El Paraiso Closes at 1916 14th St, NW – Still Open in Alexandria

by Prince Of Petworth July 18, 2011 at 10:36 pm 28 Comments

Another one bites the dust on 14th St, NW between T and U. In the last few months we’ve lost Taco Bell, Foot Locker, Domino’s, (soon) Ruff n Ready and (soon) United Supreme Council National Headquarters and Archives.

Stay tuned for more info on the big development/project coming into this space (except the Ruff n Ready space which is becoming a Taylor’s).

We judged El Paraiso back in Nov. ’08. I’m going to miss the Christmas trees…

For big fans, you can still check them out at El Paraiso II at 516 South Van Dorn Street in Alexandria, VA.

And for the curious – Chidogo’s is still open.

  • Graham

    The fact that Chidogo’s remains clearly shows this is gentrification at its worst. That place is to Chicago hot dogs what JJ’s across the street is to Philly cheesesteaks.

    • Logan Res

      All of these places including Chidogos are closing as their leases expire because that whole block is being re-developed into a large condo building with ground floor retail. It has nothing to do with poor service or lack of business.

  • Alex

    Truly a loss to the area, though I can see why it closed…it was always so sparsely populated over the last few years, even on weekends.

    • Bloomingdalian

      I went there 2x and was suprised not to leave with food poisoning (my chicken was underdone the last time). I love real traditional restaurants (especially family owned ones) but this was not one of those.

      The staff on top of that was on another planet. Sucks to see a place close, but then again, I’m not sad to see this one go.

      • styglan1


        Went a few times over last year and it was very, very bad. Nice service and we had a good time but the food was horrible.

  • Anonymous

    Out with the cheap eats and the element that frequents em! Blah, blah, blah to all you liberals.

  • Rosie


    (no sarcasm… taco bell is seriously my favorite)

    And Chidogo’s is kinda weak.

  • Anon

    The old reach around…

    • e

      +1 for G.O.B.

  • sharp741

    Was in Chidogo’s a couple weeks ago and they said they were moving to College Park…not sure on the closing date.

  • DubyaStreet

    I thought the El Paraiso building and the McDonald’s building were both historic and not going to become part of the new condo monstrosity there?

    • A

      Is this comment a joke?

      • 14th Street Hombre

        The McDonald’s is historic and thus not a part of Utopia. From what I recall, the owners of the Paraiso building simply refused to sell out to the developers of the Utopia project. Looks like they changed their mind at long last. In any event, having lived up the street for 5 years, I can’t say im sorry to see it go; we’re not talking anything other than mediocre unhealthy food here.

        • A

          “The McDonald’s is historic” … Wow.

          • Anonymous

            you did understand that he meant the building, right?

          • A


  • finally, those Christmas trees will come down.

  • Dear El Paraiso sign writers,

    It’s “Nos Hemos Mudado”

    That’s all.

  • My big objection to Chidogo’s is that the pun is so forced. Anyone who is actually from Chicago knows that the long ‘a’ in ‘Chicago’ doesn’t even remotely rhyme with the sound in ‘dog.’

    • E

      Agreed. Also their food is terrible. What’s it take to get a Portillo’s on the east coast?

  • Nothin but love

    dubya street
    You are kinda right, there was a huge debate regarding the Mcdonalds building being historic (not the mcd’s itself) with the Dupont Historic folks (I think this falls in their district). anyhow I am not sure how it was resolved. Last I heard they may be saving part of the facade on the corner but pretty certain mcdonalds is history.

  • Keepin’ it real

    As long as the McDonald’s is there, that corner will be full of trash – human included.

  • eli

    Counterpoint: I ate at el Paraiso numerous times and had the opposite experience of the previous posters. Always had good food and friendly service. Loved the fact that I could get a nice cheap meal and a beer at 14th & T without a long wait. RIP Paraiso, you will be missed.

  • Anonymous

    is the Paraiso building being tore down? or included in the new project?

  • plive202

    time to open some wine bars and $5 cupcake stores.

  • Drew

    There was never any notice that Domino’s was closing/moving to Columbia Heights.

    A couple weekends ago I ordered Domino’s pizza online for in-store pick-up. I live right on U Street, so it’s so convenient for me to walk over there and pick it up. Their website still had the old address (1926 U St) THAT I CONFIRMED for my pickup, and no indication that it was closed or ever that it would be closing.

    When I walked over to pick up my order, the door was locked, lights were out, and there was NO SIGN that they had moved. I called the store’s number. Nothing! So I walked back to my building, got in my car and drove to the Columbia Heights location to inquire about my missing pizza. Sure enough, my order was there waiting for me. But no one ever told me. If I hadn’t gone there on my own, I’d still be waiting for my pizza!

    Ok, I’m done. Thanks for reading.

  • Anonymous

    eli is right. RIP.

    Half of the new hip restaurants on 14th St still serve mediocre food.

    At least El Paraiso was relaxed and modestly priced.

    • greent

      Yes, but it is hip food at 17$ a plate with a 12$ beer.

      mediocre is hip when it is, you know, hip.

      Yes, though it created mountains of garbage and was horrid for dogs.. I really miss Webbs Fish Market. I was there when it opened… and when it closed. Boo.


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