IHOP Opens Today, Nov. 16th in Columbia Heights. Free Short Stack Pancakes for First 1500 Customers Nov. 23

by Prince Of Petworth November 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm 74 Comments

It’s been about a year and a half since I first posted the Scuttlebutt that IHOP would be coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights. At long last the day has arrived. I stopped in on Mon. to snap some photos and confirm the word on their opening. They are opening at 9am Nov. 16 and closing at 11pm. Starting. Nov. 17 they’ll be opening at 7am and closing at 11pm. And after Thanksgiving they will be open 24 hours!

But more good news – their grand opening will be Nov. 23rd and to celebrate the first 1500 customers will get a free short stack of pancakes. And there you have it. It’s not going to bring world peace but it is going to make many many people very happy. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but for I’m not gonna lie, I shed a tear of joy whilst taking these photos.

Capacity is 220 seats including a banquet room.

IHOP is located on Irving St, NW just west of 14th Street.

More photos after the jump.

View upon first entering

Classic booths

Call ahead option

Instead of leaving your name if there is a wait you’ll get a card and when you’re table is ready they’ll say “Quincy Jones” your table is ready!

  • Goku

    About time!

  • victoria

    A banquet room? What exactly does one serve at an ihop banquet?

    • sb

      If I were planning a wedding, i would have a rehearsal brunch instead of a rehearsal dinner and I would have it at IHOP. And it would be amazing.

      But I could imagine birthday parties, graduations, confirmations, etc.

      • Jessica

        Me too (well, brunch but not IHOP), until you discuss this with family and they throw your idea out the window.

        • Bridezilla

          If it is MY wedding we will have the brunch wherever I want to have it!

          • anon

            My husband and I went on our first date to the IHOP. We tried to convince our families that an IHOP rehearsal brunch would be cute. They disagreed.

          • Jessica

            yea, I thought that too. Then I got engaged. Funny how that works!

          • StubsDC

            That works only if you are paying for it. Which we did. So we didn’t really care what anyone else thought. But, when the family pays, they own your wedding.

    • Jimson Fanse

      Um, pancakes, maybe?

    • Chris

      What a FAB place for my wedding reception! It will completely take all of my gay friends by surprise.

  • anonymous

    my first job was at ihop. the way food was handled was disgusting. i quit the same day.

  • skellie

    I’m confused about the free pancakes..do you have to be there at 12:00 am or 12:01 am to get them? Or is this one not 24 hours and you have to be there at 7am or something like that?

    • skellie

      wait are ihops even 24 hours? I cant remember

      • Goku

        Same are some aren’t. I think the one in Wheaton is 24/7

        • photodork

          This one will be 24 hours.

    • Anonymous

      Methinks you need to brush up on your reading skillz: “They are opening at 9am Nov. 16 and closing at 11pm. Starting. Nov. 17 they’ll be opening at 7am and closing at 11pm. And after Thanksgiving they will be open 24 hours!”

      • skellie

        oh look at that.. it does say that..heh

  • They will be taking in some much cash at this IHOP there may be an investigation by the secret service.

  • Try the country fried steak. I was pleasantly suprised and only the least bit constipated, unlike certain other so-called “diners.”

    COUGH!–American City Diner–COUGH!

  • j


  • Alex

    IHOP.. seriously? Come on people, have a little class. I went to IHOP for the first time a couple months ago, probably the worst food I’ve ever had. This is a serious disappointment.

    • rooty tooty

      where would you rank it in terms of the disappointment that you had when panda express opened in the same shopping center? vitamin shoppe? for me, ihop is a big step up.

    • TonyS

      im really sorry for you that you can’t have happiness in life

    • DCMom

      What were you expecting – brunch at the Ritz? Really can’t imagine having expectations so high that they were dashed at iHop. I expect super sweet, hot food, pancakes with fake “fruit” syrup, lots of whipped cream – never disappointed.

    • Anonymous

      oh come on. if everyone had a little class, then there would be no such thing as class.

      us plebes gots to eat somewhere, and i know you really don’t want us taking up space at your favorite classy places.

  • Pointing out the obvious

    This place is going to be overrun by unruly teenagers.

    • x

      that is so not a bad thing.

    • Jessica

      better there than outside/on metro

    • TaylorStreetMan


    • TaylorStreetMan

      sorry! Looks like *I’m* the moron!
      I meant: redundant. “unruly teenagers” is redundant.

      bleh. never mind.

  • can’t wait

    not sure why yall are being so uppity…this will be amazing and delicious

  • steveg202

    IHOP is simply about getting a cheap meal of pancakes 24/7. They are not trying to solve our social issues or cooking a truly memorable meal. With all the folks who line up in Adams Morgan for bfast this will be an alternative for CH. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Who wants to wager a stack of pancakes that the place does well (ie meaning there is a demand here in CH)?

    • PG

      I won’t eat there unless they start serving Santa Barbara grilled eel beaks in a baby pinecone sauce. :)

    • WarderST


  • Jessica

    My memories if IHOP start and end with a pit-stop on a family drive. Young me, about 7 years old or so, goes to use the restroom only to find that the floor is covered in human poop. Runny human poo. It was horrible.

