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FQotD: Scuttlebutt that makes yesterday’s Ellwood Thompson’s news look like another hot dog cart is opening

by Prince Of Petworth June 3, 2010 at 9:58 pm 145 Comments

My friend, Sean, shared some scuttlebutt with me that is so sweet that I had to make it the Friday Question of the Day. First the scuttlebutt: he writes, “I was at Trader Joes and I asked the manager when they would open up another DC location and she said they were actively seeking a space near 14th and U (Streets, NW).”

Holy cow.

So for the Friday Question of the Day, at the risk of shattering my dream, what are the odds of this happening? Do you think there is an appropriate space/lot near 14th and U that could host a Trader Joes?

If one did open at 14th and U (for those that live relatively nearby) would you ever shop at Giant or Safeway again? How much parking do you think would be necessary for a Trader Joes? If they were able to open up at 14th and U – from how far away would this attract people. I know living up in Petworth I’d definitely patronize the store.

  • gemini

    Bring it, baby, bring it!

    • they said the same thing to me years ago. when a real press release comes out, this will be worth reporting, but until then, it’s just cruel sport getting people’s hopes dashed.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I standby the original post:

        “My friend, Sean, shared some scuttlebutt with me that is so sweet that I had to make it the Friday Question of the Day. First the scuttlebutt: he writes, “I was at Trader Joes and I asked the manager when they would open up another DC location and she said they were actively seeking a space near 14th and U (Streets, NW).”

        Holy cow.

        So for the Friday Question of the Day, at the risk of shattering my dream, what are the odds of this happening? Do you think there is an appropriate space/lot near 14th and U that could host a Trader Joes?

        If one did open at 14th and U (for those that live relatively nearby) would you ever shop at Giant or Safeway again? How much parking do you think would be necessary for a Trader Joes? If they were able to open up at 14th and U – from how far away would this attract people? I know living up in Petworth I’d definitely patronize the store.”

        I have no problem at all asking these questions. I think some folks bothered by this post aren’t really reading the questions. It’s a scuttlebutt post and some fun questions – no more no less.

        • dan: i have no problem with you asking the questions, and you’re right, people don’t read them closely. then, because your site leads the “news” on other websites, it turns into a game of telephone, and you start getting messages later in the day that say, “PoP says a TJ’s is coming to 14th and U!! I can’t wait!”

          • Anonymous

            reading is hard.

  • MK

    I get on the metro at Takoma and go to the one in Foggy Bottom so 14th & U would be heaven!

  • Jay’O

    Great News! They must be looking into the ground floor commercial space in all those new buildings going up on 14th street around U street up to about Clifton.

    It’s funny too because some anti-gentrification folks have lumped Trader Joe’s in with Wholefoods and Yes! Organic – but I’ve found it to be much more affordable than even Giant. Everybody should be happy about this!

    • neener

      I don’t want to get too funny about this, but in talking to people about trader joes it seems to be a racial issue with baby boomers. Young people of all stripes get trader joes, but my 45-65 year old neighbors are like, “those college kids who want to spend $2 on a red pepper!”

      • I always thought Trader Joe’s was a discount place. at the GWU store, everything is on par or cheaper than Giant excpet you don’t get alot of folks paying with food stamps.Oh, and there are definitelt 45-65 y.o. types.

        • anon

          TJ DOES accept foodstamps. Agreed that the West End store is not the biggest magnet for WIC participants, but they gladly accept for all eligible purchases.

          But on a different note, why would you care if someone uses foodstamps or pays in cash. Aside from the fact that it has no bearing on you whatsoever, are poorer folks somehow less entitled to eat?

  • WarderSt

    This news made my night! I would love love love it to have it in Petworth but this is a good second. I’d be there several days a week.

  • G

    Any chance it could go in the Station 9 space? It does have a little bit of parking but not much. Seems odd to have it right across the street from the Yes! market. They’re still waiting for ground level retail in the Love Moderno building but it’s probably not big or prominent enough for TJ’s.

  • wdc

    Where could they go in at 14th & U? They clearly need to expand to the east of their one DC location, but I’m not clear on where there is a big enough spot for them to open near that ubber popular intersection, especially given that they will require parking. I do wonder if they’ll end up on H Street as has long been rumored now that that area is really taking off.

