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Domino’s Pizza Coming to Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth May 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm 65 Comments

Thanks to a reader for the heads up. This Domino’s, opening in June, is located at 2701 14th St, NW across the street from the Dunkin Donuts. Since the Dunkin Donuts is often crowded I’ve wondered why the retail spaces across the street have been vacant for so long. I’m not saying Domino’s is my first choice but I’m certainly glad that someone is finally moving in. Are there any Domino’s pizza fans?

I know Columbia Heights has great pizza choices with Red Rocks and Pete’s but some people (myself included) have the occasional hankering for some mass produced pizza. At those times I prefer Papa John’s located at 1417 Otis Pl, NW. Anyone prefer Domino’s over Papa John’s?

Chain stores moving into Columbia Heights have not always been well received (despite their popularity with residents – Chipotle, IHOP etc), but given the state of this particular block and how long the retail spaces have been vacant – do you see the arrival of Domino’s (regardless of if you like their pizza) as a good development or a bad development?

  • Anonymous

    it’s just filler. zero-sum game

    • fl

      Disagree. This is a net positive. More people working in the area, walking around in the area. Not to mention more services in the area. The idea of having close delivery pizza options of all ranges (not just high end) makes the neighborhood a more desirable place to live. After coming from small cities, it’s funny to me that DC, while being a large city, still lacks many basic amenities and conveniences in terms of businesses, that you find in many generic southern towns with a population of over 100,000. Maybe it’s that way in other big cities too, but when I see stuff like this I have to think that overall it is going to improve quality of life. It won’t make a difference for all you organic lovers, or food snobs who won’t eat anywhere but locally owned businesses, but for people with less income (and I’m referring to young professionals who have just moved to the city right after college and aren’t making big law firm dollars), this is a good thing.

      • Anon

        Wait what does dc lack that small southern towns have? A place to buy liquor, fireworks, and fish bait all under one roof?

        • victoria

          Hell yeah! What more do you need?

      • skh

        People who prefer locally owned businesses = food snob…
        That is a new one. Also, it is about time somebody took up the plight of the young professional implants in DC. They have always had to live in the shadows.

        • fl

          I think that people who stick up their nose at places that aren’t these high end local hip restaurants that you see all over the place (and are fantastic, I admit), are food snobs. You don’t have to eat at Domino’s, but don’t act like it’s a sign of the apocalypse that one is moving in (also, not that anyone is doing that here, but we’ve definitely seen that with other chain businesses).

          Also, I think that young professionals who are just out of college do have a hard time in the city. Tons are making good money, but it can be hard to get a place in DC’s desirable but still affordable neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, H St, etc, and still afford to pay off student loans without being near broke a lot of the time. I’m just saying that businesses like this give people more options.

          And my point about the small southern cities I had lived in was this: it seems most of the retail that is relatively necessary to operate a household and your life has been (in the past) largely centered in northern Virginia or areas very far west in the city that are not necessarily metro accessible. This is changing since I moved here a few years ago and I think it is great. It makes the city a lot more liveable.

          • Anonymous

            The funny thing about all these people who think it’s cool to turn their noses up at Domino’s Pizza on this blog are the ones who have a Domino’s magnet on their fridges at home.

          • Anonymous

            i just said it was filler. i don’t stick my nose up at it. and i’m not a food snob. but i’m sure you know me better than i know myself.

            it won’t make a big impact on jobs, health, street life. so some young grads can stuff their faces with dominos pizza. is this really the only place you can afford pizza? manny and olgas don’t bring it up the hill? you don’t have a danny’s nearby?

            a domino’s opening is not bad. it’s just not that significant. like tons of breading in a crab cake. like soy in your hamburger. like the stuff they put in the meat at taco bell.

          • Anonymous

            those cities don’t have the history that dc has had. if you understood the economic dynamics that have happened in dc over the past 50 years, you would have a better understanding why some souther town have more amenities.

