Who Would You Like to See Take Over the Seasonal Pantry Space in May?

1314 ½ Ninth Street, NW

Yesterday we spoke about Seasonal Pantry’s planned departure in April. Lisa writes in the comments:

“I’m the landlord. What would the neighborhood like in this quirky space? We’ll put up a sign and contact info soon.”

Via Email Lisa adds:

“It’s 3 staggered levels with an option for a 4th. Each is approx 300 sf. There is the storefront level, a lower English Basement level with back door, a lower basement (beneath the storefront) with sinks etc, and the option is another space with a window that opens onto the back yard and a door into the hallway. There is no hood nor can there be one. We’re open for almost anything that can make itself at home is this quirky space. Would like tenant to appeal not only to the neighborhood but give the Cambria Suites Hotel visitors another reason to not hop into a cab the second they exit the hotel.”

Also, keep in mind all this (and more across the street too) are opening soon nearby. Think an Upshur Street Books could do well here? Or stick with food?

95 Comment

  • A fast/casual dining establishment, especially lunch service.

    • No hood=no restaurant.

      Not sure how sp did their dinners, but a kitchen is not possible.

      • There was a very small kitchen in the basement. Getting large amounts of food from the basement to the main floor would make anything more than a small restaurant very difficult to manage due to the narrowness of the stairs.

      • Dan cooks on two induction burners for SP – it is amazing what he has accomplished with such small and limited space!

  • I’d really like to see a 7-11. Or possibly a Boost mobile store?

  • Landlord/co-owner here. “A hood may be possible” say the other two owners (mom and husband).

  • A used bookstore would be great!

  • I don’t necessarily want fast food….but my gosh, can we get a casual normal restaurant in this area? I don’t need another Charlie Chaplin inspired ramen noodle restaurant, a $10 gelato shop, an Ethiopian restaurant, the world’s most expensive cup of coffee, etc. I just want a good burger 🙁

  • bagel bakery if possible.

  • If you’re looking for something to keep the hotel guests around and draw their money, a DC themed shop of some kind could work for one of the small spaces. Possibly a pet store for another space (for local residents). A bar that allows people to bring in their own food and/or order from a list of local restaurants could be the answer for a bar/restaurant type of space.

  • If you’re looking for something to attract both tourists and neighborhood residents, how about an Abraham Lincoln-themed bar? You could feature a shot called the John Wilkes Booth.

    • I don’t know if you are serious, but the restaurant Lincoln is just in Logan Circle. It has great food! Not sure about the JWB shot though…

    • I Dont Get It

      Seriously? Do you know what Abraham Lincoln would say if he were alive today? “Help get me outta here.”

      Thanks folks, I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress!

  • How about a sandwich shop that’s open Sundays?

  • Ideally I’d like to see some place that appeals to homogenous white twenty-somethings with wealthy parents, preferably the kind who would have referred to Shaw as “sketchy” even five years ago. There aren’t enough of those places in Shaw these days.

    • Hey hey hey, don’t exclude the 20 and 30 somethings who grew up in upper-middle class leafy suburbs. Not all of us are “wealthy!” Jeez.

    • It’s either that or bad Chinese. Those are your only choices.

    • Well, what type of tenant would you like to see on your moral high ground?

    • Now that is priceless!!!

    • I too earn for the days when a methadone clinic would’ve made a great tenant here. Yuppies – amirite?

      • Fair point, I can’t think of anything other than methadone clinics that survive in areas not filled mostly by faux-hipster lawyers and lobbyists.

        Seriously though, somewhere between “overpriced retail crap and artisanal cocktail bar” or “pawn shops and drug rehab” I bet there are a few other options. At this rate though, Shaw is going to go the way of 14th Street and end up as boring and homogeneous as DuPont Circle. Can’t see H Street holding out much longer, to be honest.

        • “I bet there are a few other options.” – Well, can you think of some concrete examples that could survive here given (presumably) high rents? I, unfortunately, cannot. The area already had a couple “no-frills bars” (Lost and Found, Ivy and Coney), but even those charge a pretty penny for draft beers. I’d be all for a fancy dildo shop or something similarly “interesting”, but I can’t imagine that surviving too long at this location (and even that would ultimately cater to the same demographic that you disparage).
          ps. You left out consultants. Also, actual trust fund hipsters.

          • I think I covered trust fund hipsters with “white twenty-somethings with wealthy parents,” but consultants is a great shout.

  • I would love some sort of retail. There is really no place nearby to buy cute birthday cards (CVS doesn’t count), gifts, and various over-priced trinkets! We have a ton of bars/restaurants, so would love to see something else. Also, +1 to the bookstore idea!

    • +1 to the retail idea. Something Salt & Sundry like featuring local vendors, maybe.

      • I Dont Get It

        But not with Salt and Sundry prices!