    • Kim

      I’ve heard that rumor a lot, too. But, I think if it ever does happen, it will be in the very far-off future. I’m guessing they’ll want to see how the Giant does first. (If it’s even true that Giant is definitely the store coming at 3rd & H. I’d be happy if Giant doesn’t come and TJ comes instead, I just don’t see it happening.)

  • Jim

    It’ll never happen at 14th and U. WAY too close to the Foggy Bottom location. They can’t operate two stores that close together profitably.

    • pmt

      Agreed. 18 blocks away is pretty close for the second store in DC. Maybe NoMa, H St, or the other side of Capitol Hill? DC needs another TJs for sure, but this is too close and there doesn’t seem to be much large, affordable space to hold a spot and the necessary parking there.

    • Anonymous

      Really? I think there are a lot of people who would disagree. We live in CH and go to Trader Joe’s about once every 2 years. I pretty much refuse to go to Foggy Bottom for any reason. We’d probably go to one at 14th and U almost weekly. Honestly I think both Ellwood Thompson’s at DCUSA and Trader Joe’s down there would both thrive with no problems.

      • Dan

        Agreed 100%

        • mbarnes

          I second that! 100% They would get a ton of business!

          • Ace in DC

            +3 as far as I am concerned Trader Joes in Foggy Bottom might as well be in Oklahoma. DC is turning more and more into a walker’s community – if I can’t walk to it I wont patronize it. I would definitley shop at Trader Joes at 14th and U multiple times a week.

      • Anon

        I third that emotion. I live between CoHi and U street Metro stops on 14th and rarely ever go to the TJs in Foggy Bottom because it’s a pain to get to and is constantly overrun with college folks. Not that one near 14th and U wouldn’t be busy … I think it would get a TON of business from all surrounding neighborhoods because transportation wouldn’t be as much of an issue. I don’t really see the need for a ton of parking. The one is Bethesda has the tiniest, most poorly designed parking lot ever! With the number of people that live in the surrounding neighborhoods that will likely walk or take bus/Metro, modest parking would prob be sufficient.

      • Kim

        I agree, as well. I live on North Capitol Hill/H Street and don’t have a car. I never go to the Foggy Bottom area. However, I can easily take a bus (90/92/93) to 14th & U. I would definitely be more likely to patronize a TJ there. (Although, I would prefer one on H St. or on the Hill SE, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.)

      • EPF

        Yup. I’m in CH and would love to go to TJ’s but it’s a bit of a treck.

    • Nofiction

      There are several within a dozen blocks of each other in the West Hollywood / mid-Wilshire area of LA, and none of those areas is nearly as densely populated as DC. And this would become by far their most urban TJ’s.

      I wish them luck. The powers that be (WF, Giant, Safeway, etc.) will fight this tooth and nail, and at 14th & U, the Dupont NIMBYs will probably try to get involved, too.

    • ET

      I live on the Hill and when the HT opened on Penn a few blocks from the Safeway I thought the Safeway would close. years later the Safeway seems to be doing fine.

      H street – I don’t know. There is something (Giant I think) that has already committed to a space fairly close to Union Station and I don’t know that other than that open space and the “mall” near Benning there is space. Now there might be space on the west side of Union Station for size and parking but it really isn’t walkable for many people (if that is a consideration).

    • e

      I disagree — as far as blocks, it’s fairly close, but in terms of public transportation, it’s worlds away.

    • DooWop

      LA is a great example of how this could work. There are many Trader Joes in close proximity, frequently crowded and dong well.

    • Anonymous

      Foggy Bottom too close to 14th and U.?????
      I don’t know what world you live in but I would never go to Foggy Bottom. For anything. I even hate going to the Kennedy Center because of its location.

  • Trader Joes will be profitable wherever they open. Within reason.

  • Lauren

    @ Jim, I really don’t think that’s true. I just looked on their website and they have FIVE stores within the city limits of San Francisco. So I think DC can handle 2 stores.

    • Jim

      Note I didn’t say that DC couldn’t handle two stores. I said they would be dumb to put their second store about a mile from the first one, when there are a number of other options in the 60 sq. miles of DC that wouldn’t have them merely sponging off the customers of their other store. With planning, TJ’s could possibly profit from 3-4 stores in the District.

      (SF also has about 30% larger population than DC, so, all else being equal, should be able to support 1/3 more stores.)

      • Ragged Dog

        Well and the average incomes of people in SF and LA is quite a bit higher than DC, which would support more stores per capita.

