11th Street Landmark Arthur’s Corner Store Closed in Columbia Heights

3301 11th Street, NW at Lamont

@gavinholland tweeted us the terrible news over the weekend:

“Nooooooooo!!!! Arthur’s Grocery at 11th & Lamont is closing tomorrow. They’re having one last party. @PoPville”

“he said that they’ve been there 40-50 years, but they’ve never owned the building. Landlord raised the rent beyond their capacity”

11th Street DC has written:

“Arthur’s Grocery is not just a convenience store, but a part of 11th Street’s community charm. This corner store sees many regulars and after school crowds for late afternoon snacks and has been owned and run by the same welcoming family for four decades.”

Indeed Arthur’s was an institution. From community BBQs to fundraisers for local boxers to just incredibly nice people. That’s the thing that will be hard for some to understand – it’s not about the store at all – it’s about the people who ran it and worked there. Every time I went in to buy a soda or a powerball ticket I always left with a smile. And they were nice to everyone. Young, old, white, black, it didn’t matter. That is what made them so special. They were welcoming to all. Maybe inevitable, like the loss of Columbia Heights Coffee up the block, but a dagger nonetheless.


36 Comment

  • I went in there and bought a paper the day Obama was elected.

  • I walked by yesterday and they were playing go-go music. Lots of people were hanging out, taking photos, and generally giving each other hugs. I was wondering what was happening.

  • I won’t miss having to enter the price of my items into the credit card machine.

  • saf

    Oh, this is sad. They were always so nice to me.

  • During Snowmagedon they floated the whole neighborhood tabs when the power went out. Good Luck guys.

  • Those decrying the loss of places like this are often the same people raving about how awesome the surrounding area has become. Do they not see the connection?

  • I’m sad to see places like this go, but it’s par for the course in this town. Before long, only fast food chains, dry cleaners, and obnoxious “concept” bars and restaurants will be able to afford the rent in DC.

    • brookland_rez

      The fast food chains, except for McDonald’s are going too. All the Burger King’s are going/gone except for CT Ave and I think the one on Columbia Rd. There used to be a BK on K St downtown, one behind the Convention Center, one in Dupont. The one on FL Ave is next. I know, because when I do choose to eat crappy fast food, I like BK. Also the Taco Bell KFC on 14th St is gone, Popeye’s on 14th St gone. Almost all the fast food places are gone.

      • brookland_rez

        Also, there used to be a Wendy’s on K St downtown.

      • The Popeye’s on 14th is coming back soon! I’ve been keeping a close eye on that one. Please don’t play with my emotions!

      • I hear the Wendy’s at Georgia and Randolph has a 100 year lease.

        • I actually wish that wendys would close. Someone got mugged inside of it last year. It’s not clean and they generally don’t shovel their sidewalks when it snows.

  • That’s going to be one valuable piece of real estate. Someone must have made an offer they couldn’t refuse.

  • Any word on what will happen with this space?

    It’s sad to see a local institution close and hopefully whatever comes will be good for the neighborhood, ie no Starbucks, no chain crap. I put my vote in for a market that could give the local grocery stores a run for their money, and for sandwiches! Delicious sandwiches.

    • this place was awesome and everyone was super friendly. I’m sorry to see them go. I went there a fair amount.

      We do need a good sandwich place… there aren’t really any quick carry-out places on 11th.

    • Yes to a good deli!!

    • I hear it’s currently under discussion for specialty artisan charcuterie purveyors, featuring a hand-curated seasonal menu of local craft vegan prepared meats

    • Areas with housing that is only affordable to a limited segment of the residential market end up with retail locations that are only affordable to a limited segment of the commercial market. I doubt you will see anything truly “local” in this space, unless by “local” you mean a restaurant group that has 10 other restaurants or bars in DC.

  • How sad. I hope this doesn’t mean the pet store place is closing too.

  • Landlords are the scourge of humanity.
    Walls themselves don’t appreciate in value.

  • Went in there once to buy a soda. I gave the guy a twenty. He looked at me like I was insane and said “I ain’t got change for that!”

    I didn’t have change so I left without my soda.

    • I agree, never had an experience more than exchange of money. Last time I smiled and said thank you, the other side didnt acknowledge and went on talking to his friend hanging out in the store. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t nice, just my experience.

    • on the other hand, if everyone expected $18 in change, they’d have to keep a ton of cash on hand, and, given the history of the neighborhood, probably isn’t the best move.

      Also, I went in to buy soda once and had a twenty and a one… he sold it to me for a dollar instead.

  • I tried to like Arthur’s when I moved to the area, but the people were very unfriendly (but not rude) and they carried nothing I wanted to buy. Perhaps they could have afforded the increased rent had they updated some of their products to appeal more to the changing neighborhood.

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