1414 9th St, NW Gutted – Formerly home to Vegetate, Cafe Eagle, Taqueria Mexicana, Eagle (again), Northern Restaurant and Secret Lounge and Sports Bar

1414 9th Street, NW

In my memory this is one of the most turned over retail spaces (outside of Adams Morgan) in the District. Since Vegetate closed in 2009 the space has become an Ethiopian restaurant called Cafe Eagle then Taqueria Mexicana then an Ethiopian Sports Bar and Restaurant named Eagle (again) then was renamed Northern Restaurant.  In July of 2012 Secret Lounge and Sports Bar opened up but closed in Nov. 2013. Given the amount of work being done, now it looks like something permanent is coming:


Demo permit says new restaurant – stay tuned.


33 Comment

  • Whatever it becomes, it won’t be long for this world given the history of the location.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I disagree – this is the first time we’ve seen a major demo like this, suggesting a serious investment. But obviously we’ll know more when we learn what type of restaurant it will be.

    • The location is fantastic and if they are making a large investment and have the right concept, this restaurant could do very, very well and even spur more changes to the block. I’m specifically thinking about the vacant storefront on 9th and O, which I’d love to see developed.

      • The owners of the property @ 9th and O are reportedly asking $5 million.

        • That’s so they don’t get hit with the vacant property tax. I don’t think they expect to get anywhere near that. Probably trying to line up financing for whatever harebrained scheme they have to redevelop the property.

      • Anon in Shaw, that is -hilarious-, if true. I’m no commercial real estate expert, but that seems to be inflated by at least 100%, given that the location is good but the property itself is an eyesore.

    • Given all the new development on 9th, this place will do fine as long as it appeals to yuppie tastes (small plates, craft cocktails, farm-to-table, blah blah blah…) and they have enough capital to ride out the first few months of slow business. The new restaurants and bars on 7th have been doing very well and I think those are in a worse location.

      • I think the development on 9th has done little for this particular location. The decision of O Street Market to build a solid wall along almost the entire block across the street has done nothing to increase the natural foot traffic along this block. Instead of investing in street-level commercial space to bring life to the block, they killed that side of the street from a pedestrian-engagement perspective. Same thing with the dead walls they built along P street. Biggest missed-opportunity from a development perspective that I have seen in the entire city. I don’t know how that got approved.

        Businesses have gone under at this location while others in surrounding blocks have flourished amid the past few years of Shaw’s resurgence because the block is cut off to the north by Rhode Island, and foot traffic from the south captured by more attractive and engaging blocks. There are plenty of options along busier stretches in the surrounding blocks and infinitely more engaging development coming along the 7th street commercial corridor.

        It’s going to take a very special business to bring people to this location, because even other successful concepts in the neighborhood like Chaplin, Baby Wale, A&D etc would have been starved of business if they had located here in my opinion.

        • Sing it Q Street. And here’s to hoping Roadside doesn’t get the Scripture parcel, or they may do the same thing to the 1300 block. But hallelujah we have Shaw Side Streets and the ANCs to promote and protect our interests.

      • I’m inclined to agree with Anonymous 10:52 here. Although Q-Street makes good points about the challenges of foot traffic on this block, it’s not -that- far away from successful places like A&D, Sundevich, Table, and Dacha. I think people would walk the extra block or two for something they like, even if it does (now) face the back of the City Market. Especially now that the City Market units themselves are filling up. It’s basically diagonal from Chaplin, the restaurant with quite possibly the worst concept in DC, and that place always seems to be packed.

        • “Chaplin, the restaurant with quite possibly the worst concept in DC” — surely Red Light’s concept is even worse? 😉

          • tonyr

            Funnily enough I think that they’re both run by the same people. Chaplin’s always seems busy though, so what do I know?

          • Every time I walk by that place in the evening, which is basically every evening, I wonder who these people are. Or what I’m missing about the appeal of the place.

          • If Jean-Ralphio from parks & rec came up with an idea for a restaurant, it would be “Chaplin” — That being said, I kinda dig their dumplings.

          • I don’t think it’s an accident that the Wilder brothers are involved in both.

        • Don’t forget Thally in the block down the street from this place. Great restaurant and nice vibe!


          Totally agree about the disappointment that is Chaplin. Their food resembles a Chinese version of heat-and-eat pizza rolls.

          • +1 for Thally. I really like it there a lot. I also left out Seasonal Pantry for no good reason and probably several others too.