        • LA average is about $48K, DC is about $54K, SF is about $73K.

          So DC falls in between toward LA which the lowest.

      • Jay’O

        Jim: A mile away? I just google mapped it and it is 3.3 miles away without great metro access!

        The new location near 14th and U will get lots of people that just never even try Trader Joe’s downtown – especially since it is best accessed by car if you have any frozen products (like 90% of their stuff) to get home.

        If anything, they would be most in their element at 14th and U!

        • Jim

          I don’t know what you just mapped, but 14th & U to 1101 25th St. NW (the address of the FB TJ), is 1.7 miles walking U to New Hampshire, straight down New Hampshire, and then west on M st and south on 25th.

      • Lauren

        Yeah – as others have said – Foggy Bottom and 14&U may only be a few miles apart, but it’s about a 45 min Metro ride or even a 30min drive.

        • Jim

          less than 15 minutes by car. On a weekend, less than 10. (i used to drive there from Mt. Pleasant all the time on Saturdays, never more than 15 minutes).

          • Lauren

            Well maybe you have better luck or went really early in the morning, but anytime I tried to drive from Col Hgts to Foggy Bottom on a weekend afternoon, with traffic around U St, Dupont, etc. it would take close to 1/2 hr.

            The point is I don’t think there is really much overlap between the 2 potential customer bases. I could see people who live around Dupont Circle switching locations, but mostly I think the 14th&U location would draw new customers.

      • neener

        I don’t agree with any of your reasoning Jim. It’s like the people who complained about two starbucks on one block and yet bought coffee from starbucks because there was no competition.

        • Jim

          Starbucks closed more than 600 US locations in the past 18 months for those very reasons.

  • rocketnerd

    am i the only one who thinks there’s no way that i could do my full grocery shopping trip at trader joes? yes, they have great dry goods and frozen stuff, but i’ve always found their produce and meat to be lacking at best, and sad more often than not.

    that said, i’d be SUPER psyched to have it nearby. it scratches a lot of itches.

    • Herb

      rocketnerd I agree. I love TJs for condiments and speciality items but I would still go to other stores especially for produce.

    • Leroy

      It’d complement the fact that there is very little selection of canned goods and frozen stuff at Yes! … I actually would love to be able to shop at Yes for produce and meat and go to TJ’s for everything else…

    • Kim

      You’re not the only one! I could never do all of my grocery shopping at TJ’s, but it would still be great to have one that’s easier for me to get to. I get a lot of meat, veggies, etc. at Eastern Market, but it’s a pain for me to make it to a grocery store, as I typically have to either do bus and metro or switch lines on the metro to get to one. It would be nice to be able to hop on a bus and have it take me straight to TJ’s.

    • saf

      See, I’ve only ever found like, 4 things, maybe 5, that I want to buy there. So for me it’s not really worth going.

    • Susan

      Agreed. I love TJs but it’s a “nice-to-have,” definitely not a replacement for a full grocery store like Giant.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I wish they had the vision to open in the area of New Hampshire and Georgia. People in this area would love another option.

    • I (and several neighbors) have written to Trader Joe’s real estate people and mentioned several locations along Georgia that could work really well for them.

      You should write them too; the more people they hear from, the better. They make it really easy because they actually have a Location Request form on their website.

  • Chabela

    Oh my! That would be awesome!

    I try to avoid the Safeway as much as I can, and I already cut a lot of my Giant shopping, because I much rather spend my money at Yes! Life would be really sweet if I could do all my grocery shopping between Yes and Trader Joe’s!

  • Amy

    i would still go to the columbia road safeway for last-minute items/when i’m lazy (i live next to it), but sweet baby jesus i would love a closer trader joes. although i feel my liver would suffer due to cheap wine consumption…

  • I do not believe it. There is not empty space there large enough for even a small TR.

    If you had said 9th and U, that would make sense.

    • Susan

      agree. 9th and U makes MUCH more sense with the huge flea market lot there. And it’s still super Metro-accessible with the 10st exit of the Ust stop right there

  • Andy

    I would love to see where people think there is space for this.

    I think you could replace everything on 14th at U from the DTLR down to the corner of Wallach with a new building.

    But they would have to dig a giant underground lot or build up as the Columbia Heights Giant did to accommodate the parking. There is too little parking in that area for existing uses today.

