El Rinconcito Deportivo Closing in November

by Prince Of Petworth October 5, 2012 at 10:30 am 99 Comments

3226 11th St, NW

We’ve noted the tremendous changes on 11th St, NW in Columbia Heights. Nearly all the changes have been incredible improvements to the neighborhood. Throughout these changes there has always been one constant – El Rinconcito Deportivo. This is the first change that brings me no joy to share.

El Rinconcito Deportivo has been located at 3226 11th St, NW (between Wonderland, Bloombars and Room 11) for sixteen years. It is run by one of the nicest and most hardworking people you will ever meet – Maria Nunez. I spoke with Maria yesterday and learned that the building is selling and the restaurant will be closing one day in November. It is possible that the new owners will decide to rent her the space but that is not likely. So for fans of the Deportivo – make sure to show Maria some love over the next few weeks.

  • SF

    Come to Northeast.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry not a fan. I ordered papusas and told they were out. A guy walked in, ordered papusas, and got a hot plate of papusas. I asked about it and they were like, we told you, we’re out! WTF and they were mean about it. After that, I’d go in very sporadically and just for drinks.

    • parkviewj

      Maybe it was because you were ordering pApusas, and not pUpusas.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe it was my fault. I should speak another language perfectly because everyone in America can speak English and another language fluently. Oh wait. No.

        • Anonymous

          I wouldn’t serve you anything either.

  • A damn shame. I loved coming here, grabbing some food & a beer, and listening to the jukebox.

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the costs of gentrification.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, gentrification is such a shame. No doubt with the opening of The Coupe, went last night…amazing space, the final holdouts on 11 th will be replaced. The eyesore laundrymat, the bakery next to it, and the two spaces up by Maple. I say bring it on!

    • Such arrogance in your (anonymous) comment. There is nothing wrong with being a ‘holdout’ when you serve good, inexpensive food. This is a real loss. I like lots of new places but the neighborhood loses part of its soul when places like El Rinconcito Deportivo have to close. Will 11th Street really be better when the inevitable hip new bar goes in there?

      • I know, the contemptuous attitude is sad. Probably just another entitled newbie homeowner who can’t wait to get rid of anything “different” (aka minority-related) to realize the fastest gain possible on his/her “investment”.

        • Anonymous

          And there is no contempt for the differentness of the newbie homeowner in your comment? Pot? Kettle? Your point would have more weight if you held yourself to the same standard.

          • I have no problem with newbie homeowners who want to contribute to the community that already exists. I have a problem with idiots who feel contempt for the community into which they moved and take glee in the downfall of local businesses that serve “those other people.”

            I also have an issue with anonymous commenters who don’t have the guts to publicly express their latent racism.

        • Anonymous

          Not everything is latent racism. In matters like these, it’s really only the color green that is at issue.

          • Anonymous

            By the way, I’m not the original anonymous. And I love places like this. But you were your tone was a bit hypocritical? ironic? Not sure but worked against the point you were making.

          • That’s merely a ham-fisted excuse for their preconceived notions about those businesses and their clientele.

          • Anonymous

            Whatevs. You win. Keep your mind closed in your own preconceived interpretations of peoples’ motivations. The more times you pull out the same tired diatribe, the less creditable it becomes.

          • Ok, so what’s their motivation and what else explains their shitty, arrogant, schadenfreude’ist attitude? I’d love to hear your enlightened explanation.

          • Anonymous

            I already speculated and my speculation was only a small portion, perhaps or perhaps not really at all, of the explanation provided much more fully by the original anonymous further down the page.

          • Yeah, I saw his explanation. It was awful and pretty much corresponds with everything I’ve said.

            “I have lived around here too long with the trash all over the streets, the impolite..downright rude attitude of the “rightful residents of DC”, that I am glad to see it go.”

            What the hell does this have to do with El Rinconcito? As you see, he lumps everything that existed here before him with “rude attitudes” and “trash”. And, apparently, El Rinconcito is emblematic of that and gentrification is going to fix everything. That’s what I’m taking issue with. El Rinconcito is a great business and has been friendly to me every time I’ve walked in the door.

