50 Comment

  • The historically insane nimby-ism of Mount P comes to it’s logical conclusion….

    • DC is unique in giving NIMBY’s such an insane amount of control over others’ private property. It also seems like uniquely DC phenomenon that so many NIMBY’s block development when the properties in question are long boarded-up, abandoned rat magnets like this one (and, e.g., The Coupe).

      • You’re both wrong, and please stop with this well-worn trope about Mt Pleasant. It’s not the residents blocking anyone (anymore). It’s the landlords who are perfectly satisfied to sit on vacant properties until someone pays the rent they’re asking for.

        • PDleftMtP

          This is hardly in the distant past – the library/Beau Thai mess was not that long ago.

        • I call bs on Anonymous in MtP. I’ve lived in MtP for quite sometime…sure the landlords can be partially to blame..but you know what? The self-entitled brats in MtP share a lot of blame as well. Look at our friend “Harry” in a recent whine from the MtP Forum.


          Good old Harry wants to find out how to “prevent” it from happening..just because he finds the food to be overly processed according to his tastes. LOL.

          So yes, some residents in MtP are a cause of a lot of malaise in MtP. PDMtP, cites the library debacle and Beau Thai…and let me add the whole Adams Mill Road rebuilding fiasco. Residents were acting like self-entitled snobs and wanted the city to stop the rebuilding after millions had been spent. I am ashamed some of these people are my neighbors.

  • This makes me sick. I don’t want this Subway in my neighborhood. Dragging us down.

  • In most neighborhoods you’d roll your eyes at a new Subway opening, but in Mt. Pleasant, it’s kind of a big deal. Storefronts here tend to sit vacant not for months, but for years or even decades.

    • brookland_rez

      I’ve never understood that about Mt Pleasant. The commercial strip is so dilapidated with that Bestway, etc. Yet the neighborhood is filled with expensive housing stock with people with presumably high disposable income. If Brookland can attract quality restaurants and stores, why can’t Mt Pleasant? We’ve had Subway for years. Yes Organic too. And now all the new sit down restaurants.

      • I believe there is a high concentration of Mt. P residents that would prefer to keep their neighborhood quiet and low-key, so therefore they block most all development proposals. It’s a pity – could be a great little dining/nightlife district there on Mt Pleasant Street but instead the area just languishes.

        • Unless this post is from 10 years ago, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • I think that the type of businesses that the strip can support reflects the income of local renters more than it reflects the income of local homeowners. A lot of the businesses are fairly low-priced restaurants, barber shops, and laundromats. With the Deauville coming back online I would imagine that there will be an increase in demand for an establishment with a low price point.

        • There’s a place just up the road where those people belong. It’s called Crestwood.

        • There was never a “high concentration.” It takes representatives of just a few residential properties, five perhaps, to place pressure on any business wishing serve or sell alcohol. In Mt. P that meant a few homeowners living near the commercial strip held the neighborhood hostage to their whims for years. That dynamic broke down a few years ago, so we are left scratching our heads over how the property owners choose to lease their properties.

      • I suspect a significant factor is that the density (higher) and demographics (younger) of the new housing stock in Brookland, compared with that in Mount Pleasant, stands more chance of being able to support multiple new neighborhood businesses that cater to people who perceive themselves to have lots of money to spend. Building several new apartment buildings (Brookland) has a much stronger and more immediate impact on a neighborhood’s density than does converting a few large rowhomes into 2-unit condos at a rate of a few each year.

  • The much-heraled gentrification of Mt Pleasant has brought Subway and a Botanica over the last year, while a sports bar and cocktail bar closed. Hmm…

    • That sports bar and cocktail bar closed because they were awful. Tonic went down hill years ago. And I was excited about the possibility of a good cocktail bar in Mt P. I went twice, it was terrible both times, and I never went back.

  • I can smell it from here.

  • This could have been something great; something that this neighborhood would have embraced, supported, and loved. But now…

    • It had more than a decade to be “something great,” and wasn’t. Get over yourself.

      • The building was not vacant for 10 years. At one point the owners of Cashion’s were interested in this location and someone in the neighborhood was hoping to open a small bar that also functioned as a small movie house. My understanding is that the landlord was not very cooperative with at least one of these groups. So yes, it could have been something great. But alas, we’ll have a Subway, 5 blocks away from that other Subway.

    • I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for development to come to Mt P. Long, long history of blocking pretty much all development in that area.

      • I have to agree that planning in Mt P has been abysmal. Comments on PoP have consistently brought up residents blocking businesses, though I haven’t heard of anything beyond residents worried about permits for live music. I think that the bigger issue is that there seems to be little guidance/vision from the local ANC. I’ve been to a few of those meetings and am amazed how the ANC reps are just sort of…there. Most run unopposed.

      • The string of outdated comments about the residents blocking development is amounting quite a long history of its own.

    • This space is so small – I think best way cannablaized some of it. There’s not much that could go in there. Take a look across the street at the shoe repair place – similar square footage.

  • While I’m not the biggest fan of Subway, I don’t mind it opening in that space. First, what else would go there? It’s a really small space and a new subway is better than a vacant store front.