    • neener

      I am sure the store will not face U St. There is plenty of property the size of the Black Cat around 14th St.

  • oliveskinnednica

    I live in Petworth, and would continue to support YES! market…

  • BC

    Put it in the Howard Town Center (if that ever gets built) at Georgia and U (Florida Ave)!!!!

  • Sully

    I would frequent Giant for meat and seafood but I’d never have to go to another liquor store again for wine, Best deals ever at TJ. I go to the one in Foggy bottom every two weeks and it is swamped. They need another location just for the sake of employment and giving the people that work at Foggy Bottom TJ a breather.

  • Petworth Paul

    My undertsanding is that they are planning on opening at 14th and S — in the JBG project which is suppossed to start construction this fall.

    • PetworthRes

      Curious–where did you hear this?

  • DB

    i’m so not impressed with Trader Joe’s.
    But whatevs.

  • Ragged Dog

    Putting this anywhere near 14th and U would turn U into a total nightmare for any type of transportation… buses… cars… whatever. It would have the same effect on traffic that DC USA has had on 14th street… which is to say an absolute nightmare.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      You realize there is currently tons of traffic at DCUSA because of the actual streetscape construction projects…

      Plus look at Foggy Bottom Trader Joes, it is hardly a traffic nightmare.

      • Eric in Ledroit

        i work across the street, and actually the foggy bottom TJs is a serious traffic nightmare. they routinely try to dock a tractor trailer truck in the mid-afternoon that makes traffic a mess on pennsylvania and m streets.

        don’t get me wrong, i would love a TJs nearer to ledroit park. but they are not perfect.

      • Andy

        I’ve had problems on weekends trying to park anywhere within a quarter mile of Saint Ex. I think any new establishment in that area bringing in car traffic will be asked to solve its own parking problems with a lot rather than ask locals to believe street parking won’t be further burdened.

      • Ragged Dog

        I know and I agree, but I also know how much of a mess U/Florida is already. It’s very similar to 14th St when you get the left turners and the delivery trucks double parked and the bicyclists and the spinning rimmers and the agro type A’s. You add a popular grocery store with limited parking and you have a road rage incident in the making.

        Look at the Whole Foods on P, during the shopping rush that street is a car-tastrophe.

      • rocketnerd

        I find foggy bottom trader joes to be a traffic nightmare every time i’m there! L st is constantly backed up with people blocking the box into 24th. disastrous.

  • pia

    Just one quick comment…TJ’s doesn’t “require” parking necessarily. I used to live a few blocks from one of the Boston locations. It was a teeny, below ground level location without a parking space in sight.

    • houseintherear

      Seriously. There’s a Silver Spring location with a huge parking lot if people want to park, and many other locations with parking in the area. Go to one of those locations if you need to drive.

      Welcome to a CITY, for crying out loud. The complaints about parking frustrate the hell outta me.

      • rocketnerd

        no wine sold at the MD stores. takes half the reason out of going there.

    • Anon

      I, too, lived near that location in Boston. There was ZERO parking and I still did all my shopping there because it was way closer to my apt on Boylston than the other major Giant-like chain, Shaw’s. You just buy what you think you can carry. It’s actually not a bad business model because I went back multiple times a week and always bought things I didn’t “need” just because I was there.

      Captcha: feet victor – triumph while walking with heavy groceries!

      • Ragged Dog

        Boston is a much more walkable city than DC and the public transportation is much more available and reliable. Also parking is much easier in DC than Boston, thus more people decide to have a car here.

        I haven’t heard anyone complaining that they want parking, I’ve heard a lot of people stating that TJ’s will have parking and, ergo, people will try to drive to Tj’s thus creating a traffic problem.

        Right or wrong, people drive in DC. It’s an established fact. Complaining about people driving is a waste of time. Giving people a reason not to drive is a fantastic plan, complaining about drivers doesn’t make it happen.

        • houseintherear

          Giving people a reason not to drive= Opening stores w/out parking lots. No one is complaining about drivers.

    • Kim

      I agree and also wondered about all of the concern over parking. A lot of people in D.C. don’t have a car or don’t drive frequently. It’s pretty easy to carry a few items or get one of the carts they sell for like $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond.

    • neener

      I’ve been to that one! Across the street from the convention center?

  • Parking

    Neighborhood groups tried to get Trader Joe’s to come to the 14th and U area a few years back (four I think)and the main sticking point was parking.

