Flip It Bakery closing Rhode Island Ave Location, Opening New Location Soon in Columbia Heights

flip it

A reader reports:

“Looks like Flip It is finally going to open in Columbia Heights, but apparently at the expense of its Rhode Island Ave. location. Our server just told us they’re closing this location in the next couple days and moving, citing that business during the week was never very good. Pretty big blow to those of us with high hopes for Rhode Island Ave.”

Ed. Note: The original Flip It is located at 4532 Georgia Ave, NW.

28 Comment

  • Nooooooo! That’s the best non-brunch breakfast in NE DC. Huge blow to the neighborhood.

  • Nooooo! This is one of my favorite places in the area! A definite Saturday morning go-to. So sad…

  • I hope all of the people opposing more density in the neighborhood remember this. If you want good neighborhood hangouts, you need enough people (with disposable income) around to support them. You can’t have your (pan)cake and eat it too.

    • Edit: “the neighborhood” being Brookland/Woodridge.

      • brookland_rez

        That stretch of RI Ave is still a no man’s land. Development is happening around the Metro first and will spread east from there and eventually (hopefully) bring more density to that end of Rhode Island Ave. There are tons of empty lots just begging for development, I just don’t think it’s going to happen (and I could be dead wrong) where there’s lower hanging fruit right at the Metro stop.

    • Per WBJ and Urbanturf, 1,500 new units are planned for the current Big Lots strip mall and adjacent storage facility across RIA from here. More density is coming, but obviously not in enough time to save Flip It.

      • There are 1,500 PROPOSED units at RIA Metro, 1,700+ at Brookland Manor, 600ish around where Old Town Trolley is (with more likely to be announced), and oodles of other projects in the 10-to-250-unit range. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of these units are going through the PUD process (i.e., not a sure thing), and the Brookland Manor project was already scaled down by 20% after people freaked out about the size.
        If 901 Monroe is any indication, people will fight tooth and nail to keep the chop shops and surface parking lots around here. So while I think that most of the planned units will eventually be built, it’s entirely possible that they won’t open until a decade from now. That’s going to be too late for most existing businesses.

        • brookland_rez

          Unfortunately I agree. While I want so much for some of the new stores and restaurants on that stretch of RI Ave to succeed, a certain part of me wonders if there’s enough density to keep them open. Time will tell, I guess.

      • Also people – if you support more density PLEASE come to the meetings. I can assure you that the NIMBYs will show up.

        • Any meetings in particular? I am highly motivated to fight the NIMBYs and increase density in the area, but I’m bad at keeping up with all the different organization and review meetings and have trouble knowing which ones are most important. Is anybody especially organized on this front?

          • ANC meetings. And zoning proceedings if there’s a PUD.
            Generally it seems as though only the people angriest about particular projects (read: NIMBYs) go to ANC meetings, which I think can give commissioners (and developers who want to work with a community) a really skewed view of where their constituents stand. If the ANC weighs is going to weigh in on a project, this can be a really bad thing. Letters of support to the ZC may also be helpful. People who oppose a project (ahem, McMillan) love to write as many of these as possible so that they can then argue that the community is against the project (when in fact people who like it may not participate because, well, the developer is already advocating FOR the project, right?)

        • I used to come, but after being ignored with my hand up to speak for 30+ minutes multiple times, I decided to enjoy my evenings and instead do letter writing campaigns with neighbors. The ANCs and neighborhood busybodies can ignore me in a room, but they can’t block my and neighbors’ emails and mail to various outlets (I write/organize a lot of zoning commission letters, in particular…then we’re actually a part of an official public record).

      • 1,500 units a few years from now don’t pay today’s bills.

  • And, rumor has it, the new tenant in the R.I. location is a SUBWAY.

  • Meh. I live walking distance and I’ve been there several times and always been a little disappointed. Try Brookland Grill on 12th or MGM on Brentwood Pkwy (Saturday only) for a better diner breakfast.

  • Also Dan – the MUCH bigger story up here is that Brookland Hardware is closing on 12th. Very sad.

    • Wow, when’s that happening? That sucks, but isn’t too surprising; if you’re not open past 7 and have limited weekend hours, you’re missing out on a ton of customers. I’m often not home from work in time to get there for odds and ends, so it’s off to Home Depot.

    • On a somewhat related note: does anyone know when the Ace Hardware at 3405 8th NE is opening? I see that the signage is up. I’m looking forward to a solid neighborhood alternative to the Home Depot or driving out to Fragers.

    • brookland_rez

      Annie’s Ace is coming to Brookland. If it’s anything like the Petworth location, I will be using it a lot. They have great customer service.
      I hate to say it but I’ve never found Brookland Hardware to have much of what I need. Howard is a great guy, but my interactions with the other staff there have been less than pleasant. As much as I want the Home Depot to be better, I use them because I know I’m going to find what I need there. Also, Brookland Hardware’s storefront is pretty blighted. What’s with that shed outside there that’s practically falling over?

  • I go to the Flip It in Petworth somewhat regularly. Of course, I never find their pastries/baked goods to be that fresh. Hoping that changes with their moving to Columbia Heights. We bought a slice of coconut cake yesterday and it tasted likely was a week old with the faint taste of cigarettes. Love the BLT’s though.

  • This location has great potential for an outdoor area, but you need to put in a door. Right now to get to the area, you have to walk out the main entrance and walk around the building, it is very odd.

    Second, if you want to serve an area with lots of families, you need quicker service. I have two toddlers, waiting 10 minutes for someone to come over to take my order, which seems to happen a good bit out flip it, is terrible. Plus the kitchen seemed a bit slow. Bringing the kids meal first doesn’t help because they are still waiting around as I finish my food that came out later.

    Seriously if I can’t sit down and have food within 15 minutes with kids, I simply am not coming here. I think a lot of restaurants in DC struggle with this concept and it is particularly important in an area like Brookland.

  • I live in the area, go to ANC meetings, and did not patronize Flip It but I do patronize Nido and Good Food Markets. That Flip It location is perfect for a real Burrito joint–not TexMex, not Chipotle–or a Pho joint or an Indian restaurant/grocery mix. Cheap, hot, honestly and unabashedly ethnic food. (Or a real, old fashioned coffee house/bookstore.)

    Rhode Island Avenue is going to keep slowly and steadily changing. I think the ANC meetings these days are improved–not all changes are rejected and some contestation about developers’ plans is beneficial.

    It might be that more density is required but surely part of the problem is the in un-walkability of RIA (too few storefronts of interest) with the plethora of liquor stores, churches and tire shops and transmission repair places along that strip.

    Plus we, the neighbors, are so darned diverse in our tastes! It appears that we do all respond well to beautiful places to dine in, or beautiful, orderly places to shop. And we get precious little of the latter! I have never lived in a neighborhood so bereft of retail.

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