still hunting for the perfect recipe), i don’t see the logic in this move for Gordy

    • That also seems like a pretty big change to their business model, plus requires an ABRA license and a chef.
      I don’t get all the hate for this local small business. They are renting an empty store front in a low foot traffic area, presumably in a location that is convenient for them, and they are selling their products locally. Unless you are starting a business yourself or you own a commercial property you have no say in what business moves where.
      I live in Park View and I want some new things too, but I recognize that I won’t get exactly what I want unless I make it myself. I have no interest (or funds) in that, so I remain patient and am happy when a small business is growing in my community. Plus, I love pickles. I could drink their pickle juice all day every day.

  • Gordys pickles have to be the most over rated and overpriced pickle on planet earth. I see them from time to time on random store shelves and laugh at the price. They taste fine, but certainly don’t warrant the price point.

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