          • Anonymous

            In subsequent posts maybe, but your initial sally was latent racism which I still don’t see. An argument could be made for classist, yes. But not racism. Unless class and race are inexorably connected, which I would categorically deny.

          • I would argue racism and classicism are inextricably linked, especially in relation to gentrification and urban development. Often, the latter is used as an excuse to paper over feelings related to the former.

            There’s a whole body of academic literature on this, but at the end of the day it’s simply an opinion on which we don’t agree. Which is fine by me (and no, I don’t think it makes you a “racist” if you don’t agree with me on this issue).

          • Anonymous

            I am trying, and failing, to resist the urge to tease you a bit about classicism v. classism. Your Freudian slip (?) made me smile.

          • Haha, it’s the damn auto-correct. Siri apparently doesn’t want to admit that it exists!

        • Poon

          This is absurd. Newbie homeowners, who’ve made a huge life decision to buy property in Columbia Heights, want their city to improve. I’ve been in Rinconcito Deportivo. I’ve eaten at Rinconcito Deportivo. I know Rinconcito Deportivo. Rinconcito Deportivo was a shit show, despite the four comments on this thread that are going to be nostalgic.

          I’ve also been to 9th Avenue in midtown Manhattan, a newly gentrified community, full of small ethnic restaurants. They’re all very good, there are no Rinconcitos Deportivos, and it’s a world class city. I’ve also been to La Bastille and the Marais and the Jordaan, newly gentrified neighborhoods, and there are no Rinconcitos Deportivos.

          People who are happy that this place is leaving the neighborhood have completely valid opinions.

          • WTF do you mean it was a shitshow? You lost me there. I’ve been eating here for years and had great meals with good friends. Lots of memories in that place, including late night meals after too many drinks and first dates. I live down the street and stop in for a meal once every 2 months or so.

            Guess what? I lived on 9th Ave in NYC for 5 years. I know what it was like when it was not-so-nice and what it’s like now, after the area got a lot wealthier. Still have tons of friends there. There are a TON of El Rinconcitos in that area, since some shop owners were smart enough to buy the property when it was still low. Yeah, some things had to move out due to rising prices but there’s a lot of the original businesses. Please stop discussing areas that you’ve visited as a tourist; you really have no idea what’s it’s like to be there on a day-to-day basis.

            I’m not saying that people don’t have a right to want something better. Or that they don’t have a right to disagree with me (some people simply don’t like the food there – I respect that opinion). What I have an issue with is the unbridled classicism in the expression of their opinions for anything other than “upscale.”

            Sure, El Rinconcito could probably have nicer furniture or more “upscale” ambiance. But the reason I moved into this neighborhood – especially when I could afford a “nicer” place like Georgetown – is that I want to live in a mixed community that caters to people from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. If I wanted “nice” and “clean”, I’d move to Clarendon. I’m willing to trade a little grungy-ness for a bit more diversity of cultures. That’s how I grew up and how I’ve lived my entire life.

            This is really about the heart and soul of our neighborhood and El Rinconcito is part of that equation. And a little bit of it is slipping away.

          • Poon

            El Rinconcito (II) and this place are two different places. I don’t know if you’re confused or are just mistaken in your reply.

            My biography isn’t relevant, and you don’t know the first thing about me. You don’t know whether I lived in Hell’s Kitchen, or in the other places I mention, or not. This is Washington, DC, friendo. People here are well-traveled and move around. Ad hominems aren’t necessary. We’ll just have to agree to disagree about the nature and quality of this restaurant, which I, respectfully, think is disgusting.

            Between 52nd-ish and the bus station, there aren’t any restaurants with bars on the first floor windows, are there? That this building sold is a blessing. I pray that 11th Street becomes a world class neighborhood, and doesn’t remain poor for the sake of people who think poverty = authenticity. It’s that attitude that’s holding back this city.

