Simply Soles Closes in Columbia Heights Will Open New Store in Georgetown

by Prince Of Petworth February 23, 2010 at 11:30 am 19 Comments


Simply Soles was located at 1438 Park Road, NW. I always thought this was a tough location for a women’s shoe store. In March they will be opening up in a new location at 3222 M Street, NW in Georgetown. Owner Kassie Kempel writes:

“With retail being what it was in 2009 a lot of opportunities came up that I couldn’t ignore. I hated leaving Columbia Heights but I also couldn’t justify staying there and paying the same rent that I could get in G-town. Hopefully a great place will take over the CH location.”

  • Richard

    It’s not a traditional shoe store. They only sell the soles of shoes. You have to buy the rest of the shoe (or have it made) elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    It was such an expensive store for that area–it’ll do much better in Georgetown.

  • Anonymous

    i personally never went in there because every time i tried, it wasn’t open.

    • DF

      Seriously, was this place ever open?

      Moving to Georgetown Mall? Terrible move. She’ll be out of business in a month.

      • kassie rempel

        I certainly hope we won’t. We will keep tradtional mall hours in Georgetown so the problem of being open won’t be the same. Unfortunately, at the CH location, we had a lot of scares so we had to keep the doors locked. We were open. You just had to knock, as the sign on the door stated.

  • MegDC

    Right. A difficult location if it’s never open! I tried to go there a bunch of times since they opened not once was it open.

  • Columbia Heights commercial landlords HAVE to start asking more reasonable rents. The 14th Street corridor is going the wrong direction … this space, the furniture store space, Nori Asian Bistro, Rumberos, the Score Space have all opened up, and nary a peep of new retailers stepping in. And DCUSA hasn’t had a new tenant for a LONG time (and the latest tenant won’t be lasting long, I NEVER see anyone in that chicken place). Clearly, supply FAR exceeds demand; when are the landlords going to get a clue? I know it’s a tough economy, but given the vast hoardes attracted by Target, this should be a prime shopping / dining area, and it doesn’t do anyone any good to have half the area retail sit vacant …

    • Irving Streete

      I’m not sure that the DC USA demographic is tremendously “desirable” from a swank retailer’s point of view. The crowds are deceiving. Sure, you get a lot of yuppies with disposable income but Target, Lane Bryant, Marshall’s, Mattress Discounters and so on definitely draw a lot of people — probably a majority of their customers — who are on tight budgets as well. A huge percentage of folks shopping 14th Street at any given time are not in the market for $300 shoes — and another chunk might be in the market for a $300 pair, but are more concerned with their $300,000 condos in this economy.

      Not an upscale location and they shouldn’t be charging upscale rents.

  • L

    Wow, that’s pretty striking that she was able to get the same rent in G-town. Especially for that storefront on Park Rd- while it’s not far from everything, people don’t see it when they exit the Metro, so it’s probably not the most prime real estate in Columbia Heights. The new location is probably much more viable.

  • Petworthian

    I think the area could sustain more Asian restaurants (Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, maybe Indonesian raikstafal?!) especially if they deliver. Or a Napoleon type French place, somewhere with good French where people can hang for drinks or dancing late night. Or a Habana Village north. Maybe another kid’s store to compete/compliment Target and Children’s Place? There are many times I have not found what I needed at those stores.

  • DCUSA might start with getting a proper muzak system rather than airing some PG county station with bad reception. Class it up and the people will come.

    At this point they should be offering free rent. Trader Joe’s would be a great place to start.

  • Georgetowner

    She’s not trading up. 3222 M St. is better known as the Georgetown Mall. It’s where shops go to die a slow and lonely death.

    • neener

      ahhh, THANK YOU! Yes, Georgetown Mall sucks- their big draw is the DMV

      • kassie rempel

        Yes – The Mall gets a bad rap but the location is undeniably great, right on M Street with parking underground. As soon as the lawsuit is settled (as far who gets to own it) you’ll see some dramatic changes and some bigtime stores taking over the vacant spaces.

        • best of luck to you in georgetown!

  • Kathy

    To those who think that Georgetown Park ‘sucks’ – when was the last time you were here? We welcome folks like Kassie and stores like SimplySoles to enable entrepeneurs to live their dream and not pay the rents they are asking on the street. Perhaps instead of categorizing a mall as ‘dead’ simply because it doesn’t have a Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom, how about walking the mall with your eyes open and supporting local merchants with interesting and different merchandise?

    • unasked for advice

      i dont really like georgetown mall because its a bit secluded, lots of the shops seem pricey to me, its right next to lots of street side retail that means i can be outside more, which i prefer ( though georgetown should get rid of parking on M street and widen the sidewalks.)
      its a bit dark inside, which if it went the diagon alley route, would kick ass.

      that said, its a gorgeous gorgeous space. the wood floor is super cool. the design is nice. i like the dmv there. and the walking store or comfort shoes or whatever that shoe store is. and my wife loves anthropology. i have no idea what else is there.

      the food court is a pretty dead idea to me. a cool affordable tavern down on that lower floor would vastly improve the image if the place to a consumer thats under 50 years old.

      better signage as to whats inside.
      better signage from the parking garages
      betters signage in general.
      exploring streets and alleys is great fun. exploring a mall, not fun. clarity of whats there is vital.

      better lighting.
      improve your website georgetown park. even the store directory doesnt link to the shops website. wtf?
      visitor info? what are you a vacation destination? please.

      and yeah, an anchor store. wasnt that going to happen? macy’s if i remember?

      anyway georgetown park, i know your bread and butter is old people, but they’re dying. get some advice from the younger crowd that are deeply loyal to dc. we really do want our stores and spaces to succeed. but they need to offer us something, and we need to know about it.

      btw, a bike sharing station or bike racks would be a good idea too.

      and what was the building before it was georgetown park? i assume something industrial and relevant to the canal. yeah? we like to know that kind of stuff. makes us feel solid. and connected.

    • Sue

      Umm, I was there last week – using the parking lot. I didn’t shop in the mall, mostly because it was dark and poorly designed. You couldn’t really see the stores along the hallway or from one level to the next, so window shopping and or seeing something cool to go check it out isn’t really possible.

      Even using the maps on the kiosks, it was hard to figure out how to get out of there – the escalators don’t line up, so getting from one floor to another is a challenge, the elevators to the garage are hard to find. There was no obvious path to the exit on to M street, etc.

      Great DMV, though.

  • snow bunny

    there’s parking in the Georgetown Mall?


Subscribe to our mailing list