Another One Bites the Dust – Capitol Video Sales Closing, Pacifico (Latin tapas) Coming To Barracks Row

by Prince Of Petworth November 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm 24 Comments

I’ve often wondered how Capitol Video Sales was able to stay in business, located at 514 8th Street, SE next to Belga Cafe. Looks like the video store will be closing soon and in its place hopes to come Pacifico. From a liquor license application that recently went up:

“New Restaurant, Latin tapas, open grill, salads and contemporary cooking with recorded music.
Seating Capacity is 120. Total occupancy load including Summer Garden is 185. Sidewalk Café with seating for 30.”

I say “they hope to open up in their space” because Nichole recently reminded me of a post about an ANC 6B (which covers Barracks Row) liquor license moratorium on The Hill is Home:

“The commission decided that a blanket protest of all new [liquor license] requests — instead of determining on a case-by-case basis — would be the best course of action until a solution is identified to fix the “over-saturation of restaurants” on 8th Street.”

Though the THIH also notes:

“A protest from the ANC does not necessarily mean that the business cannot get their liquor license, it just means that the ANC is advising the ABC board to deny it.”

The dreaded “Adams Morganization” of the area was also evoked…

Personally, I think a Latin Tapas restaurant would be a fantastic addition to Barracks Row. And remember it’s not impossible to get a liquor license when ANC opposition exists.

A good example of this is the recent liquor license that Big Bear Cafe obtained in Bloomingdale, despite an ANC objection.

Do you think too many restaurants are starting to open up on 8th St, SE? It’ll be interesting to see how the desire for more mixed retail options plays out on Barracks Row. And whether or not ANC opposition scuttles any new restaurants hoping to open up there.

And a related question: When will the final bell toll for nearby Blockbuster? Tick tock…

Blockbuster on Barracks Row located at 410 8th Street, SE

  • Anon

    That blockbuster is like a landmark…I’d hate to see it go.

  • jason

    Adams Morganization would involve opening more bars versus restaurants. As i see it , most of the places on 8th close at midnight even during the weekends with the exception of a few. Barracks row is frequently mostly by residents as i see it.

    Personally, i don’t think retail can thrive around 8th as the rents are already too high. As far as the mixed retail goes, I believe once Hines gets demolished maybe we can attract some boutiques in some of those spaces.

    I think the ANC protest is a step backwards and my understanding it was mostly residents on 9th street that initiated a petition which involved the ANC blanket protested all new applications. That doesn’t necessarily reflect how all neighbors feel (IMO), but just a small minority .

    • Anonymous

      how would razing Hines enable more boutiques?

      • jason

        Hines has been slated to be demolished for some time now. My understanding it was supposed to be part condos and part retail/food. I think a good idea for that space would be to provide an incentive to attract little boutiques, since eastern market is down the street there should be a decent amount of foot traffic.

        • Anonymous

          is that what is going to happen? or are you being wishful? will rents on new construction, even if subsidized, be cheaper than 8th st?

          • Stanton/Eastbanc, the team that won the bid to develop the Hine (NOT HineS – sorry, pet peeve) site, initially promised the following (from one of our posts at THIH):

            Their plan includes a large amount of space for the Shakespeare Theater Group, affordable housing suitable for aging in place for older Hill residents, and a piazza with a fountain that can also be used as a stage for musicians or Shakespeare Theater performances. Additionally, the International Relief and Development organization is one of their larger tenants for office space, and they are in talks with Inter Continental for a small hotel. The Stanton/Eastbanc plan for parking, which includes 391 spaces (150 private and the rest public) and 77 bike spaces, provides space for vendors to park their trucks, allowing the trucks removed from 7th Street on the weekends. This plan is also the tallest of all of proposed designs. The facade on Eighth Street will be the same height as the existing houses across the street, but the full development will be 6 floors at its highest point.

            Their plan allows for retail facing both 7th Street and PA Ave.

            All of that said, Shakespeare is now a maybe, the hotel is out, but IRD is still hopeful. Of course, demolition isn’t scheduled until 2013 now, with construction set to begin in 2015, so it’s all pretty moot for the time being.

    • ET


      Seriously, 2 at Chateaux Animeaux, one at the old vet, possibly one at the sports place and now this. One more restaurant on that street is not going to get me coming down there any more than I already do. (and then there was the hot dog place that snuck in there)

  • The only problem I see is that a tapas restaurant on 8th Street would attract the “wrong element,” i.e., people who aren’t sick of tapas.

    • Anonymous

      why would you eat something so often that you get sick of it?
      moderation monkey. moderation.

  • Kev29

    People keep opening bars and restaurants because they work. And even then they have that famous over 50% fail within a year attrition rate. Would you want to open a brick and mortar clothing boutique, paying super high rent these days? No thanks – selling booze provides the only profit margin that works.

    • Anonymous

      i haven seen a failure rate of 50% within a year in dc. is that true?

    • Not necessarily. Selling small portions of food and a hip urban lifestyle “vibe” also works.

      • ET

        Sadly I am not a “hip urban lifestyle” type person – ’cause most of these places seem sadly interchangeable despite the different cuisine. Guy at 42 I can consider myself an old fogy.

        • C

          I feel the same way– and I’m in my twenties.

    • Anonymous

      Target seems to do okay.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      no way do 50% of new bars and restaurants in dc fail within a year. this is obvious to anyone who pays attention to the local bar and restaurant scene. It’s closer to 5% failing within a year in the past decade that I’ve been in town.

      • ET

        Considering some of the crap food I have eaten – if there is outdoor seating the place will do OK.

      • Anonymous

        thats more in line what i was thinking too.

  • It won’t be long, look at the sale sign in the window… 3 days for $.99. That is even lower than REDBOX – wow.

    Don’t fret none for Jimmy, the owner of Capitol Video. That place has been in business for decades including two location in Dupont Circle. (one now closed on Pst)

    I would think it is a fair statement to say he did well over the years.

  • PG
  • LL

    As a hill resident, I am all in favor of more restaurants on 8th and anywhere around the hill. It’s not even close to the “over-saturation” that ANC claims. Just a bunch of NIMBY pimbys.

  • Nosy on S ST

    Capitol Video Sales had an EXCELLENT selection of porn.

    Now, stuff THAT into your taco.


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