        • I saw arrogance but absent any other evidence I see no reason to suggest racism. Dollars are driving this more than anything, but that one would celebrate the loss of El Rinconcito Deportivo has me shaking my head.

        • Anonymous

          There is nothing racist about wanting new or improved places to eat. I seriously want all of the low income housing removed. Why. Because it will give me a greater return on my investment. Higher property values and less crime means more money in my pocket race is not a factor. The only color I see is green

          • Ugh, 2006 wants its mentality back.

    • You do realize that a lot of people depend on that launder-mat to do their laundry? Not everyone in the area enjoys the privilege of in-home washers and dryers. As for the other “eyesores”, they are locally owned businesses that provide affordable goods & services. There’s still A LOT of low income people in this area who desperately need those goods and services.

      El Rinconcito was an affordable restaurant that serviced a loyal community of patrons. I’m almost certain that whatever replaces it will be much more expensive and out-of-reach for the lower income people who live in the area.

      • I’ll add – as someone who has depended on the “eyesore” laundromat – that I wouldn’t mind if they got some new management and spent a little effort making the business less grungy, but it would definitely be a shame if they closed!

        • Chris

          A laundromate doesn’t have to look like a sh*it hole. The owners need to clean it up or get out. Genrtification brings higher standards that are often better for everyone, and poor people don’t like being forced into using sub-par businesses.

      • Bridget

        That’s where I do my laundry! It’s a no-frills laundromat. I don’t quite get what makes it such a terrible addition to the neighborhood.

        • Anonymous

          If the cracked down on the drunks who loiter by the dumpsters and harrass passerby, I wouldn’t have a problem with them.

          • Bridget

            I literally live across the street. I see guys hanging out there sometimes and they have never harassed me. Maybe they’re waiting for their laundry? Even “cracked out drunks” need to get their laundry done.

          • As another close neighbor – I’d agree. The various groups of folks hanging out have never harassed anyone that I’ve seen. I normally just smile or say “hello” and go along my way.

      • TakomaNick

        Property values are sky high. Rents are increasing. Businesses that aren’t able to pay them are going to have to close or move. It’s just the market at work. It’s sad to see a business close but it is likely that something better will move in. It will cater to the neighborhood as it exists now.

        • I will laugh when the ground floor ends up being a Subway sandwich shop (or something equally boring).

          It’s probably also only a matter of time before Wonderland gets priced out. It’s a huge piece of property overlooking the field (so nothing to block the views of downtown) and a long strip of street-scape retail. I can’t imagine they would be able to survive the next lease renewal without a significant increase in their prices.

          • Anonannah

            I believe Wonderland bought their building…which El Rinconcito should have done in one of the 19 years that it was open. Also, this placed sucked ass – good riddance!

      • Anonymous

        If you can’t afford amenities or enjoy the new local establishments maybe it’s time to move to a more affordable area. DC is an expensive area if you can’t afford the city life style move. Not everyone can afford it. I lived in other areas till I could I worked hard to buy a place here. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the landscape.

        • Anonymous

          I agree that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve the landscape, but can’t that be done with collaboration and mutual respect between newer residents/business owners and longtime residents/business owners, and an appreciation for variety? I mean, as opposed to trotting out the tired old canard of a rationalization that people who “work hard” and can afford the new prices “deserve” to lay claim on the improving neighborhood, while the rest should pick up and move along.

          I’ve never been to El Rinconcito, but I’ll venture to guess that if they’ve been around as a small business for 15+ years, the owners have probably worked pretty darn hard, too. I wish there was more appreciation for the diverse and varied contributions that a number of different groups of residents/business owners–not just those who make enough to afford current housing prices–bring to the community.

          • It’s a very selfish, NYC mentality that’s starting to invade DC. I lived in NYC for 9 years and while I loved everything the city had to offer, the selfishness and lack of community fellowship really turned me off to NYC. When I moved here, I really felt like I was part of a community and enjoyed greater diversity here. While NYC is probably the most diverse place in the country, everyone resides in their own ethno-socioeconomic bubble without much cross-pollination. DC is much more integrated in this regard.