      • Which new restaurants and bars on 7th? Progression Place doesn’t compare. Dacha and Ivy and Coney who put maybe $20,000 into ‘improvements’ and so lack a tremendous overhead? Let’s see how Compass does. But then that block is heading towards great improvements in the near future. 9th should have had a lock on the 1500 block down to the 1200 block for pedestrian traffic but it has lost that due to Shiloh, Roadside, and the Convention Center all condemning 9th to barrenness.

        • I wonder if the 7th St reference is to Mockingbird Hill/Eat the Rich/Southern Efficiency, where the investments were more substantial?

          As for Compass Coffee, they seems to be doing pretty brisk business already, and I think that will pick up more once the word gets out how nice a place it is. Semi-related: the chai at Compass Coffee is outstanding — maybe even better than their coffee, which is also terrific. I think they make their own chai mix. The spices taste like they’re freshly ground.

  • The interior has never been the problem.

  • So a couple things.

    First, the space has been leased by John Fielding, whose industry pedigree is pretty great (Broad Branch Market, Tabard Inn, etc.). He’s going to be opening a fast casual restaurant on the 1st floor with upstairs bar. Upscale Chinese cuisine is the rumored theme.

    Second, Roadside’s “Wall” on 9th Street and P Street is just temporary. Phase 2 of the CityMarket at O project will bring ground level entrances to town-home style residences where these temporary walls are now, with a condo/apartment tower above. This phase is supposed to start construction early next year.

    • Thanks, Anon Shaw with Info! I want to know where you get all of this good intel!

    • tonyr

      Oh, Chinese sounds great. There’s a serious lack of Chinese restaurants around here, and city-wide for that matter.

    • That’s great news. Glad the “wall” will be gone soon. Can’t wait to see the plans for the new development.

    • Is the housing in City Market even full yet? I feel like it’s so quiet and dead around there. If they are at anything less than 90% occupancy, I doubt they are breaking ground on Phase 2 next year. DC Developers got crushed during the Financial Crisis and we were stuck with half built shells for a while. My guess is Phase 2 develops when demand goes through the roof in this area; I don’t see it yet.

      • I have no idea about the occupancy, but can say that I’ve found comments about the “quietness” of this area a bit puzzling. There always seems to be plenty of people in and near the City Market at O and whenever I walk by the residences’ entrances, there always seems to be people coming and going. I expect there to be more foot traffic once more ground-level retail opens. FWIW, I don’t live at the City Market, but close enough to it that I pass it several time a day.

    • Did you look at the plan showing the 9th St elevation on the Roadside Development website? There are no townhouse style homes; it’s a 7 story condo building. You are correct that there will be tenant entrance(s) in addition to the garage entrances. It’ll be commercial dead zone like this block of 7th. Maybe better than the blank wall but not by much when judging it on a contribution scale.

      • By town-home styled residences, I meant ground floor entrances, not actual town homes, with a condo tower above.

        I believe that Roadside’s plan along 9th Street was dictated largely by the Office of Planning’s Convention Center Area plan from a few years ago, which provided for commercial north of the convention center transitioning over from 9th to 7th at O Street.

        • Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the Convention Center Strategic Development Plan. OK I now get that 9th North of O is not significant in the plan. A shame but I see why they wanted to go east on O to include the O St Market building, though that 1400 block of 7th likewise has not much to offer the consumer or pedestrian.

  • I come home from work that way sometimes, it will be nice to have something in the area besides Azi’s, First Cup and overpriced farm-to-table and small bite places. BTW How do people feel about Thally (on Naylor?)

  • We represented the landlord and are very excited to see John Fielding lease the building.
    He is owner of the Broad Bench Market (http://www.broadbranchmarket.com/), and winner of the 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Food Market in D.C. He will be opening Chao Ku, a quick serve restaurant concept featuring a menu with mainstay healthy Chinese food.

    • capitalretail, this sounds great. I know and love Broad Branch Market and think “healthy” Chinese would be a great addition to the neighborhood. Better than another small plates place, too!

  • To revisit the topic- Just met with Jeff Edelstein of Roadside today and he assures me there is one 3000 sf or two 1500 sf commercial spaces that are going to be one the 9th St side. They hope to break ground spring 2015. Also I met John Fielding of 1414 and he gave me a tour. Nice guy, good space, great ideas. He hopes to have a faster food option on the first floor for lunches. Good news for the 1400 block of 9th! Also bumped into Cedric Maupillier at the Starbucks and he’s revving up to begin work on ‘Convivial’ in the CityMarket building at 8th and O soon. Hurray for Shaw!

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