    I’ve yet to return to an IHOP but this one looks new/clean enough for now that there’s a possiblity.

    • Anonymous

      IHOP has actually changed a lot in the past decade for the better. I am kind of a food snob but I really do believe their pancakes and omlettes (they mix a little pancake batter into the eggs to make them fluffier) are to die for.

  • We are all about to die. This will be just like that movie where everybody dies.

    • Anonymous

      yeah, that was a good one.

    • dreas

      I don’t know why I find this so freaking funny, but I do. Thanks for the much-needed laugh on this crappy morning.

  • andy

    We will all die at the hands of teenage thugs flinging poo.

  • pixelww

    Sometimes a pancake is just a pancake. At least something family friendly [and cheap] moved into the neighborhood – and provided JOBS to those who were in need.

    If you had a bad experience – sorry, but really, do you have to share your toilet stories so early in the day? And each one is its own restaurant, they are franchised out. Can’t compare all to one bad one. If I followed some of the advice above, I would never go to a Starbucks again.

    • RegO

      +1 I totally agree with your first sentence. I don’t care for IHOP but these are new JOBS in the neighborhood and although it is a chain, DC will still see some of the money generated by tax on sales.

      • Jessica

        I definitely agree – any place that creates jobs, I’m a fan of.

        I just always think POO ON FLOOR when I think of IHOP.

        • Blue

          Right but it was one inconsiderate customer who did that to that particular restaurant. I wouldn’t call it their fault unless they knowingly left it like that.

  • Eckingtonite

    Go IHOP! We need these places!

    Beats the pants off of an endless series of failed mediocre overpriced “locally-owned” restaurants with pretensions of being the Next Hot Spot that remain open for 3 months and vanish. Just think of the blog space here and on DCist that will be saved from not having to bemoan their losses!

    “Amusing new sidewalk cafe serving small plates of pickled organic baby seal noses ($22) and free-range radish slices with a glistening drop of Retsyn ($14) to close after 3 months.” “New sidewalk cafe coming to same spot, serving small plates of organic raccoon fur petits fours ($27) and sliced free-range rich Corinthian Celery with Amish Butter of Peanuts ($16).” “Comments?”

    Total words devoted to IHOP: “Ate there when I was hungry/drunk/hungover. Had pancakes. Decent. Still open.” Repeat to 2054.

    • andy

      No repeat until 2032. Too much IHOP will shorten your life.

    • Hurleybird

      Eckingtonite for mayor of Columbia Heights!

  • David

    So seriously, does this turn into the biggest ghetto restaurant ever, or does the management actually handle it well and does it become a nice alternative for the neighborhood?

    What do we think?

    • Tania

      I think the one the same family owns on Alabama Avenue is clean, well operated and family friendly. No comment on whether that’s “ghetto” or not.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      why? ‘ghetto’ has a whole legitimate meaning outside of race.

  • Anonymous

    IHOP franchises nationwide have a problem with food handling, cleanliness and food related illnesses. Do a some quick internet searches if you don’t believe me. It’s more safe to eat dirt from the sidewalk most days than at IHOP. Not nearly as tasty I’ll concede. No way in hell I’m ever eating anything at any IHOP anywhere.

    • rooty tooty

      can you post some statistics? maybe a basis of comparison to some other national chain? i’m also particularly interested in the relative safety vs. the dirt from the sidewalk.

    • More room for me then… You bacteria food freaks crack me up.

      I have worked in three restaurants in my life,,, they are all dirty.

  • cookietime420

    Totally fine with this place. I can’t imagine I’ll eat there. Same deal with the Ruby Tuesday’s. I just don’t like that kind of food but recall that site was a vacant lot 5 years ago. Compared to that, and compared to a vacant storefront, I’m totally fine with an IHOP.

    DC, particularly east of the park, lacks inexpensive, family-friendly, sit-down restaurants. Fenty’s first run at city council ten or so years ago focused on opening up ONE restaurant of that kind on Georgia Ave. People really related to that. And he won, displacing long-time council member Charlene Drew Jarvis.

    I hope it does well.

  • InTheGaP

    Thrilled with the 24-7ness. I love knowing that there is a place nearby where we can always find people, and comfort food, and a little din when we need them.

    There have been greasy spoons for centuries . . . can’t blame them for the recent downward turn in American health.

  • Best News Ever

  • super_b

    Columbia Heights residents just collectively gained about a billion pounds. There should be some kind of partnership between WSC and IHOP.

    • When I joined WSC, they actually pointed to the Five Guys you can see across the street on the little tour and said that’s why I needed to join. Thought it was funny … especially since I’m a vegetarian and don’t eat there. Pancakes are fair game however … treadmill, here I come!

  • super_b

    Also, I think this will single-handedly solve the low parking-deck usage problem at DC USA. Regardless of whether you will go there or not, it’s gonna bring in traffic.

    • djdc

      Imagine Sundays after church.

  • Alex

    Everyone chill yourselves. All I did was say that I did not enjoy IHOP. I don’t expect it to solve all of the social issues in DC, you are right. But, it would be nice to get a local brunch place, instead of a chain that will gross me out every time I walk by. If you like it, then congratulations, but I am allowed to dislike it, right?