    They were insistent on parking which is just ridiculous because other stores they have (Boston as mentioned and Manhattan) don’t have parking.

    Would have been nice if the Ward’s leadership would have stepped up and pressed them on it, but since that leadership is car-obsessed, well that was that at the time.

    Hopefully they won’t be so insistent on the parking this time around.

    • DCster

      I think the Ward’s leadership is still car-obsessed (and in need of replacing).
      I remember the times I went all the way to the Bethesda TJ, by metro (that wasn’t even very close to the metro station). I certainly could walk from 14th & U or 14th & S to the U St metro with no trouble.
      It’s great to see more options opening up closer to home.

      • neener

        sigh, but you could not do it while carrying four bags of groceries and holding the hands of two children. sheesh, the world does not live alone in an apartment. People have cars because they need cars.

        • dcsarah

          Then you can drive to the one in Foggy Bottom and the carless people can walk/take transit to the 14th&U. We don’t have to please all the people all the time.

    • dcvoterboy

      The biggest sticking point for Trader Joe’s and parking for the Union Row / PN Hoffman project was not parking for cars, but parking for Trader Joe’s semi trucks which run with 53-foot long trailers.

      Apparently Trader Joe’s runs their own fleet of trucks and they have very specific loading/parking requirements that Union Row couldn’t accommodate with the loading dock setup and the District wasn’t willing to create an on-street loading zone along V Street for 53 foot long semi trailers.

  • Anonymous

    I heard about a year ago that trader joes was going in the stalled development project on W street between 14th and 13th. First floor is supposed to be trader joes and the top will be a brand new, huge YMCA.

  • Mare

    I’ve been frequenting the TJ’s out at Bailey’s Crossroads for almost 10 years (all the while living in DC), I still go out there almost every week b/c Foggy Bottom is a nightmare and I refuse to deal with their crowds. I would be in heaven if it moved closer to CoHigh, that said, I can’t imagine where it would go at 14th & U. Bring it to Georgia Avenue!! If you build it, they will come! Best day-to-day wine selection anywhere and great party apps, dips, sauces, canned goods, staples, but agree with others, you can’t do all your shopping there. For meats and most produce, I still have to hit Whole Foods, for paper goods, Target.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, it would do soo so well around New Hampshire and Georgia!!

  • Ryu

    Hate to be a buzzkill but I feel like I’ve heard similar rumors 4-5 times in the last few years. Something like: “A friend of a friend talked to a manager at TJ’s who said they were actively seeking a second store at X location.” The more Trader Joes the better, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • God I hope this happens.

  • Foggy Bottom is practically Kentucky.
    Bring it.

    • Matt


      captcha: “barley on” dude!

    • Quetzal

      So true, my friend, so true.

  • anon

    This would be great. But I would not get my hopes up. Where could they open that is big enough and would get them their requisit parking spaces? Maybe if they wait to locate in the ground floor of any of the new developments coming to that intersection? But those wont be built for a good 5-10. And you thought the year long wait for Ellwoods has been rough. Eitherway Im a lot more excited about Ellwoods. A local, All-organic, full-service grocer, with a cafe. Traders hardly can compete with that.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      The wait for Ellwood, sadly, has been well over a year. Deal signed in Oct. ’08 but rumors floated well before that. And as others have said, Ellwood in CH and Trader Joes near U St are not mutually exclusive. But I agree, I won’t do a backflip until a deal is signed and sealed…

  • Jen

    This would be fantastic. I live right by the Yes! Organic Market at 14th and V and the buns are always moldy (staff has acknowledged the problem but says it’s due to their lighting system), plus half of their meat selection is bad. And I mean bad, as in, black/green. Ugh.

  • wiserpenny

    This would absolutely work! This is a much better location than choosing a
    spot all the way near Walter Reed. The area can support Trader Joe’s &
    Elwood Thompson. They only need to check out the prices /home sales and
    rental prices. The $$$$ is here! The demand is here!

    • helen_damnation

      This is a much better location than choosing a spot all the way near Walter Reed.

      They could very easily open locations at both Walter Reed AND the 14th/U area, and both stores would be outrageously successful. See the above comments from the LA residents…Trader Joe’s has several locations clustered relatively close together in those cities, and they seem to be doing well….same thing could happen in DC.