            The rapid increase in real estate prices in DC are bringing new types of owners who really don’t have any interest in improving the community or building upon the rich heritage of their surroundings. All they care about is ROI and making their own personal bubble of space as comfortable as possible (damn everyone else) simply because the stakes are now so high.

            It makes me sad that certain individuals are delighting over the fact that we lost a community business simply because they hope something else will come in that pushed up surrounding property values. Is there nothing more to life than material wealth? Do they not consider that perhaps the area is booming because of its rich diversity? Take away that diversity and melting pot aspects of the neighborhood and this place becomes as bland as some lily-white areas across the Potomac.

          • Anonymous

            I’m Anon. 3:16, and I wanted to respond to zero_sum’s response to me, but it’s not letting me, so I’ll respond to myself above…

            Anyway. Ha! Zero_sum, I had to laugh (in a part haha-funny/haha-sad way) when I read your response. I moved here from New York recently, and much of what you cited as negative about New York has been the overwhelming vibe I’ve gotten from DC so far; on the other hand, the community feeling you said you liked about DC is exactly what I’ve found lacking (at least, so far) and what I miss about New York. (Not that gentrification didn’t exist in NYC–it surely does but at least in my early conversations here, I’ve found the discussions about it to be much more careless and vitriolic than what I experienced in New York.) Maybe I just lucked out with the neighborhoods I lived in and the majority of people I came into contact with the many years I lived there. I guess it goes to show that few cities are immune from that “bubble” mentality among some residents.

          • Yeah, the software ends the threading at a certain point (for good reason).

            I know a good deal of my neighbors in DC. People look out for each other’s property and I have a real community of friends and professionals that I know.

            I think I knew one neighbor while I lived in NYC for 9 years and I only met her because it was the day of Great Blackout (and we shared food & beers on the stoop). I’ve found it much easier to meet my neighbors here and get a feel for the happenings of the neighborhood. It seems like more of village than a ginormous city.

    • Why don’t you just live in Clarendon? Since that’s basically what you’re saying you like.

      • Anonymous

        It’s funny that people are using Clarendon as an example of a homogeneous neighborhood. There are a ton of Latinos and Latino businesses there! Probably more than anywhere in DC. Yes, it has such gems as the Clarendon Ballroom and Cheesecake Factory, but it’s also a really diverse place. Fairfax or Old Town Alexandria would be more appropriate examples.

        • Eh no. It doesn’t have more than Mt. P, a lot of Columbia Heights, Columbia Pike, nor Hyatsville. Now if you mean the area of Clarendon not within 5 minutes walk of the metro, then ok, perhaps.

        • Non e Mus

          You must be talking about Clarendon, Mississippi. I don’t see any diversity in Clarendon, VA. It’s pretty white and higher income. Not that that’s a bad thing. It is what it is; and it ain’t diverse.

        • Anonymous

          Have either of you been to Clarendon recently? I lived in the Courthouse area when I first moved to the area (around 6 years ago) and it was extremely diverse.

          Like most people who have been here a while I haven’t set foot in Clarendon in years, but the close VA suburbs are seeing an influx of minority populations so I imagine it’s gotten even more diverse since then. You guys are basing your perceptions on an outdated stereotype.

          • Non e Mus

            Yes, I have been recently and somewhat regularly. If you are talking about the area around the Whole Foods on Wilson Blvd, plus or minus 3 or 4 blocks in each direction, then no, I don’t see much diversity at all – unless you count the occasional Asian, Indian, or African American walking around. It’s pretty white – not that there is anything wrong with that. Maybe we just have different definitions of “diversity.” My definition is not “seeing an occasional non-White person walking around.”

          • I’m there (unfortunately) about once a month or so. If you really think Clarendon (and JUST clarendon, not NoVA or even Arlington in general) is diverse*, then well we really won’t be seeing eye to eye here.

