Also 2nd Report of Chick Fil A coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights

3100 14th Street, NW

In other sorta scuttlebutt confirmation – New Columbia Heights kinda confirms our scuttlebutt from over the summer:

“A friend was eating at a Chick-Fil-A in Crystal City and asked the owner/operator about rumors that a location open in DC. The owner said “you heard correct,” that there would be a Chick-Fil-A at 3100 14th Street NW.”

Back in July we heard Chick Fil A was coming to the former Lime Fresh space which closed back in Dec. 2013. Stay tuned for coming soon signage (protests?) and an opening date.

106 Comment

  • From the comments section on New Columbia Heights: “George Bush didn’t free the slaves by defeating the British in 1776 for today’s capitalists to not get to shop where they want.”

    Dying of laughter.

  • Oh damn the traffic on 14th will be even worse.

  • Dislike their stance but damn their chicken is good. It will do great business.

    • Dry chicken that tastes like it was cooked in salty broth–ick. Stay away from industrial chicken like this for awhile and you’ll change your mind.

  • I won’t be eating there due to their stance on LGBT issues but I’m sure they’ll do a great business.

  • OMG, I love Chick Fil A. I will pretty much live there when it opens.

  • Any idea why there are still so many vacant spots at DCUSA? Seems like these should be in high demand. It kind of sucks to get this new development and almost immediately have sections be essentially blighted.

    • Because the cash reserves required to get a lease pretty much preclude anything but chains with big financial backing.

    • Blighted really? There are maybe 3 total in the whole complex

      • When I say blighted I’m not referring only to the vacant storefronts, but also Five Below, DSW, Panda Express, and others. This place is full of low quality tenants. How is it that the two apartments buildings on Irving and across Kenyon do so well managing their space and DCUSA does so poorly?

        • hammers

          you are using the word “blighted” to refer to DCUSA? And your reasoning is some brand new stores? The offerings may not be to your taste, but if that is blighted to you, congratulations, the bubble you live in sounds lovely.

        • Business 101–if no one shopped at a business, the business would close. Clearly people (maybe not you) shop at these places which is why they’re still open.

        • Because they have different owners.

        • The apartment buildings across Irving have a couple fact food places, a pizza place, a coffee place, and a couple of mediocre restaurants. Across 14th, there’s a dry cleaners, a liquor store, a Starbucks, a Kinkos, a couple fast food places and another mediocre restaurant. The apartment building across Kenyon has a subway, yet another coffee place, and some other stores I’ve never been in, but ain’t Saks Fifth Avenue. I don’t much care for 5 Below or Panda Express either, but let’s not pretend the rest of Columbia Heights is Rodeo Drive.
          (The real star landlord in the Allegro Apartments, who have the good luck to have two truly excellent dining options.)

          • this place sucks. It was poorly designed. We do not need an interior mall design in the CIty. All stores should have outside access points. too many spaces were set aside for low income business owners and then the market crashed so none of them could get financing, um, because they were low income with no proven track record. Blame a lot of this on CH Dev Corporation. Its a shit show in that area of 14th. who would want to locate there. What business wants more homeless people peeing outside, screaming teenagers, trash everywhere, non stop traffic and crappy vendors outside their door selling oils. Give me a break. City fail and I say that as someone who works for the city. And housing should have been built on top. The problem now is that so many tenants that are down scale means you can only atrract similar tenants. You aren’t going to get a Rose’s luxury in one of those spaces even if it was free at this point. Holy cow, just writing this makes me mad at how this got messed up but happy I moved out of CH a few years ago.

          • say what hit the nail on the head here. What a mess. I hope Petworth doesn’t make the same mistakes with upcoming developments. I’d really like to see that blighted Pizza Hut at Upshur and Georgia replaced with something nice.

          • The original builders losing the Allegro to foreclosure was the best thing to happen for filling those retail bays.

          • Well said say what. Saw three teenage girls with arms full of shoes at DSW run laughing out of the store with stolen shoes. Guard did nothing.

        • You are clearly new to DC. That DC USA area used to be full of vacant lots, vacant buildings, and a robust open air drug market about 10 years ago.

  • Bigot chicken is not for me. I wonder if the franchise owners know what they’re getting into…this is D.C., not the South. The only way a chickfillet is going to make money in D.C. is on a food truck, in tourist land, and even that didn’t go very well.

