Cosi in North Dupont Abruptly Closes at Intersection of 20th, R, and Connecticut


@melissaeweiss tweets us the photo above:

“@PoPville RIP the Dupont Cosi – what happened!?”

And another reader sends via email:

“The Cosi on North Dupont [1647 20th St. NW] has closed as of yesterday. They were taking out all of the furniture and equipment when I was walking by. Did you hear? What gives? That’s three closed businesses within the same half-block: Cosi, Five Guys and Sprint.

Rats or rent? Or horrible rats are jacking up the prices? Lol. If it is rats, why hasn’t the other businesses started shutting down? Even worse, will it infect the beloved Chipotle? Hahaha.

Just curious. Also wonder if maybe the owner is either selling or reconstructing the lot. No one has moved in, except for Custom Fuel (the old Potbelly, that started it all).”

27 Comment

  • Darn. There’s a real dearth of places around Dupont to spend nine dollars on a bland turkey sandwich.

  • Isn’t that the original XANDO? When they opened, the concept was pretty fresh and the space was really a nice addition to the street.

    • It was a XANDO and before that it was Sutton Place Gourmet (I think?).

      • I Dont Get It

        I dont think it was Sutton Place Gourmet. There was something sem-sketch there before that was fun due to the people watching.

        • Sutton Place Gourmet had a small outlet in the space (which specialized in sandwich items and takeaway, not the full panoply of goods carried in the then-flagship location on New Mexico Ave.) that was open for perhaps a year. In the sequence of tenants, it followed Cafe Rabelais (the cafe only good for people watching) and preceded Xando.

      • If it’s the spot I’m thinking of, then for decades it was a restaurant that was always empty and accepted only cash yet mysteriously stayed in business. I assumed it was a front for money laundering, with a sidedish of wondering if the owners paid off city officials to look the other way.

    • Awwww, I loved Xando!

  • I mean, there is another one just a few blocks away. They’re probably just no longer making enough business at both locations to justify having both open, paying two rents, and hiring two sets of staff.

  • Cosi is a separate building from the neighboring buildings, so not sure about whether the concerns re rats is warranted. There are also like four two buildings between it and Custom Fuel pizza.

    That Cosi had seemed a lot more vacant recently than it used to. They used to have a decent crowd that would sit outside, but it seemed to get less and less busy over time. Here’s to hoping they replace it with something fresh and interesting. Or, you know, a Shake Shack.

  • I’m shocked. I gave this location a second try earlier this year, and it was even worse than the first time I went there. I am far from a germ or neat freak, but but this was an over-the-top dingy restaurant with filthy floors and overflowing trash. Good riddance.

    • I agree. I last set foot in this place about 4 or 5 years ago and it was a disgusting, dirty, disorganized mess. Good bye.

  • Isn’t this a cursed location? Who remembers Cafe Rabelais, the most uninviting joint in Washington?

  • Their “meats” were so beyond revolting, but their buttery, salty bread was delicious.
    Perhaps, if one were to analyze their expenditures over the establishment’s lifespan, they simply couldn’t make up for all the free bread they gave away in those bowls. I can’t even count the number of times I went into a Dupont-area Cosi with the intent of buying a block of bread, only to find that I could simply walk in, take some free bread, look at the menu, and then walk back out without having paid a dime.

  • Not to speculate on this specific situation, but there is a huge rat problem on that whole block. That’s a big part of why Five Guys closed and was probably part of the closing of Potbelly.

    I won’t really miss any of those three places too much, though.

  • It is certainly sad to see that my nearest source of squagels has closed. Even if I haven’t purchased any since Bethesda Bagels opened up the block.

  • It is a rat situation. Let’s look at the facts. Potbelly’s shut down for a brief remodel. It opened for a day and then closed again. Permanently. Then, Five Guys had a “maintenance” issue and was closed for a week. Opened again for a day, then closed. Permanently. Then the Sprint store in-between these two stores closed down. Custom Fuel has opened in the former Potbelly location and we shall see when it has a “maintenance issue.” Cosi’s had a customer resurgence but has quickly shuttered its doors.

    Smells like rats to me. Hopefully, this doesn’t spread (if not already) to Larry’s Ice Cream and Chipotle.

  • I must say that this was one of the dirtiest (and slowest) restaurants that I have seen around here. Floors always dirty, garbage strewn about, etc. I think it is a good example of what happens when you have a really cool small business XANDO that becomes something larger but loses quality control.

  • Marvelous Market, also on that block, closed awhile back too.

    • I thought Marvelous Market was on the next block up closer to the Circle. And isn’t it a lobster roll place now?

      I think Bethesda Bagels has not helped Cosi much. Bethesda Bagels has an enormous line every weekend.

  • Kinda glad. This restaurant was dingy and poorly run even after they remodeled it a while back. It’s a great space with a nice patio so looking forward to seeing who else could move in. I think this was more of a business problem. There have been rat issues behind the building, but that can be controlled. This place went downhill long ago.

  • randomduck

    I think the decline of this Cosi started when the chain abandoned its evening alcohol service (when they “lifted the painting” to reveal a bar). That was the only thing that differentiated it from other chain cafés, and was a holdover from the XANDOs days.

    But yes, the place has been filthy for a long time. They spent most of a summer (2011?) without any air conditioning, making indoor seating insufferable. The food was seldom ever fresh, save for the bread. It won’t be missed.

  • The Cosi in Rockville town center also recently closed.

  • The service got better recently but the place was dirty and run down. It sucks that three options on the north side of the circle have closed. Hopefully something fast and good returns. Fuel is great but it’s seldom busy and I don’t think they have figured out their staffing yet. Smashburger is a great replacement for Five Guys just FYI.

Comments are closed.