      • helen_damnation

        I meant to say “LA and SF residents”

  • John

    I’ll put the chances of this happening in the next five years at. roughly 5 percent. But you all can dream. I would be more excited about Ellwoods finally saying they will break ground. It will be bigger than trader joes. (the size of a whole foods). It will have prepared food and a cafe to eat in. Its ALL ORGANIC. I personally do not get the hype about Trader Joes. 2 buck chuck I guess?

    • Yeah, Trader Joe’s will kill you with all the sodium in that prepared food!

  • Giotto

    Yes, Yes……… I’m still really hoping they’re working on 14 and S as mentioned earlier, Perfect Spot !!

    I would only go often if I could walk as I do to Whole Foods and at night, Sorry POP’s… I’m not walking up 14th past V ish

  • Anon

    Has Trader Joes EVER located in an up and coming neighborhood? They are like the snobbiest chain ever. They need like a million parking spaces in a rich neighborhood to even think about bothering to open. This isnt happening. Not for another 10 years anyway. I would assume their next venture would be in Spring Valley or Woodley Park or something. Not 14th and V.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Uh 14th and V is not exactly an up and coming neighborhood anymore. It is up.

    • John

      There is a building at the corner of Conn Ave and Calvert in woodley park. Most of its ground floor is unoccupied and used as a voting place. It has parking and a large back patio area overlooking rockcreek. I have always thought this would be a no brainer for a trader joes. Woodley Park is the only rich neighborhood without a grocery store. Even Cleveland Park has Brookville. But speaking of Cleveland park when blockbuster and Magruders went out of business I swore up and down that Trader Joes would hop in there. Both these locations fit their bill for established neighborhood with parking. I think whoever scouts locations for Trader Joes must be a real dolt.

  • HolmeadHomey

    Looking for a location? How about the lot behind the new apartment/condo building on 14th and Florida (meaning up the hill between Chapin and Belmont). That stretch (from Florida to Irving on 14th) is the artery connecting U St and CH and is loaded with promise.

  • Anonymous

    please please please bring trader joe’s to petworth or columbia heights or u street — anywhere on the green line!!!!

    i only go to foggy bottom a few times a year but would go to a green line store at least a few times a month.

    i love me some trader joe’s salsa. (and beer… and wine… and frozen food…)

  • Roger Cummings

    I could see how they would want parking, but I don’t think they’re going to require a huge amount of it like Whole Foods does. Parking at the Foggy Bottom location is pretty limited, and the lot at the Tysons location is always packed.

  • anon

    Mark me in the trader-joes-is-over-rated camp. I think people like the name and asthetic of the place. It’s got some charm to be sure. But its nothin but frozen food, shrink-wrapped styrofoam-packed veggies. and cheap wine. Don’t get me wrong. Ill go once a month for a case of two buck chuck. But I’ll be at Ellwoods on the daily. Even if trader joes opens up nextdoor to my house.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Dude, it is clear you don’t like trader joes. But it’s not going to affect your Ellwoods option. So chill, my friend.

      • anon

        Hey you asked for opinions. I’m just sayin Traders is the hot dog cart. Ellwoods is the hotness. And it’s my opinion that Traders, Currently in Foggy Bottom and Bethesda, Isn’t lookin to 14th adn V to open their 2nd DC store. But who knows. Maybe they are changing their business model.

        • neener

          How is that going against their business model. Do you really know their business model?

          They locate near other existing high-end supermarkets, that’s their business model. I know that for a fact that no matter what data they have, they rely on the existence of Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and the like in the neighborhood already. this is the “answer” store to the P St Whole Foods.

          • anon

            You’ve said that before Neener yet the Traders in foggy bottom is not near a whole foods. Neither is the one in bethesda.

  • I disagree with the headline – I’m way more looking forward to Ellwood Thompson’s than a TJ’s.

    • +1. I didn’t get the hotdog cart thing, but to each his own! I know people who swear by TJ’s because they can just buy a week’s worth of meals and throw them in the freezer. I’m looking forward to the Euro model of getting what I need just for the evening at Ellwoods!

  • Mike

    I have never travelled to the Foggy Bottom location – ever because it’s a royal pain to get over there. I fully welcome one in my ‘hood! Even better would be the old Bowen YMCA project that has stalled. I hope Perseus (sic), the developer on this project is listening!!

    • Leroy

      +1 !

