World of Beer Looking at Recently Closed Union Social space in NoMa?

world of beer
100 Florida Ave, NE

Last week we learned that Union Social had abruptly closed in NoMa. Now I’m hearing that World of Beer could be interested in the space. A few things, first, I think that would be awesome. Second, World of Beer scuttlebutt hasn’t panned out in the past. Third, this is a different source with a higher accuracy rating than the previous scuttlebutt. Fourth, you still never know with these things. Having said all that – think a World of Beer would do well here?

Check out their Arlington menus here. And stay tuned.

63 Comment

  • I’d stop in for some tavern tots for sure. If you think Union Social didn’t make it because it was overpriced and the food wasn’t that great, you’ll probably think WoB has a shot. If you think issues with the urban fiber and general foot traffic of that little embanked corner were the problem, this isn’t going to seem any different to you.

  • Oh, for sure! There’s a pretty big captive audience there!

  • justinbc

    “Having said all that – think a World of Beer would do well here?”
    I thought Union Social would have done well, until I saw their menus and pricing. Keep things on par with the neighborhood and they should do fine.

  • Of course the most corporate of all beer bars is opening in NoMA. They BID should consider a new slogan: “NoMA, DC’s Ballston.”

    • This is a dumb thing to complain about. Not every plot of land still has enough historic character to preserve. Some places are going to be new (today; old someday). If you didn’t build new things over parking lots and fields, many historic areas of the city wouldn’t be accessible from the urban core on foot. Let’s just be thankful people are living there instead of the exurban subdivisions they might have also considered.

    • I had a similar thought. NoMA is so damn soulless. Makes me appreciate areas like Upshur Street even more.

    • What a stupid complaint. World of Beer offers way more types of beer than most bars with crappy food. It’s not the same as an old neighborhood haunt, but it doesn’t pretend to be either. Both can co-exist.

  • I don’t think it can be the same owner at the NoVA locations, so someone would have had to have bought the franchise rights to DC. But I have a feeling it’d do just fine there.

  • I guess nothing’s coming to the old 4P’s space in Cleveland Park anytime soon. There’s now a for lease banner hanging on it.

    • Not particularly surprised. The density isn’t quite there in the immediate vicinity and the folks who do live there have been choosing to travel to more happening bar districts.

    • I’m bummed, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Here’s hoping we get something good there.

  • Not shocked by Union Social closing in the slightest. Food was way overpriced and very mediocre. Great build out though. World of Beer wouldn’t have to do much.

  • It’s a dead zone and too difficult to access on foot. Until the Wendy’s is dealt with, that’s going to be a really hard space to make money in.

    • Unless you give people reason to go there, like, uh, a huge selection of beers that isn’t available anywhere close to here.

    • skj84

      I’m genuinely curious to why people think this location is so hard to get to by foot? Its a block away from the metro, a straight shot down Florida Ave. Yes, the intersection can be a bit confusing, but its not like a maze or anything. Not trying to belittle by the way, I’ve just heard this refrain several times. I’ve never had an issue walking over there, surprised to hear that others think its an issue.

      • I agree. It’s easier to navigate on foot or bike than it is in a car. I wonder if all the people who raise this point actually walk through that intersection or just encounter it in their cars and assume it’s as obnoxious on foot. There are crosswalks—it’s not that complicated.

      • justinbc

        I asked the same question the other day. Basically people said that they have to wait too long at the intersections (oh no!) and their “general feeling of being unsafe” (wonderfully unquantifiable).

      • I wouldn’t walk down Florida towards galludet late night as the area is pretty isolated, but otherwise, it seems fine. I’ve done that walk many times from the metro, and other than the lack of shade on a sunny day, it was just fine. If the worst thing you can say is there are long lights, is it really that bad?

      • I’m one of those who said I don’t feel safe walking around here. And yes, I’ve walked in the area many times (and only driven a few).
        I’d said that it’s like walking down the side of a highway filled with erratic drivers – that is as quantifiable as one can get. And the long waits at lights are made worse by the fact that they often leave me standing on a little island in the middle of the highway-like traffic (not because I’m a slow walker, but because the walk signs aren’t timed). Also, as a female, I absolutely would not walk under the bridge at night by myself.

        • For all the erratic drivers (which I’m questioning heavily) I’ve never seen anything worse than a minor fender bender in the area from say metro to the office bldg by Wendy’s I think late night someone was hit near fedex further away.
          Sides of highways don’t have lights or sidewalks, so I just don’t get the comparison.

          • justinbc

            I’ve seen crazy ass driving there from the Maryland folks headed home on NY Ave. But it’s no different or worse than the crazy MD drivers I see in Capitol Hill heading to 395, or the crazy ass MD drivers I used to see on 14th St heading up to Silver Spring, or basically any other street in the city you want to pick where suburbanites don’t understand the etiquette of city driving.

        • +1 Everyone keeps talking about how close it is to the metro, but it’s a very different experience coming from the north or east versus just walking up from the metro.

        • I said feels unsafe, I don’t know if it actually is unsafe. When cars are flying past me at 45-60 mph, I don’t feel safe as a pedestrian. Same reason I don’t regularly walk around downtown Wheaton and don’t like walking in some parts of downtown Silver Spring. And yes, I’m aware that this is not exactly the same experience as walking on a highway.
          I can’t get over how many people want to tell me (and many others) that our experiences and feelings aren’t real. I know this is common in our society (absolutely not limited to this site), but jeez, can’t you just listen to other people’s experiences without feeling the need to tell them they’re wrong? I don’t feel safe walking here, so I’m much less likely to go to this location, period. That is based on my experience. Stop telling me that my experience is wrong.

