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H Street, NE Scuttlebutt: Chopt/Chipotle/Boloco/Potbellys Vying for a Space at New Building?

by Prince Of Petworth December 28, 2012 at 10:30 am 66 Comments

3rd and H St, NE looking east

I’m hearing from a very good source that Chopt, Chipotle, Boloco, and Potbellys are all trying to get one of the new retail spaces for the new building on H Street, NE between 3rd and 4th (where the new Giant grocery store is also coming.) Out of the four above which would you most like to see?

4th and H St, NE looking west

  • And just like that, H St NE goes full mainstream/corporate.

    • Tom

      As someone who lives near the non-corporate areas near here, I don’t have a problem with it at all.

      • Anonymous

        it’s only a matter of time.

    • H St is really three very separate entities…

      Hopscotch to 6th – Corporate H
      6th to 10th – Stabby H
      10th to 15th – The H You’re Thinking Of

      • Anonymous


  • kken

    I’d say Boloco… it’s the least “chainy” of the four. There’s already a Potbelly’s by the Noma/NY Ave metro station.

    • Anonymous

      I’d say Boloco just because I’ve never heard of it until now. So sick of seeing Chipotle and Potbelly everywhere.

      • kken

        Yeah kinda tired of seeing the same 3 or 4 businesses opening up in revitalizing neighborhoods.

        • I suspect those of us near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro station would glad take any of those chains to occupy one of the vacant retail spaces.

          • Oh my, if we could get any of these four in the park place building I would be ecstatic.

          • Oops, meant “gladly” (above).

            But yeah… in southern Petworth and northern Park View, we have enough vacant storefronts and [email protected] mini-marts that we don’t turn up our noses at chain establishments.

          • saf

            I dunno. We got a Subway and a Cricket store. I am not real happy about those.

          • Saf — Good point re. Subway and Cricket. But Chipotle’s, etc. are “fast casual” restaurants, up a notch from Subway in the restaurant hierarchy.

          • saf

            I guess. None of them are places I would go, and all of them seem like places that would generate more litter, so to me they seem all the same.

          • Agree with you. Horse’s Ass Award should go to the vacant shops above Ga. Ave. metro that have been sitting vacant for years.

          • Anonymous

            Unfortunately their greediness is hurting everyone since they keep holding out for high rents and don’t care about filling the space. Lack of neighborhood commitment

      • Prince Of Petworth
      • Anony

        So you’ll choose Boloco simply since you never heard of it? Great rationale hipster!

        • Anonymous

          I doubt I’d ever go to any of these places anyway, so yeah, I’d rather see a different sign.

        • Anonymous

          name calling aside, that’s the rationale of many people.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, wanting to try new things is really dumb.

  • Anonymous

    There is a Chipotle and Potbelly in Union Station too…

  • Anonymous

    Put all of them together as “Four Loco.”

  • Phil

    Don’t even consider that space so far down really “H Street”, so not bothered by the mainstream part of it.

    • Anonymous

      i don’t understand your post. where exactly does H Street become “H Street”?

      • 10th.

        • Anonymous

          And what do you call parts of h street west of 10th?

  • Hmmmm

    Yeah, those options are just sad. How about a Pho 14 (Pho 4?) or a PAUL bakery, or even a (real) panini place?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, any of those would be great.

  • Anonymous

    Put an Applebee’s there. The hipsters will start going there ironically.

  • Anonymous

    the options are depressing to me. but it’s kind of nice that business are actually vying against each other to open on h street.
    this area is going to be disneyland in 10 years.

  • Stephanie

    All of them, and for sure Potbelly’s, Chipotle, and Chopt! And, throw in Boloco for good measure!

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know a completion date/grand opening for that Giant? Can’t wait.

    • bobby

      I was told by someone at the architecture firm that it is supposed to open in march. (this was back in october though)

  • RegO

    Maybe Chipotle. I know I won’t go to any of these places. A Peruvian chicken place would be great on H st.

  • That Man A

    yea… none of those options excite me…

    id much rather walk to chinitos burritos than a chipotle

    • Anonymous

      me too.

  • No, no , no, and no. Terrible choices.

  • Campy

    so this is the eastern-most corner of the building? Does this mean that is won’t be a BB&T bank as has been previously floated at ANC meetings?

    Of those chainy choices I’d like to see a Boloco for the same reasons other have pointed out: it isn’t any of the other three.

  • Anon X

    I like Potbellies’ a lot, but there are already a lot of them. I also really like Chopt and there should be more of those. My vote is for Chopt. Never heard of the other burrito place and Chipotle is fine, but not remarkable… I think I’m just sick of it after so many years.