  • I love Trader Joe’s and very much hope this happens, but I, too, am far more excited about Ellwood Thompson’s …

  • aaron-anonymous

    With another store like this wouldn’t it just expedite the removal of those who aren’t white, in the 25-35 range? These communities, like trader joes, are starting to have the same layout and are homogeneous. I can understand where these new developments are exciting – but having box stores does not make it the hip and bohemian neighborhood it thinks it is.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, because there’s nothing that drives POC away like affordable, quality food. Leave them the mom and pop stores that overcharge and lack variety!

    • neener

      Please explain your reasoning because at first glance this is crazy insane talk.

    • I will say…although I’m not too terribly thrilled about huge chains coming in, this area really does need a convenient grocery store, and I think the U St. area will be more convenient than the Harris Teeter. As well, I think TJ’s prices are pretty reasonable and hopefully everybody can take advantage of the place. So many regions of DC have nothing but the unhealthy stuff available at corner stores.
      But I do have concerns over ma & pa places.

      • aaron-anonymous

        Well it can’t be argued that CH is a food desert because it is not – there are grocery stores within a mile. If the complaint is against small shops – why not have the economic development board of CH take a comprehensive approach and team the small shops up with development grants that would allow them to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables. What Trader Joes is a magnet for the yuppies that displace the current population and demographics – look at the reaction and excitement on this board. Trader Joes is not healthier than any other store – everything is processed, frozen, and just as packaged as everything else. But taken as a whole with Target, BBB, Chipotle, etc CH is no different than the burbs – it might as well be Rockville, Trader Joes would just confirm that.

        • Ragged Dog

          I think you have the tail wagging the dog. TJ’s isn’t going into marginal neighborhoods and helping to turn a neighborhood. They’re going into established neighborhoods and skimming off the cream.

          Which is why the H St location is probably not going to happen. It’s still a marginal location.

  • EdTheRed

    They’ll have to outbid Fred Smoot’s Waffle House franchise for the space…

  • Anonymous

    OMG, this would really be a dream come true!!! Please Please Please.

  • Anonymous

    Only reason to shop there is \a little more that 2 buck\ Chuck, even that is not consistent.

  • Anonymous

    When I lived in CA I could walk to TJs and Safeway, I shopped at both all the time. Now I live in CH. I was so excited about the Foggy Bottom TJs but truth is I have not been there in more than I year. I don’t know if I outgrew TJs or its too far to go. But, nothing can motivate me to go over there to shop now.

    But, if there was a TJs at 14th & U, I promise I would be there once a week, if not more.

  • Anonymous

    I would LOVE to see something in Bloomingdale. They have that shopping center on the Left just past North Capital with a big empty storefront, I think Safeway might have been in there before?

  • M

    I rarely or never go to TJ’s – and to me it has always symbolized upper-middle class white and suburban. It’s over-rated, and almost like an up-scale 711 — everything is pre-packaged, and an enviromental headache. The 14th & U/Columbia Heights corridor has become a giant, homogenous cluster-fuck, and adding a TJ’s would be a option, however I’d rather see an enormous Co-op, and a NY Style Deli, or something a little less-main-stream.

    TJ’s is definitely the hot-dog cart, imo.

  • Andy(2)

    Cleveland park would be perfect – provided the real estate is cheap. They may get a better deal with a new development – so either the U street area, Mt. Vernon to NY/Fla Ave or H Street are my bets.
    I think a few months ago AU park off New Mexico was rumored to be getting a TJs – not true.
    All they need is parking for about 25 cars (what they have at a lot of stores outside of DC) – so the lot won’t have to be too big.

  • Matthew

    Room and Board just got the last space big enough that could handle the parking. What about right up where that old Jeremiah Strip Mall by the Boys and Girls Club was…that seemed ideal.


  • Matt

    TJs is needed along GA Ave, the old car dealership would be ideal (where Fenty’s campaign HQ is currently) at GA and Missouri Aves. Another spot could be at Walter Reed, but that redevelopment is a few years away.

    • briefly

      I agree totally as a resident of that area. However, face the facts, we are a declared ghetto by Fenty and zero promised development has occurred in the area for years. We have no metro stop so we’re area-non-grata to the transit crowd, and our largely elderly population coupled with active gangs of thugs ruling many of our streets makes us very unattractive. Not much we can do, blame Bowser? Extract fresh promises from Fenty. I wish I knew… And here’s hoping the Walter Reed development doesn’t languish for years like every single other promised development in that area. It takes leadership and government financing, neither of which we’re likely to see.