    • palisades

      Yeah….they’re going to make a killing. Keep lying to yourself.

      • Given that several places have closed in the area, I wouldn’t count on it. I wish the empanada place was still around.

        • palisades

          I don’t think you guys understand the cult-like love that chick fil a gets. It’s equatable to Apple

        • There are wayyyy more requirements to open a Chick Fil-A than your regular old mom and pop empanada, fro-yo, or peruvian chicken spot. CFA won’t open in a location corporate doesn’t deem viable. So I hate to break it to most of ya, but if they open one, it’s because they know it will make a mint.

        • Have you seen the lines at Chick-fli-a in Silver Spring? Have you seen the lines at the other fast casual places within two blocks of this location? There’s obviously a demand and this will have no problem making money hand over fist.

    • Technically……. DC is the south.

    • “this is D.C., not the South”
      As a northerner, I view DC as most certainly south. Not deep south, but south nonetheless.

      • Northern charm and southern efficiency?

      • Both VA and MD were slave states. DC is definitely part of the South.

      • Then you have little experience with the South, Cuz. On most any political issue you’d care to mention, D.C. runs liberal or libertarian.

        • And there are plenty of liberals and libertarians in your “south,” too.

          • No, there’s not — unless 30% of the population is “a lot” to you. Libs have no power in the South outside of their gerrymandered cantons and a few cities or college towns here and there (maybe, uh…Charlotte? and, uh…where?). Self-respecting, tolerant folks got the hell out of dodge a long time ago, if they could; and many can’t. Sucks for them.

        • There’s a lot more to the north/south divide than politics.

      • As a northerner, DC is hands down a Northeast Amtrak corridor city. From transit-oriented to faster pace to liberal and libertarian values with a progressive agenda on gay rights, marijuana, and worker rights, the South begins further south than DC.

      • Yup. South of the Mason Dixon line, and they say y’all here. It was carved out of two slave states, one of which was home to the capitol of the Confederate rebellion. DC is in the south.

    • I hate their politics too, but I see that chick-fil-a truck all the time in downtown DC and the line is always a mile long.

    • The way Target and Wal-Mart treat their employees is abysmal, and they seem to be doing just fine.

    • Yeah, but there are still people who 1) don’t care about the bigotry because they love the grub there; or 2) are bigots themselves who are happy to support an anti-gay business. I hope you realize that there are bigots all over this country, not just in the South.

  • Wizard fans will finally have somewhere in the city to cash in on those free chicken sandwiches.

    • Were you at the 76ers game on Monday? The game was such a blowout (read boring) that the crowd was the loudest it had been the entire game when we got the free Chik-fil-A sandwiches. My boyfriend and I were screaming “Yay, free hate chicken!” as everyone else was going ape-sh*t. As soon as I saw this here on PoP, I thought the exact same thing, since I live up the street from DCUSA. I’ve never had their chicken and I kind of want to see what all the hubbub is about without actually giving them my $$$.

      • palisades

        It’s so, so, so good.

        • it’s good for extinguishing your life energy, too. Frozen waffle fries from a cardboard box. Fried everything. There’s a reason why hate chicken lovers run large. No thanks.

          • palisades

            Dude what the hell are you talking about. You need to re-evaluate your life if fried chicken makes your jimmies this rustled.

      • I was at the game, and yeah, people went nuts (myself included). My wife was feeling bad for the 76er players and thought the cheering was pouring it on, but hopefully the players noticed the promotion. Watching the game last night, the cheering when Durant missed a free throw got pretty loud again (he made the second) so it seems like it’s just ingrained in the stadium culture now.
        Had a sandwich from them for the first time a few weeks ago while out in Montgomery. It was pretty good, definitely among the best fast-food chicken sandwiches I’ve had. Definitely worth a try. Wouldn’t go out of the way for it without the promotion though.

  • Looking forward to a nice hate sandwich.

  • Can we just raze DCusa and start over?

  • Love the chicken their spicy is great. Too short a walk from my house.

  • Fat chance on HT coming to Union Station… they already have the location in NoMa and there’s already a Giant on H Street AND a Whole Foods coming to H as well …not to mention the Walmart a few blocks from Union Station. That area is saturated with grocery stores considering the residential population. Walgreens, however, makes perfect sense – especially if they replicate the Chinatown store’s format.

  • Never been. Will never go.

