Washington, DC

“Dear PoP,

Any tips on what’s going on in the Northeast end of Union Station? Recently all of the car rental agencies moved upstairs, Ben and Jerry’s moved across the station, and the tie store, Lids, and just about everything in that block besides Verizon has disappeared. It seems they are planning on using the Northeast portion for something big, but I have no idea what. Anyone have a clue?

With all of the new restaurants near the metro (Chipotle, Potbelly, and Chopt) and the addition of the NY buses, it’s clear that improvement is afoot at Union Station even before they start construction on Burnham Place. Now if only they can figure out what to do with the old movie theater space and get Bojangles to open up…”

When we discussed the now open Potbelly’s on Monday a reader, Lou, said:

“I saw a presentation done by the Union Station managers a couple of years ago and this was not what was projected. They had ambitions of bringing in Apple, other high-end retail and a high-end restaurant. That’s why they were driving out some of the little independent shops in the basement food court.”

When I spoke to some folks who worked in nearby stores they thought that this space (where the Verizon store is) was simply being cleared to provide more lobby/loading space for Amtrak. But I’m wondering what you guys think – would an Apple or other high-end retail store work in Union Station? Do/Would people go to Union Station for specifically for shopping? I know folks who work nearby go for lunch but would people go specifically for an REI store? The funny thing is – when I was answering my own question in my head, I was thinking a movie theater would be great. I know not everyone liked the old theater because it could get loud but it (the former space in the basement) really does seem like a great space for a theater…

Anyway, for the Friday Question of the Day – What retail do you think is missing from (would be successful at) Union Station? Or should the addition of more restaurants be the way to go?


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