  • I’m not far from the Foggy Bottom Tj’s and I patronize it for the cheap wines. I also like some of their prepared foods, the fake sushi, and their brand cereals. I still have to make a trip to Giant’s for Kitty litter and Diet Coke, lightbulbs, and really fresh produce. And Whole Foods figures in there from time to time too. As for traffic, TJ’s is quite a circus at peak times, which I try to avoid. The garage is small and full of pillars. Sometimes the line inside goes all the way to the back of the store and around…

  • Build it and they will come.

    On a side note, I bet TJ’s could build out space in DCUSA in about 6-8 weeks. Why wait another year for Ellwood Thompsons? That girl was invited to the prom and hasn’t put out yet. Time to move on!

  • devoe

    The Trader Joe’s should go in the store for sale on the NW corner of 2d and Florida Ave in Bloomingdale. It would be the perfect size and location.

  • link

    BUY THE GEORGIA AVE SAFEWAY and expand/improve!

    • PetworthRes

      +1 Seriously, the best improvement for that Safeway would be for a company that knows what they are doing to take it over.

  • thora

    Living in Columbia Heights, if ET’s and TJ’s really do open in those locations, I can safely say I will be going to Giant a lot less, if ever. I used to lug groceries home from TJ’s roughly once a week when I worked in Foggy Bottom, and it was a pain in the ass. It would be a lot more worth it if TJ’s was a short Metro/Circulator ride away.

  • Anonymous

    I hope both ET and TJ open soon so it will draw away the yuppies from Giant. Then Giant will have shorter lines and less of a clusterfuck for the rest of us. I’m happy to let others overpay for groceries.

  • Yup

    You guys are all idiots. The option being explored is at the new Utopia development. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011, with completion in 2012. There is 20k of retail footage available; TJ’s needs about 13-15k. Honestly, you guys get your panties in a bunch over nothing. Oh, and even if a letter of intent is signed, that is what it is: intent. So don’t get all pissy if it ultimately doesn’t happen. I understand page views and the need to make money, but I think this blog needs to chill out and let things run their course for a change.

  • briefly
    • Prince Of Petworth

      Housing Complex shoots this rumor down by calling their PR department. Far be it from me to tell Lydia how to do her job but there are many many occasions when the official PR will not confirm a rumor even though it’s true. Having said that, from the begining this has always been scuttlebutt and sometimes it pans out and sometimes it doesn’t. But calling a company’s PR for the final word is laughable.

      • Anonymous

        Better not to do any fact checking?

        • Prince Of Petworth

          If you don’t get it, you don’t get it there is nothing I can do about that. But here’s an example that might explain things a bit better, when Chipotle was thinking about opening a store in Columbia Heights, I learned this info long before any official rep would go on record. In that case the Chipotle rumor turned out to be true. I’m not saying all rumors will be true. I’m saying there is no harm in discussing a rumor. If @housingcomplex wants to call my friend sean a liar well that’s a whole different story. I’ve know sean a long time and have no reason to doubt that he asked the TJ manager and she said that they were looking around 14th and U. The conversation def. happened, whether TJ is actually looking, well, time will tell. But again, no harm in discussing.

  • sometimes it takes more than one call to verify something. it takes two or three calls. maybe both the CityPaper and PoP need to do more digging. scuttlebutt carries umph only when it leads to some aspect of the truth.

  • RD

    Well i’ll shoot the scuttlebutt down. the two store managers are male, and the female managers working at the store are not high enough that they would know something like this. this particular rumor is not true, per a very good source.

    They are looking to expand in DC in the next year or 2 because the store is so busy, however.

  • sean

    i’m the one that passed this to PoP. maybe the manager i talked to wasn’t high enough to know that kind of info. whatever. she told me, i’m friends with PoP and i thought he may know more, or maybe ya’ll would know more, so i passed it on to him. no one here was claiming it was solid intel, certainly not me. certainly not PoP.

    oftentimes the general commentary on these posts generates more information than a single PR person is going to tell you. you readers here know a shit ton of stuff and can sometimes shed more light on the matter.
    thats why it is often informative to post rumors.

  • Hg

    View 14has a great street level spot very good for grocery type place.

  • Kamantha

    What is going in at the old Hogs on the Hill blg on 14th and U across from the Reeves Ctr? Is that blg taken yet?


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