Holy Crap – Capitol Hill You’re Getting a Trader Joe’s!!!


Nice!! Thanks to a reader for sending the big news from the Washington Business Journal:

“The California-based grocery chain has signed a lease for 11,000 square feet at 750 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, which is the site of the Hine School redevelopment in Eastern Market. The store will open in the summer of 2017, according to a release from Trader Joe’s.”


46 Comment

  • Hmm, one has to wonder what impact this will have on Eastern Market.

    • Don’t worry about the south hall vendors, they’ll keep getting their sweet city subsidized non-market rent so they’ll be fine. And the flea markets will move to the 700 block of c street with their PUD give-away so they’ll be fine too. It’s just the Market line folks on the 200 block of 7th street and in front of the pool that I’d worry about

    • SouthwestDC

      I’m more concerned about the Yes! Organic.

      • I am actually concerned for them. At least they have quite a bit of time to prepare, but that’s going to be rough, especially after moving into that new space fairly recently. They’re my go-to when I need something but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg at Rolands and don’t have time to trek to one of the bigger grocery stores. Such nice people there. They might have to alter their offerings a little more, maybe becoming a more dedicated health food store.

      • Can’t say I’m too concerned for them. Every time I’ve ever been in Yes! Organic the produce has been rotten or nearly rotten, the items they do carry are insanely expensive and certainly not worth it. The people are nice, but I can’t trade quality of food for friendly people and exorbitant prices. The only positive thing about Yes! Is their wine selection.

        • Actually a lot of things there are cheaper than anywhere else. I have never, ever seen cage free eggs as cheap as they are at Yes. They must have a gotten a great deal with the supplier. They also have that amazing tofu that’s made by a local co-op. And for most things they have a basic non-organic version next to the pricier ones.

          • Absolutely seconding the cagefree eggs — prices are AMAZING.

            That said, if you need a stick of butter Yes! will make your eyes bug out of your head.

  • I don’t get it. I’m really not being snarky, I just don’t get the love for this place. Its basically just packaged stuff. What am I missing?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Obviously you’re missing the mini tacos and the previous five thousand posts debating/extolling the virtues of Trader Joe’s… 🙂

    • Cheap wine, free samples, cashiers who actually know how to pack your bag correctly, products you cant find at generic grocery stores like Giant or Safeway, best frozen food known to man (Indian and Chinese most notably) and many more reasons

    • Read the ingredients and nutrition facts. Most TJ packaged foods are devoid of all the preservatives, high sodium and high fructose corn syrup that’s in the packaged products at other stores. Plus they taste good, and prices are reasonable, including for wine, for which there is a huge selection.

      • I don’t know how they compare to their competitors, but a lot of tjs packages food has a ton of sodium. It might be lower than the alternatives but still pretty high.

        • brookland_rez

          If you must eat packaged food, TJ has the best of the options. Think of them as the lesser of evils. Plus it does taste better and is reasonably priced. There are no artificial ingredients in TJ food, no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.

          • SouthwestDC

            I’m against packaged food because of all the packaging, and because you get very little food for the price. But it is the lesser of the evils

    • Also: Very nice produce, quality inexpensive wine and beer, surprisingly good meat (including things like shaved steak you rarely see anywhere else), and just a pleasant place to shop in general.

      • Also: great selection of cheeses at the lowest prices of any grocery chain. Nice bakery and frozen dessert options, great selection of coffee, all at reasonable prices. Basically a solid collection of gourmet foods at non-gourmet prices.

      • What TJs do you shop at to have a pleasant shopping experience. I find TJs to be one of the more stressful grocery stores. Packed aisles, long lines, in ability to maneuver my cart through the crowds. And it doesn’t seem to matter what time of the day either.

        • SouthwestDC

          I agree. I live a block away but don’t think I’ll ever shop here because it’s such an awful experience.

        • I just don’t go during peak times. If I go during lunch, or on a morning on the weekend, or after work T-F, it is fine.