  • Anonymous

    damn that place is ugly

  • steveg202

    IHOP is cheap, 24/7 (first eatery in CH), local ownership, will add parking revenue, filled a vacant storefront, hires local kids and is open now.

    Same posters hated on Chipotle and that place is ALWAYS crowded. And CH still 10+ vacancies for many different venues. I won’t be eating at IHOP more than a few times a year. But as this is not all about me, like Chipotle, I’m happy when something opens that meets the needs of the general community. I’ll still wager a short stack that a year from now IHOP will still be doing well with lots of regular patrons. A multiple of the patrons that were supporting the 2 year vacant storefront.

  • Anonymous

    to anyone who won’t go to the ruby tuesday because you “aren’t into that kind of thing” — i really feel sorry for you. the food is good, the drinks are cheap, and the staff is friendly. i swear to god if they just changed the name of that place they would be packed every night.

    i think, sadly, it will be the same with the ihop.

    additionally, if both places redecorated away from crappy hotel decor and axed their corporate soundtracks they would be frequented by all.

    if you guys like the feel of organic home grown establishment i don’t see why they don’t accomodate you. just so long as they leave the beers $3 for a 20 ounce and the cheeseburgers $8 and with endless fries.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      +1 on Ruby Tuesdays. They make an awesome bleu cheese burger! Good beer prices, too!

      I bet if they changed their name to something goofy and totally uncreative like their address (thinking of 1901 or 701 restaurants), they’d be packed.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    As a big – no, make that HUGE – fan of IHOP, I offer a wholehearted welcome. I think it is a fine addition to that development.
    The debate over local vs. chain is an old one with a long history with respect to the DCUSA development. From the moment the project was announced, there was a gap between the higher end businesses some people envisioned for that space and economic reality. That gap has only become more pronounced since the Great Recession began and it still exists even though the recession is technically over. Chains are in a much better position to open new stores in the current economic climate than small local businesses are. And the irony is that the more popular and successful that area becomes, the more unlikely it is that you will see small local businesses opening there because it will be too expensive for them. I wonder what local brunch place could afford to rent that space.
    And at the end of the day, it’s not about wanting a local business, it’s about wanting a local business that produces a product you like. Plenty of local businesses, especially bars and restaurants, get slammed in this forum all the time.

    • Tania

      The franchisees are a DC-based family, who already own one on Alabama Avenue in SE. It’s a minority and locally owned business, that has already hired 95% of its workforce from the city. They have created almost 200 jobs, and when they had training days they fed the food to residents of the Victory (Senior) Housing development on Irving and families from the Park Road Shelter. I’m glad to have them here.

  • Katir

    Just another reason why I purchased a home in the CH neighborhood! Yippie. S

  • Welcome to the neighborhood. I am no lover of IHOP and still MUCH prefer OPH, but it’s nice to have the option for a local early morning breakfast when no place else is open. More importantly, I really don’t see any downside. If you don’t like it, just don’t eat there (I’m hardly planning to be a regular). DCUSA is what it is, and it long ago crossed the tipping point — it’s a HUGE urbanized suburban strip mall, but it’s convenient and it’s cheap to shop at. There are still plenty of spaces for small businesses on Park Road, 14th Street, and 11th Street, and lots of great ones are coming in over the next few months. Not to mention Georgia Ave. whenever that gets going.

    Meanwhile this is one less vacancy, a slew more jobs, and a lot more tax revenue coming into the neighborhood. It’s not like it’s displacing something more desireable.

    • Anonymous

      Tax revenue? Whatever. All the sales tax goes toward making up the financing tax breaks given to the developer of the mall. It will be at least 20 years before the city gets a real dime in tax money.

  • WarderST

    I ate at the new IHOP this morning. The staff was fantastic! The place was very clean. The food was good. (Though the kitchen was a bit slow but it is their first day.) Sure, it’s an IHOP and some people won’t want to eat there, but to me it’s a cheap, predictably good 24 breakfast where they don’t care that my kid will probably chuck eggs on the floor. (In fact, they didn’t care and cleaned it up despite my protests that I would.) It’s nice to have somewhere to get good service and good breakfast food at a reasonable price.

    • Anonymous

      glad to hear it’s as awesome as i want it to be!

      i just hope that when i am obnoxiously drunk at 4 am they are equally nice and accommodating.

      long live IHOP!

  • Our waitress (Sabrina) said they will be open 24Hours after this upcoming Monday (22)

  • Gary & Stephanie

    Me and my girlfriend went at about 8:45 Sunday morning and were seated immediately. Everyone was very friendly, lots of greeters, but I definitely got the feeling that many of the employees were a bit green (inexperienced) and though motivated to do a good job, were unsure what they were supposed to be doing.
    The food was good, service and check were a bit slow, most IHOPS have you pay at the register. Seat reservations were called out “Donovan McNabb, party of 4” etc. Their carry-out service looked to be doing brisk business, several Metro employees waiting for their take-out order.


Subscribe to our mailing list