  • And like all the other outlets of “Hate Chiken R Us,” it will ostentatiously close each Sunday so its (Christian) employees can have time to worship their god. The Jewish and Muslim employees, assuming any actually are hired by the bigots who run the company, can go p*ss off. Even before I found out the owner of the chain financed hate, I refused to eat there because of their religious crap. Not a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    • I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of CoHi residents are active Christians and will welcome it.
      They won’t let a bit o’ bigotry get between them and a fried chicken sandwich.

    • I am confident that the Jewish, Muslim, atheist or employees of other religions will welcome having a guaranteed day off each week. It’s simply a day off– they’re not dragging their employees down the street to the nearest Protestant church on that day off.

      This store will do very well.

  • Maybe this is because I’m from the north and had never encountered CFA until recently, but I just don’t get it. They taste like McDonald’s chicken sandwiches. Not really worth the hype. Makes it easy to pass on them because of their politics.

  • I think Chick-fil-a is going to have a really hard time getting employees at DC-USA to deliver the level of customer service they pride themselves on. Hard to imagine hearing “my pleasure” from any employee in that whole complex.

    • Exactly my thought. I just can’t picture having a clean, friendly environment in that location. That is more of what makes CFA a brand people flock to; the food is marginally better than other fast food and significantly more expensive. But damn, I really do like their service model. I cringe at the thought of this actually happening.

      • Silver Spring location of chick-fila is not as nice or clean as others I’ve been to further out in Virginia but it works. I think honestly it starts with management and Chick-fila does have a good system for management so they won’t settle for crappy workers.

    • Do northern folks really care about that kind perusal f service, though? I don’t think people will choose marginal food just because someone greets them nicely.

    • hammers

      I doubt it matters. I wasn’t even aware “my pleasure” was supposed to be part of the “experience”

    • In Atlanta, they’re just as bad as anyplace else and that’s their HQ.

  • Lime Fresh was supposedly a cult favorite in the South and bombed royally in that space. I don’t think I’d ever had a worse burrito – tasted like a frat house morning-after meal.

    There’s enough people in that area who don’t care about eating healthy who may support it, but I feel he broader trend is away from that type of industrialized fast food in urban areas.

  • hammers

    How has no one realized a salad place would make a killing there?

    • I keep wondering the same. A Chop’t or Sweetgreen would do way better in that area than another burrito / chicken place (there’s a fried chicken place near the Unnatural History Museum). There’s so much pentp demand in that whole Adams Morgan / Mt Pleasant / Columbia Heights area for something fast and healthy.

      Disappointing to see this opening.

      • I don’t know, that could be more of a reflection of who you hang out with/encounter regularly than it is the reality. No one I know goes to that IHOP, but I stumbled in there drunk and desperate the other night and it was PACKED. I think you underestimate how many teenagers and young people there are in that area, particularly in the late afternoon when school lets out, but while many people posting here are still at work. I would also like to see a salad place, but I think this will do just fine.

        • hammers

          I never said IHOP didn’t make good business. I said a salad place would. It’s increasing the variety of options in an area that already has multiple sandwich shops, burger joints, fast food options, pizza, ethnic food, but not a salad place. It’s below a gym for goodness sake. Also, teenagers are surprisingly able to eat salad if they want to.

          • Well first off, I was replying to the comment below yours, not to you. That being said, my point is that just because YOU and the people around you want healthier options, doesn’t mean that everyone does. Then, I offered IHOP as an EXAMPLE of a place that I didn’t think was doing good business, before realizing that my view was distorted my own social circle and the timing of when I’m actually in that area. I’m just saying that there are other demographics that I’m not around a whole lot (e.g. teenagers) that might be more likely to patronize a cheap, quick option. Considering that there are multiple open spaces, I’m not sure why it’d be an either/or situation. Putting in a chick-fil-a does not preclude them from putting in a salad place.

        • Funny, I ate at that IHOP not long ago late night and it was jam packed, too. I think there’s a lot of customer base for industrialized food like that, but Applebee’s closed, so perhaps the market is shifting to more Cava, less Lime Fresh junk.

      • Fast and healty? Cava mezze across the street, while not a salad place, is fast and healthy. It’s not very busy though, especially compared to other restaurants in the area. I don’t think there is as much pent up demand as you think.

        • Unfortunately, people think their personal bubble represents the entire neighborhood.

          • Wrong. Some of us csn assess a broader trejd and see the paterns at play.

