Custom Fuel Pizza Abruptly Closes in Troubled Dupont Space on Connecticut


Custom Fuel opened in Dupont in June 2014.

Thanks to a couple readers for sending word:

“Yet another restaurant in that dreaded corner that appears to be closing. The inside looks mostly cleared out and they’ve removed the pizza oven. I took a picture of some things stacked up — no sign, but it seems to be closing. If it’s not closing it could be trying to deal with the rumored rats that infest those buildings.”


“Custom fuel on Connecticut Ave, formerly Potbelly, has closed today. There is something going on with the building. They were recently doing construction this week to the old Sprint store. Wonder if they were overrun by rats? It still think that’s why Potbelly’s closed.”

The official word from Custom Fuel via email:

“Unfortunately, we found that this particular Custom Fuel did not fit the needs of the neighborhood so we’ve chosen to close up shop. We’d like to thank the DuPont Circle community for its support and business. Please visit our other nearby Custom Fuel locations at 2301 Georgia Ave NW and 1747 Pennsylvania Ave NW.”

1635 Connecticut Ave, NW

20 Comment

  • the Chinatown location better not be going anywhere. that place has killer wings.

    • Different spots. That’s “Fuel” which is fairly full service pizza + wings + beer; this was “Custom Fuel” which is just like &Pizza fast casual. I never saw anyone in there, did terrible.

  • I love the Fuel Pizza by Verizon Center, but the one by Howard University is terrible… I tried going last summer, but the door was left wide open and flies were on everything in the shop including bread left out and toppings uncovered. I was so sickened that I left and never went back. The floors were also in terrible shape. It seemed like cleanliness isn’t a concern and that may well lead to the locations demise as well. There are rarely customers there. The location isn’t the issue, I think the staff and managers are, the PotBelly sandwich shop next door is expertly maintained right next door.

    • Everytime I walk by the Howard one, the smell makes me gag.

    • brookland_rez

      Don’t know what it

      • brookland_rez

        Accidentally hit enter before I finished typing.
        Don’t know what it is about the fast food places that go into that strip by Howard. There was a 5 Guys there years ago. I stopped in for food before seeing a band play at 9:30 Club and got one of the worst cases of food poisoning I’ve ever had. That had me vomiting every 15 minutes for an entire day!

  • “Unfortunately, we found that this particular Custom Fuel did not fit the needs of the neighborhood so we’ve chosen to close up shop”

    AKA…Rats the size of Collies.

    • Don’t all the restaurants there have rat issues? I remember the Five Guys closed by the city at one point for rat issues. At least the potbelly lasted a handful of years.

  • Rats or not, that pizza was horrible. No loss in my book.

    • And its not like we need more Carolina-style pizza. After a trend toward importing examples of actual good pizza we’ve wound up with people repacking the usual mediocre-at-best stuff (&pizza) or importing stuff from places where even the best pizza isn’t very good (NC and ATL).

      • Are you dissing Mellow Mushroom? I like them!

        • Yea, Mellow Mushroom is actually one of the only decent pizzas in this town that is full of crap pizza.

          • Are you serious? I’m sure I could think of a dozen other pizza places that I prefer to Mello Mushroom (which I think is OK pizza)

            Two Amy’s
            Pizza Paradiso
            Wise Guys
            Frankly Pizza (Kensington)
            The Italian Sotre
            Washington Deli
            Paisano’s Pizza (Herndon)

      • Bless your heart. I was enjoying excellent brick-oven Neapolitan-style pizzas in Chapel Hill long before 2 Amys, when the top pizza places in the District were probably Armand’s and Pizzeria Uno.

  • Not sure about the rats, but I do know from walking by there every day that it was always pretty empty – never more than a few patrons there at a time.

  • I like Fuel’s pizza and wings, but I thought the pizza at Custom Fuel sucked (I went when they opened and were giving away pizza)

  • Yeah, there were never more than a couple people in here at one time so this is not surprising. Similar to the failure of Smashburger, there are just better options in the area. Willie T’s Lobster Shack is also not a good fit, never more than a customer or two inside. Though I do like their rolls, I can’t imagine they will be around much longer either.

  • Sliced pizza Fuel > custom pizza Fuel

  • The Subway Space at 1605 Connecticut on the same block, before they were there, was overrun by rats as well. The landlords on that block were well aware of a rodent problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if Potbellies and Fuel Pizza couldn’t do make it there. It’s a hard smell to cover up!

    • The restaurants on that row mostly share enclosed trash compactors now for that reason. It’s not like it was years ago when they had open containers. The rat population in the area is no different than anywhere else in the city. I don’t think it’s a factor in the closing of any of these restaurants.

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