    • Places don’t get popular until women feel safe walking around alone. That’s the barometer for success in urban real estate, IMHO. You ain’t making money by excluding an entire gender.
      There’s still lots of sketchy AF dudes roaming the streets near the Metro station, under the railroad tracks, and just generally acting the fool.

      • “AF dudes?”

        • skj84

          “As Fuck”. Like “this place is sketchy as all fucking get out”

        • “as duck”, according to autocorrect.

          I hate driving into the city, but i have to admit, i’ve started driving into Union Market and Gally even though I’ve never had a real problem (as a small white girl) with anyone around the metro station. Under the bridge is legit creepy. If you were scouting locations for a serial killer movie, the drippy rock walls under the yellow-tinged lights would be high on the list for atmosphere. Doesn’t mean anything’s gonna happen on those narrow sidewalks with all the traffic going past. Does mean it’s creepy. (and I apparently have a higher tolerance for walking alone through urban industrial environments at night than most young women.)

          • Yes! I was walking from Anjelika at like 3 in the afternoon the other day, lots of people around and my heart actually sped up a bit walking under that bridge. And I’m a DC native! It totally has a murder spot vibe

      • skj84

        For what its worth, I am a woman. I mean, yes the area is sketchy, but no worse than the rest of Noma, or Bloomingdale. YMMV of course.

    • No, it isn’t. It is literally right beside the metro station which thousands of people access on foot every single day. It’s not an “attractive” area perhaps, but it isn’t remotely difficult to access.

      • I live south of NoMa and access the metro from the M St. entrance. I feel pretty comfortable there. But at night, walking to the north side of NoMa makes me twitchy. The pedestrian path that parallels the metro/runs under the Metropolitan Branch Trail is poorly lit, usually deserted, and mostly cut off from view from any of the surrounding streets.

        I guess now that Metro has a 15 minute grace period for entering/exiting a station without payment, I could just go through the station instead, but that won’t help after midnight.

        • +1

          Most residents of the main areas of NoMa enter and exit from M St, whereas the offices are in closer proximity to the N St side.

          • Sure, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t accessible. It just means it is not how you would use the Metro, which makes sense. I assure you, the north side of the Metro (and this space) is absolutely accessible and well traveled by many, many people. I do it every single day and there are droves of people crossing New York or Florida to get there every morning and evening. If you live in NOMA proper, you just walk up 1st St and then around the ATF building to get to this place.

            That said, I readily admit that it isn’t the most attractive streetfront for a business. But that is different than saying it isn’t accessible or that no one is around there. There are tons of people there every single day. I see it with my own eyes.

          • @Truxtoner Point taken. I would just prefer something more centrally located. As discussed there were many issues with Union Social, not just location. I’m sure another establishment done right could do well there, I’m just looking forward to additional options that are closer to my home base.

  • There are a whole bunch of government lawyers etc. moving into the area a little south of here early-mid year next year. If this doesn’t prove too far (algebra of happy-hour-distance-from-office is harsh), I think they will be looking for something.

    • I think this is a good point. When they walk out of their building, they’ll also be staring straight at the door to WoB (or whatever opens in that space), which won’t hurt things, either.

      Hopefully DOJ’s arrival also helps the big retail space in their building, right next to the Metro station, get leased. I live just across North Capitol Street, and I’d love to see a bar/restaurant move into that space, too. (I hope against hope for something like Commissary, but I’d gladly accept anything that isn’t aggressively terrible.)

      • Not exactly. Most of the DoJ space is still an empty plot of land that they haven’t broken ground on. Even then, it’s on M, so they’re hardly staring straight at the door of WoB or something else.

  • The accessibility of this location depends on whether you’re coming from north or south. If you’re coming from the south or the metro, and this is your destination, it’s fine. (But I don’t get the sense that even from the south, many people would walk past this location on their way to somewhere else.) If you’re coming from the north it’s an obvious disaster — Dave Thomas Circle is quite literally the local transit community’s exemplar for a traffic/pedestrian clusterf.

    • Agree completely (and would include coming from both east and west as not pedestrian friendly access).
      I frequently walk across town after work, taking P Street and ending at the NoMa Metro. The whole walk is very pleasant until Florida and P.

      • You really can’t compare a mostly quiet residential street with speed bumps to a multi lane merge area going out of and into the city. I mean you don’t really expect the experience to be the same, do you?

        • That’s exactly my point. Most approaches to this building is unpleasant and unsafe-feeling for pedestrians. Which makes it hard for businesses here to draw customers.

    • justinbc

      Of course you don’t come here on the way to something else, you come here because there are (virtually) no other restaurants in NoMa. If you live in the neighborhood you have extremely limited options. People from Adams Morgan, Shaw, Capitol Hill, Navy Yard, etc aren’t going to make a special trip here. You HAVE to appeal to the neighborhood first and foremost, no matter what winds up opening here.

  • I find it really interesting that this place has drawn so many comments (between this scuttlebutt and the previous thread about them closing). This place never really entered the conversation amongst my group of friends, many of whom live in/around the area (including the Elevation building that’s literally on top of this bar). Any mention of Union Social was quickly cast aside as “that place sucks, is overpriced, and is perpetually empty”. Nobody mentioned the location as the culprit for its demise.

    • skj84

      I went once. Happy hour was decent, as was the service, but it was one of those places I forgot was there. Like there were other more interesting spots to dine at. I kept meaning to stop by to get my drinks passport stamped, bummed that never panned out.

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