            *Now if you are talking strictly racial, ok, yes, there are more yuppie asians that are in the area now than a few years ago. Economic diversity though? No way. It’s gotten even more well-to-do and upscale.

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry, but having lived just north of Clarendon as well as in Columbia Heights I have to say that Clarendon has more non-white people, especially non-white people that aren’t very well off. I don’t know if most of them actually live there but they sure do spend a lot of time there.

          • Anonymous

            However, if you are basing your perception on who you see in or near the Whole Foods you probably would think it’s mostly white or affluent.

  • So what replaces it: ugly condos or uninspired, overpriced food/drinks?

    • Anonymous

      Why choose? With mixed use, you can have both!

  • so sad =( Their steak burrito was the best burrito in town.

    And the mushroom reuben I had last night at The Couple was one of the worst sandwiches I’ve had in town.

    • Mushroom reuben? That doesn’t even sound like it could be good.

  • Bano

    They might have decent food and friendly service, but their bathroom is straight out of the movie Desperado.

  • Anonymous

    I am the original “Anonymous” that posted about gentrification. I have lived in the same house I purchased in Columbia Heights for 10 years, I am certainly not a “newbie”, in fact probably been around here for more years than most of you commenting. I am glad to see things changing for the better, even if that means some businesses have to leave the area. I have lived around here too long with the trash all over the streets, the impolite..downright rude attitude of the “rightful residents of DC”, that I am glad to see it go. No apologies here…and Yes, I am voting for Romney!

    • TakomaNick

      You had me until that last line….

    • Anonymous

      No one cares who you’re voting for. Keep that to yourself.

    • saf

      Jeeze, do we have to play the “I’ve been here longer than you have” game?

      I’m sure that you would be insulted if one of your long-time neighbors said that to you.

      And no, I am not new to the neighborhood either. And it makes me NUTS when new folks come in and dismiss all that came before. But they live here now, and we have to build community, not sit and snipe at each other. How can we expect them to become part of this community if we don’t welcome them?

      When we moved in, I know the neighbors worried. But they welcomed us anyhow, and this is OUR neighborhood now, as much as it is their neighborhood.

      Reading your comment makes me think that you welcome neither old nor new neighbors – that may or may not be, that’s just what I am getting from it. Community is essential. We all need to work on coming together, not driving each other into the corners of the ring, only to meet in a fight.

      • saf

        Wow, this thread is making me really really sad.

      • Marcus Aurelius

        Well said. Everyone wants things to “change for the better.” But different people have different definitions of exactly what that means.
        I’ve never been to this restaurant but I can still feel bad for someone who has run a business for 16 years and is going to lose it because there is more money to be made renting to someone else.

        • Anonymous

          Indeed. I doubt the commenters lamenting the close of El Rinconcito are trying to argue that we should have no change, no improvement, and no new restaurants. And some of the opposite thinking on this topic appears to be that El Rinconcito and its ilk should be wiped off 11th St. entirely. But I think there’s something to be said for variety and diversity. To be honest, The Coupe is probably more my type of scene than El Rinconcito in terms of food and ambiance–but does that mean I’m cheering the demise of a longtime neighborhood business? No, not at all. It looks like there are plenty of neighborhood residents for whom El Rinconcito IS their scene (clearly, or else they wouldn’t have stayed in business for 16 years), and good for them. Do we really need an entire commercial strip to cater exclusively our own personal tastes and interests? I might enjoy a meal at The Coupe or Meridian Pint or some of the other newer restaurants, but that doesn’t mean EVERY business needs to be a Coupe or a Meridian Pint.

          • Anonymous


    • I am so glad that you live in Columbia Heights and not Arlington where your Romney vote might actually mean something.

    • Anonymous

      +1 except for Romney

    • Anonymous

      Seems like it should say ” the impolite..downright rude attitude of the ‘rightful residents of DC’…… that I’m proud to display”

  • elk

    When I first moved to 11th street 9 years ago El Rinconcito was pretty much the only place to grab something to eat (until Wonderland opened).