        • DCster

          I don’t see how they are really taking up the plight of anyone with lower income (college educated or not). Are they helped by having more options to get high-calorie, low-nutrition food? Does Dominos even have a salad bar? I guess now there’s a choice between Dominos and KFC, but it’s not like these types of places have done wonders for America’s health.

  • H Street Landlord

    Cherkis may have been right. No beef.

    • Ted

      Wrong. The Philly Cheese Steak Pizza has beef, and lots of it.

    • bloom

      Cherkis called it.

      But if you say that it makes people upset.

    • Anonymous

      Sheiiiiit, Cherkis got Domino’s on speed dial!

  • andy

    My guess is that the same guys who hang out at the 7-11 across the street will go to this domino’s.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I don’t think this will be good for the teens/loitering problem in the neighborhood.

  • Max

    Does seem to undercut the sign next door a bit. Columbia Heights: Uptown, Downscale…we do it all?

  • peaWHOA

    While I am not personally a fan of Domino’s, I think it’s a net positive in that it offers a lower cost pizza delivery option for the neighborhood (y’know, if you don’t want to shell out $25 for a pizza at Pete’s). Would it have been nice if it was an independent pizza parlor? Sure, but methinks the market probably wouldn’t support one in that area (given the preponderance of franchise establishments which, in turn, probably puts leasing costs out of reach for all but other franchises).

  • Rosie

    I personally think Pete’s and Red rocks are overrated. Plus Domino’s caters to a slightly different crowd with their cheaper prices. Certainly better than an empty storefront!

    • joker


      I live nearby and I will go to Red Rocks for a beer on occassion but I find it beyond ridiculous to pay ~12 bucks for a personal size pizza, when I can get a large multi-topping pizza of equal or “ever so slightly less” quality.

      And Petes…I made the mistake the first time I ever went in, in just ordering a large to go. I thought the cashier was playing a joke when she asked me for $24 dollars.

    • So what’s WORSE than an empty storefront? Apart from Spike Mendelsohn’s Middle Eastern themed bistro, “Oui the Pita?”

  • Irving Streete

    Pete’s is not cheap, but — unlike Domino’s — the pizza is edible. The popularity of Domino’s is another sign of the decline of Western Civilization. As for this location opening: better than a crack house but less useful than a nail salon.

  • Ace in DC

    There is already a domino’s that delivers/serves to most of Columbia Heights (14th and U) – and their pizza is greasy and gross (personal opinion of course). But I just don’t really want empty dominos boxes littering all up and down 14th street (which is now inevitable).

  • steveg202

    Gain to CH. The storefront has been vacant for what…a year now? And it sits in a non-optimal location in front of the low-income housing projects. So until the 10+ other vacant storefronts are filled (add CH coffee after Tryst opens) I’m happy to get something usefull. I’ll be more particular when retail availability is more scarce.

    • Cockster

      Isn’t that THE optimal location for a chain cheap pizza store though?

    • So, Just Sayin’

      As long as CHeights is chockablock with so many low-income housing projects, we’re going to keep getting low-end businesses like Domino’s.

      • Anonymous


  • LisaT

    Going with the crowd and agreeing it’s better than an empty storefront.

    Nastiest pizza in the business though.

    • Anon

      Try it after drinking heavily…..it is heavenly!

      • LisaT

        I like many a thing after drinking heavily, including drinking heavily, but Domino’s just ain’t one of ’em. :)

  • Andy(2)

    I bet local businesses (and other franchises) are more apt to open in a neighborhood that isn’t full of vacant store fronts. So thank you Domino’s for starting what will hopefully be the start of commercial redevelopment in that part of Columbia Heights.

  • caballero

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned that the owner of Domino’s is a CRAZY, RIGHT-WING, FUNDAMENTALIST FANATIC WHO HATES WOMEN!!!! At least, that’s what I was told by the activists in college who boycotted Domino’s.