        • +1

          It never ceases to amaze me how many people are absurd enough to willingly pay such stupidly exorbitant prices. Yet another triumph of status-seeking over sense, I suppose.

    • We rent our basement out on airbnb and if something cute like this existed, I would totally steer our guests to it (and love to have it as a nearby option)!

    • The rents are super expensive in this area. It’s the same thing that happened with 14th St. and U St. A lot of the “local” businesses get driven out with the rents. The store you’re describing existed on 14th – Pulp – and was a great store that had frequent customers. But it was the true definition of a local business. The businesses that have survived are primarily the ones that actually own their space vs. rent and obviously those were purchased a while back.
      So yeah, would a used bookstore, a gift shop, florist, etc. that’s being suggested on here be nice additions? Absolutely. Is there any reality of it happening/sustaining? Probably not.

      • As you mentioned, it’s probably not economically viable, but a used bookstore is probably the best suggestion I’ve seen in this entire thread.

    • Yes, we frequently trek to Union Market for our Salt and Sundry needs, but something similar nearby would be great. The idea of a bookstore is nice but I personally know that I am not likely to buy hardcopy books, so I worry about how well it would do.

    • I Dont Get It

      Something like the much missed Pulp?

  • Would love to see a florist in this space!

    • that would actually be lovely, not sure how realistic but….

    • I think this is a good idea. I am not sure why it is not realist as J stated. There could be reasons, but I just can’t think of them immediately. It’d be nice to have a place to buy flowers or houseplants nearby. I think the hotel across the street could also utilize their services.

      • Here’s your reason:
        Revenue has to be greater than expenses. Plants are one thing (see Shaw Jr High), but flowers are perishable. If you want to keep an inventory of other than the very standard flowers, it’s going to be pricey in addition to your rent. Also, Whole Foods (and Giant across the street) and other grocers have pretty good stock of flowers – which limits your customer base.

        • Flowers On Fourteenth appears viable in the same environment. Not sure if they own their spot, but I imagine the rents are higher there, if not.

          • They may have a 10 or even 20 year lease. They’ve been on 14th for a long time, so their lease is probably on very favorable terms that hasn’t kept up with the greater market. It’s very difficult to get many new businesses to get a lease longer than 5 years because many DC landlords don’t want to miss out on rapid price inflation. A 10 year lease is now a big risk, so you only see pricey chains moving in.
            Small, local retail is dead below Columbia Road. Sorry folks.

  • Aglets

    I’m admittedly biased, but I’d love to see a place where a few artists/crafters have a space and a ‘made in dc’ store featuring items (food and crafts) made in DC.

  • A bookstore, or some other affordable retail, would be fantastic!

  • Another generically Eastern Bloc-themed beer garden pls. Thx.

  • Seems like it’s be a perfect space for another Bullfrog Bagel!

  • A butcher with local goods, would be great.

  • Cute retail (per others’ comments — local artisan stuff and fancy foodsnacks) or a sushi restaurant, please. And thanks for asking!

  • ideally a small plate space with locally sourced cocktails

  • A Bloombars location! (seriously)

  • A quick lunch option. Sundevich is great, but there’s nothing else good within a two-block radius.

  • Somewhere with great breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Little Red Fox way up on Connecticut is the only place that has managed to do this well. I don’t need booze with my breakfast!

  • Lion of LeDroit

    Fast casual salad or vegetarian/raw foods place would be lovely: Sweetgreen or something along the lines of Khepra’s (on H Street NE) or Seed + Salt in San Fran (http://seedandsalt.com/).

    Wonderful of you (landlord) to solicit feedback from neighbors. Godspeed!

  • justinbc

    Artist inspired space. One where local artists can sell their wares, perhaps rotating every month, and other people can come pay to create with instructors.

  • A fast/casual restaurant (that’s open on Sunday – I’m talking to you, Sundvich) or a bookstore would be amazing!

  • We love Seasonal Pantry! and so sorry they are moving……that said, a book store would be fantastic….or would about a little dessert shop. There used to be a tiny place in Woodley called Dolci Finally that offered dessert and aperitifs. It was so lovely to go to after a date.

  • Definitely laser tag or paintball

  • Great responses! I (alone) wanted a used book store when we re-renovated (2009) but had no takers. It wouldn’t work now nor a florist which I agree would be ‘nice’ to have on the street but not economically viable. We’re now totally leaning towards bagels which would satisfy not only the bagels need, but hopefully breakfast and salad and alternative sandwich and (some) prepared foods and open on Sundays. Am going to begin soliciting bagel places. Big thanks!!

  • P.S. Lee’s Flower Shop is already in the area and is excellent. We appreciate the interest from both vendors and neighbors and while we are working on the feasibility of a bagel shop, we are open for other possibilities suitable to the space and neighborhood. Thanks all.

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