Once the Greatest Bodega in the City, Field to City (formerly Timor), No Longer Taking Walk Ins – Now Online Only

Field_to_city

A reader reports:

“Just wanted to let you know that Field to City, a small corner grocery store on 2nd and Rhode Island NW has closed. My GF and I have been going there for a few years to pick up high quality locally grown produce, dairy, and eggs (not to mention a huge beer selection). Talked to the owner briefly and he said it had been heading this way for a while. Sad to see the only real grocery option in Bloomingdale close.”

Field to City emails:

“I am actually taking orders by text and email, and maintain a short list of popular items that can be viewed via autoreply on my [email protected] account.”

timor bodega
200 Rhode Island Ave, NW

33 Comment

  • Sorry to hear that. It was a great little spot and will be missed.

  • I really liked this place 6-7 years ago as a convenient stop for things I had forgotten on larger shopping trips or to pick up organic meat for special meals, but honestly haven’t been in a while now. When he changed the policy to only cash or personal checks (or the store account you could set up) I always forgot. A couple times I went in there and just had to leave without buying anything because all I had was the card. I get what he was trying to do, and CC payments cut into the bottom line more than most people think, but in this age of Square, etc. you are just turning away business (which cuts into your bottom line even more!). Places I’ve seen be more successful charge a service fee for credit card users to at least split the cost of the transaction. I’m happy to pay an extra 2% or whatever to help a small business out (you are usually already paying a premium for local goods), but I guess most people fume at the idea. Wish him luck with whatever is next, clearly cares about the community.

    • Charging customers an extra fee for using a credit card is prohibited by most credit card issuer agreements.

      • Is there an exemption for gas stations? That seems to be standard practice, to the point that places advertise when they DON’T charge you more for using a credit card. I always thought it was because other businesses got so much grief from people complaining that they were being asked to pay an extra $0.15 or whatever when they paid for their coffee and a muffin using a card.

      • This has actually changed recently as credit card companies have been sued over banning surcharges and courts have found this practice anticompetitive and illegal.

    • Accountering

      When you start worrying about dimes (2%) and not dollars (sales) you may as well already be out of business.

  • damn. i’ve been going to field to city for almost 6 years, i’ve gotten to know kim over that time, he’s such a nice dude. only store where i’ve ever had a tab! can’t say it’s entirely unexpected, but i wish kim all the best.
    .
    not to be too morbid, but it would be great to get a big bear alternative in this spot, i know grassroots is down the street but another cafe that does hot food, etc. or an each peach style market – i don’t think that just because timor/field to city ultimately didn’t succeed, that means the market for a fresher/better windows alternative isn’t there.

    • i think something like this could succeed but it needs to be open more hours, and have stuff on the shelves. I didn’t go often, but the times I went, there were never any vegetables. Maybe I picked the wrong days. I think better signage on which door to use would help too.

      • Ditto. Every time I’ve stopped by the shelves were either barren or the store was inexplicably closed. I stopped bothering after a while. That said, Kim seems like a great guy. I wish him the best in his endevores.

      • Yeah, I tried going here a few times when I was in the area and it was always closed. It never made sense as it was always during normal business hours.

        • yeah, usually on weekedays kim didn’t open up til around 4pm. i got my CSA from him for almost two years, way back when he had an incredible veggie selection. the hours could be confusing though, yeah.

          when he first opened, i think the way it looked like it wasn’t really open was kind of intentional – he wanted people to seek him out, i think, rather than just stumble in like a “typical” bodega – people looking for cigs, lotto, etc.

          • I guess that explains why he is closing. Forcing customers to “seek out” the store isn’t a good way to drive business.

  • Spoke to the owner and he said he will still have access to things like meat and dairy and if folks want anything to text or email him and he will see what he can do. Went there many times to buy something I forgot or to add to my dinner.

  • This is heartbreaking. Kim has been such an important fixture for great local products (and produce), polyface farm chickens, good beer, affordable wine, and dog petting. Stopping by on a Sunday afternoon and sharing a glass of sangria was part of life in Bloomingdale back before there were so many businesses.

  • I went there a few times, but it was pretty expensive and I never made it a regular place to go. The neighborhood does need a true grocery store (though the whole foods will be opening on 9th st). I hope something useful is put into the site, like a nice coffee shop, which the neighborhood has. Big Bear used to be cool until it got table service and now it seems like I’m a bother if I’m just going there for a coffee.

    • yeah big bear has gone waaaaaay down hill – would maybe do them good to get some real neighborhood competition.

      • Wait, Big Bear now has table service (not just after 6)? I haven’t been since before the holidays. If so, that’s majorly annoying (not just because I don’t like table service at coffeehouses, but because — while I like Big Bear — service has never been its strong suit).

        • no, during the day it’s still take a number and they bring you the food, the waiter service is at night. but agreed, the less table service the better at bbc because they never seem to get any halfway competent waiters.

  • This is a shame. Maybe it’s just me but everyone time I walked by this place it was always closed so I’ve never actually gone in. Not sure if they had off hours but I wish I could have taken advantage of it.

  • Huge beer selection? There were about 10 different types of beer there, the selection was nothing compared to Bloomingdale Liquors or Windows.

  • Went a few times and found the owner to be unfriendly and a bit strange. Stopped going 5 years ago.

  • Sorry to hear it. Kim took care of my dog many times when I was out of town. He’s a good guy and I wish him the best.

  • Loved this place but not taking credit cards is a real deal killer these days. Wish Kim the best in whatever he does next, and can’t wait to see another business move into this spot.

  • Used to shop here when I first moved down to DC in 2009-2010 and when I bounced back to Bloomingdale a few years back . For a long time Timor/Field to City had great produce and even started a delivery service prior to all the bigger online ones which I used for a little bit when I moved away from the Eckington/Bloomingdale area. Sad to hear its closing – it really made it a better place for me to live at the time and I thank Kim for sticking with it for so long.

  • Now I’ll never get back that bottle deposit from that glass milk bottle I bought 18 months ago.

  • I wanted to like this place, but my impression was what others have said — barren shelves, complicated procedures, just a strange vibe. I don’t doubt that the owner was friendly — he seemed friendly in a peculiar sort of way. I think the orientation of the door away from the corner/Rhode Island didn’t help, and the owner didn’t do much to create a welcoming entrance that says, “we’re open!” There was a branding issue (I honestly never knew it was “Timor,” I called it “Field to City”). These are minor issues, but they probably didn’t help.
    In fairness, Windows is closer to me, and I think its owners are really nice and it’s pretty well-stocked. I might have become more of a regular at Timor/Field to City if I lived in a different part of the neighborhood.

  • Sad to hear this news. Field to City aka Timor Bodega was a wonderful, idiosyncratic business that contributed greatly to our neighborhood. Back when he opened, it wasn’t unusual to buy a six pack, then hang around the store for a while sharing with your neighbors and shooting the shit.

    The hand painted murals always being a smile to my face when I see them.

    Kim is a wonderful guy, and I can understand how the daily grind of running a small store like this wore him down over the years. RIP Timor!

  • Any chance we can get another Glenn’s that only sells beer and ice cream sandwiches?

  • This is good news. That place sucked for years (and more years). Onward and upward.

  • I’ve always wanted to take over and run this place! I talked to Kim a couple of years ago but he didn’t seem much interested. I love the idea of this business being in our neighborhood and would hate to see it go.
    If it’s not too late and if Kim is reading maybe we could work something out.

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