    It’s not the most amazing Salvadoran food in the world, but they have good pupusas and cheap prices. I like many of the new places on 11th, but would like some variety as well. El Chuco’s nasty tacos aren’t really thrilling me with the wonders of gentrification. New doesn’t always mean better, even when it’s trendy and expensive. And I’m not saying that because I’m poor, either.

    • Anonymous

      “New doesn’t always mean better” – word.

      • That’s a sentiment that gets lost all too often around here.

  • Anonymous

    If I ever start a restaurant I’m buying the space. How many times have we seen an otherwise successful business fall victim to their landlord having other plans?

    • But that’s the catch 22 of the restaurant biz – if you buy the space, you probably won’t have much left over to actually build the restaurant. Furthermore, you won’t know if your restaurant will actually be successful. So many fail and buying the building is a huge upfront risk to be holding if the place never takes off.

      That’s why most restaurants rent space. If it is successful, then hopefully one day you’ll be able to buy the building. If the landlord hasn’t tried to suck you dry first.

  • LittleTavern202

    Columbia heights is slowly turning into Arlington with rowhouses. I am sure many gentrifiers would pop bottles if some of the Section 8 contracts of the larger buildings are not extended.

    • What I would truly like to see is for the large Section 8 projects to be replaced by low income townhouses. This was done in the Lower Haight in San Francisco when I lived there, and it dramatically reduced crime while maintaining diversity of income. But now we are totally off topic. . .

      • It’s a cool idea but can the townhouses absorb all the people that were displaced from the high rises? It seems like there wouldn’t be enough residences for everyone.

        Also, where do these people live when they get kicked out of their apartments? It would probably take two years from demolition to move-in.

        That said, I agree that something needs to change.

        • Anonymous

          Who wants a lot of section 8 housing. The less the better. They will move to an area that is more affordable. We will have less crime. Everyone wins.

  • Anonymous

    The only time I stopped in, they made it pretty clear that my presence wasn’t appreciated. Glares and annoyance when I ordered food. And it wasn’t that great anyway. Maybe my experience was a one-off, but I didn’t go back.

    • Anonymous

      That’s exactly how I felt! See my papusa story second from the top of the comments.

    • I think it was a bit of a one-off situation (I’m a white guy in his 30s who has gone there many times). Their grasp of English is limited, in my experience, so there may have been some miscommunication.

      Also, if you went late at night right before closing, they are pretty tired. They have to deal with a lot of drunk idiots, so they might have been at the end of a long and frustrating day. That’s not an excuse for poor or rude service, but I think we can all sympathize with their feelings if this was the case.

      Maybe give them another chance before they close? :)

  • I love what’s happened to 11th street over the last few years, but this is very sad. I live about a block away and have been going to this place for years. Their quesadillas and burritos are my favorite in the city. Great beans, rice, sour cream and the green sauce… to die for. I’m going to cross my fingers that the new landlords let they stay or that they are able to find a new location.

  • Grand Funk

    I too applaud gentrification many times but we shouldn’t be so happy the loss of responsible businesses with character that treat people well and serve good food. But rather the ones that don’t keep up storefronts, have shady dealings, or have crappy unsanitary food should celebrate when those are lost to better more engaged businesses.

    Riconcito is IMO a nice business with good food that added (not detracted) to the 11th Street ‘flavor’ . I enjoyed grabbing a good quick bite on my way home and chatting with Maria as she cooked my food.

    Personal experience, good price and tasty food may be more appealing to some instead of an overpriced panini with a kale salad served by a waitress that says the word ‘like’ every other word

    • Exactly my sentiments. Thank you. This place added to 11th Street, it did not drag it down.

      Unfortunately, there’s a segment of newcomers (and apparently even those from the 1st wave of gentrification of this area from 10 years ago) who believe that ANYTHING related to the pre-gentrification environment is automatically undesirable. That’s where I take umbrage and think that they’re being unfairly discriminatory.