        • Its all about what time you choose to go. There are enough TJ’s in the metro area now that they aren’t as stressful as they used to be because demand is being better met.

        • I can cope with crowds. Enduring the Metro every day makes you pretty tolerant. It’s how a business manages the crowds that is key. Even when the line is snaking a couple of isles, they have every checkout manned and it moves very efficiently. Contrast that to, say, the CH Giant and I’d contend it’s quite pleasant.

    • I’m with you. I’ve been a number of times and found some nice items but nothing worth going out of my way to pick up. Their products also aren’t fabulous enough for me to put up with the lines and crowds.

    • I don’t buy a lot of packaged/prepared food, but I make the trek to the U Street store because of their awesome prices and solid selection of whole foods. Their produce can be hit or miss, but they have the best price and selection of cheese, solid meat offerings, good nut/snack section, great prices on dried and canned goods, and the best prices on “health foods” around (e.g. $6 coconut oil!). Their prepared foods are pretty good too, but I prefer to cook for myself generally. Though I’d like to eat organic, my budget won’t allow for it all the time, so I like that TJs has a good selection of foods without a ton of preservatives and weird ingredients for the same or cheaper prices than a regular grocery store (no, it’s not a health food store and they have their share of junk food).

    • They have GREAT prices on nuts and dried fruit – things that are super expensive elsewhere. It’s also a good place to get stuff like olive oil, maple syrup, spices, balsamic vinegar, (good) parmesan cheese… all of the stuff that’s like $20+ at Whole Foods is generally half the price at TJs.

      • not really — TJ’s prices are comparable to WF on many items, and in some cases higher. WF has more premium priced stuff and lifestyle stuff, but on many staples they’re mostly a wash.

      • I don’t normally go to Trader Joe’s, but my MIL is constantly sending my wife there to return nuts she bought that turned out to be rancid. This has happened at least a dozen times!
        I guess the prices keep her coming back, but I keep telling her she’s got to stop buying nuts there!

        • I’ve had way more issues with products being rancid at TJs than WF, and nuts and nut butter are the worst. They’ve also had numerous product recalls, which makes me wonder about their supply chain. Plus if you do the math it’s rarely a better deal than WF prepackaged or bulk.

  • My first reaction – cool – love some of their products (just not produce.) Second – oh hell no, that place will be a shit show.

  • WOW!! Awesome news indeed. Let’s hope this place is more on the scale of the Old Town store than the Foggy Bottom store. And with extra large aisles for the strollers…

  • What was that noise?
    Just the sound of every Hine development opponent simultaneously screaming in pain

    • I don’t know. Given that the group contesting the PUD rezoning process was primarily fighting against an additional floor, I’d have to imagine that floor was at the top and not the bottom where it’s been a given since day one that retail would occupy this space. No one argued for the Hine building to remain or against redevelopment of the site.

      I’m sure many neighbors would gladly take a Trader Joe’s over the other potential site uses

      • They fought against the additional floor, and then the inclusion of sufficient affordable housing, and then the (insert rest of complaints here) as proxy to fight against the development itself. The reality is that most of the vocal opposition (of which there were only about 9) live across the street from the development and wanted the space to be turned into a park. Their arguments were merely a means to that end, with the hope that dragging things along would cause the developer to back out and move on.

        • that’s fantasy. there may have been calls for more open space but there was no debate over the end game — a mix of commercial, office, residential

          And there was no “opposition” to affordable housing — they argued that having it entirely contained in the northern stand alone parcel on C St. violated the requirements for inclusionary zoning. It’s not a “poor door” but it’s not much different.

  • A grocery store? Across the street from a Metro station? And a major bus line? Whatever, crazy people!

  • Ally

    Needed this today. Seriously awesome news!

  • Also have heard rumors that Trader Joes is kicking the tires on the former Walgreens space in Van Ness,
    even though it’s right across the street from a Giant.

    • I think it would be good for the Giant. People will come to the area for the Trader Joe’s, then go to the Giant for the things they couldn’t get there.

  • Wish it was H Street, but still a win for Cap Hill.

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