Game Stop Coming Next Door to New 7-11 on Columbia Road, NW in Adams Morgan

by Prince Of Petworth May 3, 2011 at 10:30 am 58 Comments

“Dear PoP,

Was walking by the new 7-11 in Adams Morgan yesterday and saw some construction going on in the building next door. There were some permits in the window but I couldn’t tell what’s going in there. Any news on your end?”

While no signs have gone up yet at 1759 Columbia Rd, NW a reader sends word (via Combined Properties) that a Game Stop video game store will be moving into the space.

It seems like the only thing that can now save the potential for this section of Columbia Road would be a proper development of the corner space at 17th St, NW:

  • Anonymous

    What’s wrong with a game stop?

    • who dat man?

      Game Stop = Ghetto Stop.

      Game Stops always have the rowdiest kids, milling around, trying to shoplift, creating havoc in the surrounding blocks. I used to live near one, and it was miserable. Loud kids in groups, harassing passers-by, littering everywhere. It was horrible.

      Plus, Game Stop is notoriously cheap in hiring security guards. There will probably be one underpaid, unmotivated guard for the entire store.

      • Trainer

        + 100000

        Can’t wait til the next election – the ANC in that area SUCKS!

        • Anonymous

          so the anc should stop a business from opening because you don’t like that business?

          • Chris

            A good ANC builds the bridge between landlords and residents and can steer them in a very profitable direction. That is, of course, if the landlord gives a shit about the community or is just looking to sign a lease with whomever can pay.

        • who dat man?

          Which ANC doesn’t suck?

      • Anon

        I shop at Game Stop and I’m not ghetto

        • Rukasu

          But you are a sucker for paying their prices

      • Scoot

        Sure, because there’s nothing that reduces loitering, crime and public order quite like a decrepit boarded-up storefront.

      • Another guy named Chris


        Reading these comments makes me think Game Stop is actually selling crack cocaine…

        I have never been to a Game Stop in an urban environment, but obviously the only reason it would attract that type of clientele is because that is who lives in the area. I doubt “Barry Farms teens” will be trekking up to Columbia Rd. to loiter outside of this store.

        • Anonymous

          doubtful since theres one on the hill.

  • Anonymous

    Oh man there is going to be crazy theft there! I hope they get a good security guard!

    • Kalorini

      Agreed, or at least some good security when they bring in new merch. I always associate Game Stop with a horrific robbery-gone-wrong in my hometown :-/

      I agree with PoP–the development on Columbia Rd is not what it could have been. If you build it, the scum will come…

  • Anonymous

    That development company really cheapened and screwed this stretch of Columbia Road, making it into a low-rent suburban mall. Can we please get a Checks Cashed place to complete the theme?? Oh wait…

  • Anonymous

    Also, I hope that they are least renovate the upper floors of that building and put some offices or apartments in. What a waste of extremely valuable ($25 psf) space.

  • Anonymous

    They should make it a cinema & draft house!! Where’s Joe Wood when you need him!

    • Hokie in the Hood

      I immediately thought the same thing.

  • Dave

    They’ll need some good security…shop lifting and theft will abound.

  • Pennyworth

    I don’t think there’ll be much theft. Gamestop doesn’t leave discs in the cases. The only things people can steal are used controllers and accessories … everything else is behind the counter.

    • who dat man?

      Just an increase in muggings when schools let out. Awesome.

  • pop-up owner

    When a Game-Stop went into the Jenkins Row Complex at 14th and Penn SE the naysayers went nuts, lamenting it wouldn’t be a $6 a cup coffee shop. True, a business utilizing the outdoor seating space and serving a wider demographic would be nice, but Game Spot took the spot.

    For what its worth, I haven’t seen any unruly behavior as a result of the Game Stop beyond what is the norm for any business. Additionally, the patrons of the store include a LARGE segment of the population well outside the boundaries of the stereotypes and worry discussed above.

    A lot of pudgy white dudes killing terrorists and being a NFL MVP from their couches in these parts it seems.

    • Marcus Aurelius

      Please keep your logic and facts to yourself and leave this post to the standard racist and classist rants that accompany the opening of any business that is not REI/Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s/Paul’s Organic Chai Tea Boutique/etc.

    • who dat man?

      Good to know. Hopefully this Game Stop will follow suit; I could care less about what goes there, just what sort of behavior it attracts.

  • jch

    i ordered my stuff from amazon , therefore amazon > gamestop

  • Ontario theater redux, music venue.

    • DCRat

      I wonder if that is possible since I’m pretty sure the store next door took the stage. There should be a marker though, The Clash played there

  • John

    +1 to all the comments lamenting this. I don’t even mind “low-rent” but I mind low-rent suburban strip mall chains. The only thing missing is a parking lot out front. It’s most offensive because they are all in a row. Game Stop/7-11/CVS/Safeway. If there was just one non chain between a couple of those it wouldn’t be so bad. On another note who the hell opens a brick and mortar video game store these days? To me strips like this are the true Urban blight. Across the street from this row there are a lot of low-rent places too but it is a charming and aesthetically pleasing strip where you can buy cheap goods, have a beer, eat a taco.

    • Chris

      This is the reality of high rents. I know you’re dreaming of Cupcake Shop/Microbrewery/Kite Store/Indie Book Shop instead, but it’s Game Stop/7-11/CVS/Safeway who can afford the rent there.