    • Well said, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Well, all I can say is this place broke my heart.

    I loved it so much, but the last two times I went in it was bad.

    Second to last time someone stole my wallet right off of the counter and none of the waitresses would say anything about it. I’ve never lost a wallet before in my life either.

    Last time I went with my friend from Spain and it was a pretty bad interaction.

    In all honesty the clientele can be a little rough. And I’m not a flyover state beta male with hipster glasses and no social skills. Even my huge Salvadoran friend told me he doesn’t go any more because people “talk too much shit” there.

    Food and prices were good, but not worth the hassle and risk (in my opinion).

    • Anonymous

      I forgot to add that I am still sort of sad to see it go, even though I had personally written it off.

  • BW

    What a shame. I used to live on 13rd/11th NW and Lamont for 3 years. I went there a couple times and had great conversations with everyone there.

    When we first walked in, it was like a scene out of an old west movie. The creeky saloon doors closed behind my friend and I. Everyone in the restaurant kind of stared at us silently. Seconds later they all smiled and welcomed us to join them for a drink or something to eat.

    Sad to see it go.

  • Anonymous

    Lots of romanticism in this comment thread. There’s more income in the neighborhood now, property values have gone up, so of course rents go up when leases expire. Some long term businesses make enough dough to keep up, some don’t. Rinconcito will have to set up shop somewhere else they can afford. Hopefully whatever replaces it will be of service to the community.

    But honestly folks, if enough people really loved the place, it would be packed all the time and would be doing enough alcohol (and food) sales to survive a rent increase. It would be popular enough to raise prices a bit.

    It wasn’t.

    If the gentrification of 11th street really bothers you, get off the blog and organize people to push for a rent control law for businesses. Or organize a thousand neighbors to tell the new owner to keep Rinconcito around.

    Or stfu.

    • elk

      Really? Stfu? Nice.

      I’m pretty sure we are all aware of the laws of supply and demand. That doesn’t mean that people who have lived in the neighborhood for a long time and appreciate this place can’t be a little bit (romantically, even!) sad about them being priced out. I mean, I also intellectually understand that all old people will die soon, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a little sad when my grandfather passed.

    • Marcus Aurelius

      In the post PoP said the building had been sold and that while “It is possible that the new owners will decide to rent her the space but that is not likely.” That doesn’t describe a business that is closing because it can’t survive a rent increase; that sounds like a business that is closing because the new landlord is not going to rent to them period – which the new landlord is perfectly within his or her rights to do.
      Could a rent control law address that? Maybe. But it seems unlikely that commercial tenants would be given more protection than non-commercial tenants get under current dc rent control laws – which is a right of first refusal when the property they are renting is sold.

      • RegO

        Thanks for this comment. It seems like a lot of the commenters missed the point that the new owner probably will not lease space to the restaurant.

    • Anonymous

      comments are a constant reminder for how little respect people have for one another.

  • Anonymous

    Cops told me that this place spills out both criminals and victims every night. If you got mugged or generally hassled on that stretch or on 13th or Holmead (the officer told me) chances are good that your assailant and his buddies threw back a few at this fine establishment before heading out for some “fun”.

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    Sorry to hear it, unlike Acuario, which was a blight on the neighborhood, these guys were good neighbors, and even though I preferred other options (including Rinconsito II) to their fare, I am sorry to see them go.

    Anywone know who is buying the property and for how much, or how much property they are acquiring (aka other store fronts on that block, I can’t recall how building is divided)? I wonder if they hope to build up?

  • sheepprofessor

    After passing this place by regularly for a while, I was walking up 11th St. one night feeling kind of hungry. Noting that the sign said ‘carryout’, I poked my head in and asked to see a takeout menu. They told me they didn’t do take out. I walked on and never came back.

  • steveg202

    Would love to know if anyone has info on the direction the new owners have planned.


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