    • Former Lawyer

      That guy sold the chain years ago (late ’90s I think). He was a super staunch Catholic who was open about his support for things like Operation Rescue. And he did, indirectly, get a tiny cut of every pizza sold, but most Domino’s places are franchises.

      The pizza is nasty, which by itself is my reason for boycotting them. But if someone likes ’em, that’s their choice. Who am I to say that they shouldn’t be in a certain location?

    • Anonymous

      LOL! If you boycott every place with a CEO that has right-wing, fanatical, fundamentalist views, you’re gonna have to start growing your own food!

    • Tom Monaghan sold his controlling stake in Domino’s in 1998 to devote more time to saving fetuses. It’s kinda like hating on Chipotle for being owned by McDonalds; they’re no longer affiliated.

      Pizza still sucks, though. And I’m saying that as someone who worked the College Park, Bowie, and Capitol Hill shops. All concepts of personal hygiene go out the window when you’re dealing with a 90+ pie hour on a Saturday night. That same grubby driver that’s handling cocaine-laced bills sure as hell isn’t washing his hands before the manger yells at him to sauce and top those pies and get the hell out. But that’s true of pretty much any high-volume pizza delivery store.

  • The way I see it: The storefront has been empty for a long time, I live very close to that place. You can see by the comments, that people who prefers Red Rocks or Pete’s will not go to Domino’s but there is still a lot of people in CH that will because they may prefer less for pizza.

  • Pennyworth

    jesus, why do people always have this convo. dominoes has not become the most successful and largest franchised restaurant in america by accident. shutup and enjoy the pizza.

  • MtP

    Dominoes is awesome, it tastes delicious, it is cheap, they deliver in 30 minutes or less.

  • Stoney_D

    Jesus Christ! What’s coming next, a Target?

    • LisaT

      Worse! A Target with a PARKING GARAGE! :p

    • jchohio

      Doesn’t target have a Pizza Hut express in it?

  • bloom

    Chains: so Georgetown…

    So long old small biz culture of DC. Gentrification/globalization has its downsides.

    • Hipster Harry

      True. I long for the good old days of CH where one could buy chinese food, subs, pizza, and chicken wings all from the same, safe storefront.

      • MtP

        China town in Mt. Pleasant… and the owners speak Chinese, Spanish, English, and I am sure he can also speak french german and russian if they start coming to his store..

      • Anonymous

        eddy leonard’s baby! it’s at georgia and lamont and is open until 4 am. MAMBO SAUCE!

  • Hispanic and Proud

    I like how people complain about complainers!

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone considered the fact that this business actually is locally owned? Most Domino’s Pizza stores are franchised.

  • intangible arts

    Take a deep breath, children, and repeat after me.
    “Not my thing, but if it’s your thing, enjoy.”

    …..actually, on second thought, don’t learn that line. It would completely destroy the loving little family ritual we’ve developed here in the comments. How sweet. We’ll remember these moments until we’re doing battle for torn pigeon carcasses after the cosmic hammer falls on the 21st of May…

  • Allison

    I live in this building. Luckily, I hope much of the loitering (of the sitting type, anyway) will be discouraged by the upward-facing spikes installed along the window ledges, which you can kind of see in the photo. Man, some other apartment buildings on 14th street could really use some dang spikes.

  • rooty tooty

    there are a great number of fast food chains that i would much prefer to see over this.

    1) chick fil a
    2) sonic
    3) popeyes
    4) wendys
    5) arbys

  • AG

    It is right across the street from us. We can see the sign out of our window. I agree with the other poster who said that more stores and activity are good for the nrighborhood, although I would’ve preferred a Pizza Hut or Papa John’s instead of a Dominos.

    • Larry McDorchester

      There is a Papa John’s on 14th and Otis.

  • Larry McDorchester

    Domino’s is disgusting. But, if it will cut down delivery time for Papa John’s, then I’m all for it. Regardless, it is good to have a business that will likely be successful as opposed to another vacant store front.


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