      • John

        Did you stop reading my comment halfway through? I am dreaming of no such things. I have never stepped a foot into a cupcake place and I haven’t flown a kite in 20 years. As I stated the row of shops across from the one in question is unoffensive while being free of all the yuppie trimmings you outline. Put a little more effort into your comments before you go pigeon holing. On the other hand I agree that the chain-strip is the result of a crappy landlord overcharging and holding out years for a franchise to finally come calling with a dependable revenue stream. The place Game Stop is going into has been vacant for a decade and I know people who inquired about it during that time.

        • neighbor

          It hasn’t been vacant for a decade.

          I live in the building next door. The Game Stop place used to be a saucy-lingerie shop named Body Basics, and it’s been closed for perhaps 3 years.

          Frankly, I don’t think the row of shops on the other side of Columbia Road is so great. I think there’s still at least one check-cashing joint — always the mark of a stellar neighborhood.

          Just because a store is a non-chain doesn’t make it an asset to the neighborhood, and just because it _is_ a chain doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing.

          The renovation of the Safeway and the move of the CVS were good things for this block. However, I don’t think the 7-Eleven added much, and I think the Game Stop adds even less.

          • Chris

            +1. While John might fantasize about a strip containing competing-yet-symbiotic cupcake shops and a kite store that supports a growing hobby, reality dictates that such real estate in a prime, high-traffic location like the 1700 block of Columbia Road is only manageable as shuttered speculation, or national chains.

          • Anonymous

            you should check out kite day on the mall. its pretty cool.

          • John

            Mysterioso- The kite thing was a trolls attempt at humor…

            Chris- It is you, who likes cupcakes (I win! Teehee)

  • Marcus Aurelius

    “On another note who the hell opens a brick and mortar video game store these days?”

    I dunno, maybe a brick and mortar video game store that’s doing really well?

    • who dat man?

      Agreed. Also, kids mostly frequent Game Stop type stores, and most 13-year olds don’t have credit cards. So, even though Game Stop is likely more expensive than Amazon.com, it’ll do fine.

    • John

      Pardon me Marcus. I wasn’t being tongue-in-cheek or anything. Now that I know how well they are doing though I’ll be sure to pick up some shares. Thanks for the tip.

  • The Real Jason

    As a gamer. I fully endorse this. Some of you are so bitter and laughably out of touch.

    • Erik

      here, here. I for one am glad this is opening around the corner from me, NW DC is greatly devoid of smaller game shops since CD/Game Exchange shuttered.

      Would make for a horrifying place to camp out during a system launch though…

    • Dr Pangloss

      “As a gamer…”

      God, when I see what a waste video games have laid to a generation of young men I thank the Lord every single day that I had a girl. If game developers crack the code for the female brain between now and when she’s out of grad school, I’ll blow my fucking brains out.

      • Erik

        They have, it’s called Nintendogs

      • DL

        I am a gamer, I have completed grad school, and I am the proud owner of male genitalia. There are quite a number of similar young men floating about, so you may wish to edit your blanket statement.

        • Dr. Pangloss

          Congrats on your advanced degree. Now carry on with your mediocre contributions to whatever field you’ve decided to half-heartedly pursue between bouts of Grand Theft Auto.

          • DL

            Ah, should’ve known.


  • John

    POP- Maybe you could start a “Save the Ontario” petition. Without some public outcry I’m afraid it’s most likely to become a Walgreens. With enough public support and press though the city could come up with a small grant to entice someone to operate it as a theater. Cinema Draft House/Performing Arts Theater/Movie Theater/Jazz Club. I think it is definitely a respectable cause to preserve the citys theaters.

    • John

      I agree that it should serve food and booze to be succesful. I am pretty sure that the liqour lic moratorium doesn’t affect this stretch of Columbia Road though. I would also hope that the neighborhood and the ANC would embrace such an idea in return for having the theater restored.

      • Anonymous

        Another requirement would be hookah lounge in the theater, so patrons could smoke tobacco while watching a film.

        • Erik

          Movie theater / Medical marijuana dispensary anyone?

  • Scoot

    I don’t play videogames and I would have preferred something different, but let’s take a step back and ask ourselves if another mediocre lounge/restaurant concept is really what Adams Morgan needs?

    • neighbor

      This particular block could really use a nice lounge or restaurant. The other side of Columbia (west of 18th) and 18th Street have gotten nicer while this block has remained largely unchained.

      • neighbor

        Whoops; that was supposed to be “unchanged,” not “unchained.”

  • Howie Mandel

    Strip Club Arby’s!!!

    • pop-up owner

      “We’ve got your roast beef – dead and ALIVE!”

  • Ben

    The old theater definitely needs to be redone into something…anything… A small movie theater seems to be the obvious choice. The neighborhood could really use one of those – it’s just about equidistant from all the other theaters in town.

    Now that the previous CVS is gone, the property is close to being combinable again, but there is a nail salon occupying the very edge of the building still. Perhaps that prevents its redevelopment? PoP, I’d definitely be interested in hearing more about this property.

  • stu

    man the ontario!!!!!!!!!!! what an incredible part of dc music history. ramones popped thru there during a screening of RRHS

  • Anonymous

    Let’s seriously start a petition!! Save the Ontario.

  • Early Times

    I’m down with Erik suggestion, esp if we throw a bar in there. But seriously, why didn’t the put a movie theater in Columbia Heights when they built all that shit…and what is the deal with the beat up building on the corner of Columbia and 17th?

  • Anon

    I really hope someone puts in a music venue at the space on 17th and Columbia.


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