            Don’t assume what you don’t know and insult people in the process. Hopefully your rude comment will be removed.

        • PS – I agree, Cava has been pretty empty each time I’ve visited. Still, I really like their food.

        • I’ve never seen Cava without nearly full tables. It doesn’t get Chipotle crowds but isn’t hurting. That’s a diverse area and should have diverse options, so I have no problem with Panda Express and all that. There’s still unfulfilled demand for healthier options. The Chop’t in Chinatown has lines out the door, and there’s still a McDonald’s nearby.

          • Wasn’t saying it’s hurting, just saying it isn’t booming either. I go in there about once a week and I can think of one time when it felt crowded.

            And I have no problem with chop’t or sweegreen opening in Columbia Heights. I just don’t think the market is that strong for them right now. Chinatown has a much different demographic than CH does, especially during the week at lunch time.

    • Second Chop’t!

  • Never been, never will be. Cult following for fast food… ahhh America.

  • I usually judge a restaurant by their food and not their politics. It will be wonderful to have spicy chicken breakfast wraps right across the street, but I fear for my waistline. To those who think a chic-fil-a will fail here, when is the last time you saw one close? Even the one in Landmark mall has long lines.

  • Hate Chicken. Will never eat there. However, it’s sad to see that many are willing to sellout their values for some grease. My old workplace was very progressive, celebrated LBGT day and what not. When I brought up the point that the even was being catered with hate chicken everyone knew what I was talking about but still gave me the evil eye and went ahead and ordered.

    • you think all the latinos and black folks in low income housing in CH care about LGBT rights? this place is gonna probably be one of the top performing stores in the country.

  • Anonynon

    amazing news. Welcome to the neighborhood…finally a place i can grab something quick and delicious if i am up by DC USA.

  • It’s an all right sandwich, but rather plain. I haven’t been since college, but I’m pretty sure it was like 6 bucks for a bare bun, chicken, and pickles. I feel like in the fast food world lettuce, onion, and tomato should be standard accompaniments. Won’t eat there anymore, though. That chicken hates gay people. McDonald’s chicken doesn’t hate gay people.

  • Well let’s place some wagers then. Bluster and politics aside: I predict if Chick-fil-a indeed comes to this location, it will thrive and the branch will still be open in 2020. We’ll revisit in 5 years. If I’m right, you owe me a meal at Cava across the street (or other fast casual restaurant if Chick-fil-a outlasts the Cava); if I’m wrong and the Chick-fil-a has opened and subsequently closed, I owe you the fast casual meal of your choice.


  • I plan to eat there every Sunday.

  • Glad to see all the hate here for CFA. Means fewer people in line when I go to get my fill.

  • Jeez, I’ve never seen people get so torn up over chicken. CFA is pretty good. Not mind blowing, but you could do a whole lot worse for fast food.

    Are the execs jerks with a backwards view on human sexuality? You betcha. But if you don’t like it, don’t go there. The proportion of the money spent on a chicken sandwich that actually goes towards promoting hate is almost certainly minuscule, but good for you. For those that really like the chicken but feel bad about the whole gay marriage thing, go here:

    What I really don’t buy are people saying that this isn’t going to do well in Columbia Heights. All you need to do is visit the location in Silver Spring to avail yourself of that notion. Demographics in SS are pretty similar to Columbia Heights, and that CFA is constantly packed. So let’s just let the market speak for itself here.

    • If you are a good citizen, you will NOT eat the Bigot Chicken. It’s like singling out littering as a bad act: it doesn’t take much effort not to do it, and in doing your small part, you are helping make the world a better place. And, if ALL D.C. citizens do their part to avoid bigot-motivated companies, it will encourage OTHER companies not to have bigoted policies, as well.

    • “Disabuse” yourself of that notion, not avail

  • I heard from a Jimmy John’s employee at one of the downtown locations that they are looking to add a site in the CH area near this CFA. While I’m a fan of both, I would prefer a JJs over a CFA…that way I don’t have to get off my ass on weekend mornings to eat!

  • justinbc

    I ignored this post yesterday because I don’t really care for Chik Fil A, regardless of its owner’s political beliefs. But wow, didn’t expect it to hit 100 comments. Seems appropriate for this bit of Columbia Heights, which is pretty much nothing but chains I have zero interest in already.

    • I figured it would get a high number of comments because a lot of people feel very strongly about these stores both positively and negatively.

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