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Taqueria Mexicana Closes in Shaw

by Prince Of Petworth — December 12, 2011 at 10:30 am 22 Comments

Sad news for Shaw this weekend. Just a couple of weeks ago we judged Taqueria Mexicana to very positive reviews. Taqueria Mexicana was located in the former Cafe Eagle and former Vegetate space at 1414 9th St, NW. I happened to run into the owner who was on a delivery and he told me that he had to close because the rent was simply too high. He’s gonna look for a new location but he is not 100% sure he will reopen. He may continue as a caterer and in the short term will provide catering on weekends.

  • Tim

    That’s a shame. That place was delicious and cheap.

  • Anonymous

    Wish he’d open in Bloomingdale next to the Yoga studio.

    • Anonymous

      AMEN! Lets start a Mexican for Bloomingdale agenda. I am going to call this guy right now and ask for it, we have multiple empty locations in Bloomingdale that would work. Right under the Sylvan sign WOO HOO

  • petworth

    I wish he would open a restaurant in Petworth!

  • Mike

    The boarded-up window always kept me away. Made it look pretty rough.

  • sunsquashed

    Will DC landlords ever learn that if the rent is too high, then the property will be empty? I’m still upset that Vegetate closed and never reopened.

    • Sherman

      Vegetate closed, I understand, because the owners greatly jacked up the rent. They really don’t seem to be getting it.

      • Anonymous

        If my memory isn’t too fuzzy, I think Vegetate closed as the result of neighborhood squabbles. Long-time residents basically pushed them out because they were uncomfortable with the sort of clientele it was attracting.

        • Anonymous

          Or the terrible food!

        • sunsquashed

          Uh, that doesn’t ring a bell. The clientele at Vegetate was more upscale than many surrounding establishments, and I’m almost certain that the reason they closed was due to a rent increase.

    • joker

      Probably when armchair RE experts realize there is always something more to it than that.

      1. It is the landlords property. If the market supports higher rents then he is under no obligation to subsidize someone elses business. No landlord likes vacant property. The city hits you with higher taxes and you aren’t making any money so when people raise rents to the point where their current tenant threatens to leave, they do so knowing they can rent it out to someone else. Or they are emptying the property to renovate/develop/sell etc.

      Would you continue to rent out your basement apartment to someone paying 750 a month just because your neighbor liked him her, when you could rent it out to someone for $1000 a month? I think not.

      The truth of the matter is that the rationale for closing for these small mom/pops is usually that their business isn’t doing well and they can’t afford it. Simply saying “rents too high” or the “landlord raised the rent” is much easier say than admitting to the public that your business is doing poorly, and much easier to accept because everyone loves to hate the landlord. One popular place that announced its closure on U Street last month trotted out the tried and true “landlord is raising my rent” when in fact they had 18 months left on their lease and the landlord ( a neighbor) hadn’t /wasn’t raising their rent at all.

      • Anonymous

        I realize it’s actually bred into some people, but just so you know, not everybody is so heartless and greedy.

      • aaron4uva

        + 1,000. People love to say it’s always the landlord’s fault, but hate to acknowledge that some people just don’t know how to run a business! Most retail leases run for 5+ years or longer, and your rent is set from the very beginning. The tenant knows exactly how much they’ll be paying in rent. If you can’t factor this into your business model from the beginning, then perhaps you shouldn’t be running a business.

      • anon

        “No landlord likes vacant property.”

        What about the landlord of the space on 18th Street that used to be DCCD? Hasn’t it been empty for 8-9 years now?

        (Newcomers to the city, this is the boarded-up space next to Amsterdam Falafel.)

  • j

    Lower the rent!!! Nothing can survive there. I’m not a landlord but that seems like an unsustainable business model.

  • claire

    Aw, I was about to go check them out again since everyone was raving about them… I second whoever suggested he move to Bloomingdale!

  • Bloominghood

    Bloomingdale! Bloomingdale! Bloomingdale!

    All Bloomies should call the number on the truck and asking them to come to our hood, that is exactly what we need, good new food choices and a sit down place.

  • 15th St. NW Resident

    Wow, it was open for less than 6 months.

  • petworthnw

    Taqueria Mexicana Food Truck, I summon thee…

  • anon

    Indian Burial Ground.

  • 1314

    I don’t know this particular situation, but as a landlord I have to second the posts that offer the option that maybe it is a tenant’s fault a business closes; a tenant can say whatever they want but a landlord has to keep his mouth shut about evicting somebody for usually non-payment of rent. Much of the time landlords will go out of their way to work with a tenant, sometimes lose in the process, and then get a bad name on top of it.

  • Rich

    Businesses continue to struggle in this area and probably will continue to do so until the new 8th & O Market. Tenants may have too little working capital going in because it will take a long time to build business here, but we have no info as to whether the landlord is realistic as to what it takes to build a business here and how to work with tenants.

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