    With regard to other development on the street, I’m not sure what the issue is. Beau Thai opened a year or so ago and looks like it’s doing really well. Same with Each Peach. Clearly, there’s demand for a variety of cuisine and shopping on the street. It would be great if another restaurant moved into where the paint store is located.

    • You obviously don’t get it.

    • There is more than a small percentage of people who live in cities at least in part so they have options and variety in what they consume and experience. Tens of thousands of those people, if not more, live within a 15 minute walk of Mount Pleasant street. They aren’t interested in Ruby Tuesday, Subway, iHop or any other national chain that dots the country and contributes to the bland homogeneity of our nation. I feel confident a different business in this space would do better and be more profitable than a Subway franchise.

      • Most landlords don’t care how profitable their tenant is as long as their tenant pays the bills. From the standpoint of a commercial landlord, Subway is about as safe of a tenant as you can find. If you and all of your rich friends can’t stand the indignity of an affordable sandwich, put your heads and your wallets together and buy out the landlord. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy my affordable sandwich.

  • It’s simple, if you don’t like Subway don’t eat there. The whining about Mount Pleasant Street is tiresome. It’s an active, neighborhood-focused commercial strip, which is really all it can be. This has nothing to do with NIMBYs (which haven’t really been an issue re: Mount Pleasant Street in 5+ years anyway) but the lack of available land or unused properties for large scale development and proximity to the far larger Columbia Heights retail area.

  • A couple of thoughts:

    1) Think of it from the property owner’s perspective: a national chain that will surely pay rent on time and may even be willing to pay more vs. taking a risk on a local business (and as other commenters pointed out, two of those just closed recently)
    2) Think of it from a local small (or small-ish) business owner: if a strip has a reputation for being a pain to deal with, that can add 90 days or more to your ABRA application. Anyone on here want to risk 25% of your income on notoriously risk food & beverage ventures?
    3) I am sure there’s demand for more unique, local restaurants and bars from nearby residents, but that isn’t going to overcome poor execution. From what I hear Tonic and the cocktail bar just weren’t great places.
    4) If you want to change this, it’s going to take more than commenting on PoPville. As another pointed out, leadership from the ANC helps. If it’s ineffective, local residents can definitely fill that vacuum. Bring neighbors, the property owners, and DC gov’t together and start organizing your own plan.

    • Point 1 is not really on point — it’s not a national chain, it’s a local franchiser of a national chain. Subway Inc. is not paying the rent here or even cosigning the lease.

      • Ok, fine, the local franchisee is footing the bill.I can’t say I know all of the details, but my best guess is a Subway franchisee in the DMV owns multiples of stores and while not equivalent to a multi-billion dollar corporation like Subway, is likely seen as much better “risk” than a one-off locally owned small restaurant business. A bit of a lame argument. See recent PoPville post re: the fabulous tenants going into ParkPlace at 3700 Georgia Ave (e.g a bank branch that will be closed 99% of the time you’re home, a 7-Eleven that will be great for the local loitering community, and a Dunkin’ Donuts). I’m not against chains as a principle, but given the demographics of the neighborhood the MtP strip should be a magnet for awesome food&beverage places. Count me as bummed Subway is the best we can do.

  • The landlord refused to give the Cashion’s folks a lease longer than 5 years. Subway is short term. The landlord wants to tear down the building (including the venerable Bestworld) and build mixed use condos with retail on the lower floor. There are very few, if any, landlords who have any integrity and chains/franchises are the only ones who can likely afford the rents, like 7-11, CVS, Dunkin Donuts. And so long as people are happy to give them business, they will probably survive.
    I would have preferred to open a butcher shop with an eat-at counter at the window. But Subway has more name recognition than I do.

    Go to Zabver instead.

  • Nothing like a good Mt. Pleasant NIMBY/Quality of food comment chain! As a socially concious, responsibly liberal, priviliged-but cheers for the underdog, white male who owns multiple Patagonia jackets, let me say the following:

    I live in Mt. Pleasant, and I love Subway. I am happy. I also miss Tonic.

  • Subway didn’t need anybody’s permission (other than the property owner’s) to move into this space. I heard the protests, sure, but there was no legal vehicle for them to “stop the Subway”, so the NIMBY arguments are simply irrelevant. Somebody evidently thinks that a Subway will succeed there, and they agreed on a deal with the landowner, so that was pretty much that.

    As for the objections — look, Mount Pleasant is known for diversity, and surely “diversity” includes people who like Subway’s sandwich fare. So, let the marketplace decide the matter. Either it will be patronized (by Mount Pleasant residents), or it won’t. Residents can choose for themselves if they want to patronize this Subway, or not.

    Personally, as a very longtime resident of Mount Pleasant, I’m happy to see any entrepreneur giving Mount Pleasant a chance. It was not so long ago that the Street featured seven vacant storefronts, not a happy situation. If this Subway prospers, and serves residents of Mount Pleasant who like Subway’s offerings, then hallelujah, I’m pleased.

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