  • Nicoli

    None of these candidates.

  • Anonymous

    The prices on Potbellys’ sandwiches are good, but Taylor’s is not too far away. I vote for Chipotle or Potbelly’s.

  • John Pepper

    Don’t worry folks. This is the first we’ve heard of this at Boloco. I’m the CEO and founder, so you can trust me on this. Plus, we only go where people want us. I hope one day we’ll earn more fans than we have on this commentary ;)
    That said, we’re open on 19th and in Bethesda, so give us a shot and most definitely share your honest feedback via twitter @boloco or email ([email protected] dot com)
    Happy New Year!
    John Pepper

    • Anonymous

      The harmonica guy from Blues Travelers is now in the restaurant business?!

    • Yall are doing awesome so far! Super tasty food.

      Also, you would be very welcome in Petworth :) Rumor has it there are some open spots above the metro that area residents are quite tired of being vacant :)

    • Boloco rocks! We would love you to come to the new developments in Brookland near Catholic U.

  • OhCome On

    Chopt is a good healthy choice.
    Otherwise – to all the folks whining about chains – who do you think has the money to rent space in brand new buildings? Who do you think has money to take the risk of opening a new shop? Sure I’d like grandma to bake a peach and raspberry muffin (with a little love on the side) just for me each morning, but grandma hasn’t got the capital to make this kind of move. The only thing preventing mom-and-pop stores from vying for these locations is reality. Maybe you’d be willing to pay even more for the condos in the new buildings so the developers could charge lower rents to the retailers. Maybe you’d be willing to pay even higher taxes so the city could subsidize small businesses. Until that happens, the market is going to keep grandma out and chains in.

    There’s a place for everyone, but this is not the place for grandma.

    • Anonymous

      I’d pay higher taxes to subsidize small businesses.

      • JS

        It only takes 5% of the city’s registered voters, comprised of at least 5% of the voters in 5 of the 8 wards, to get a small-business subsidizng measure on the ballot.

        It seems like patronizing local businesses is a lot easier way of supporting them.

      • Anonymous


  • k on k

    at the risk of sounding like a sell-out, and although apparently i live at the “real” end of H street, i am tickled that ANY yuppie chain is coming to our neighborhood. i am thrilled with almost anything (except another liquor store) that replaces the empty storefronts and nudges the thugs hanging out to move somewhere else. we have alot of fantastic indy places but with the arrival of this type of joint, i can see my real estate investment taking a solid step forward. even though i’ll still choose sticky rice, the burrito place on florida or the vic, there will be plenty of renters in that new building who will bring their presence and their dollars to our neighborhood and will be satisfied with the convenience of the food place on the first floor. they dont know any better. and for those of us that remember how bad it was, this addition is definitely an improvement.

    • Anonymous

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Foster

    Chipotle would be fantastic. Although the western end of H Street has made extroardinary progress in the last few years, there is still enormous room for growth — and having a place that is more “mainstream” will be a good addition to the diversity of H Street and add to the neighborhood’s vitality. Not every restaurant needs to be Toki Underground or Ethiopic, nor can you eat at them every night. Now if only we can get a gym…

    • Anonymous

      I dont understand your point. Not every restaurant IS Ethiopic or Toki.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly I would prefer a Panera. I used to scoff at them as a suburban chain until I finally tried their sandwiches and was forced to admit they are pretty tasty. And I got a Panera card and they gave me free food after only 2 visits. The kids like their mac n’ cheese, if not the weird squirty tube yogurt. The pecan braid is pretty darn good. Oh god so hungry…

    • Anonymous

      Honestly, I would prefer something else. Something that offers the economic competitive advantage of only being on h street, so you would have to go to h street to get it. The problem with chains is that they kill a sense of place making. You can go to so many places to get the exact same thing, and places start to simply resemble places everywhere else.

      The point is not to say that chains can’t have good healthy tasty food. It’s that it makes our culture bland and reduces competitive advantages to neighborhoods that independent places offer. In the long run, large ubiquitous chains decrease our sense of community and place.

    • Anonymous

      I think Panera would be a better alternative to the other options listed. And I respect them as a company for the work they are doing as social entrepreneurs: http://paneracares.org/

  • Anonymous

    All you people bitching about chains are too funny. I bet that if you went to–say–Vancouver for the first time in your life and, not knowing any better, you and your cool friends ate at a chain that is well known as a chain to a Vancouverite but that is totally new to you, you’d come home and rave about this “cool” place you ate at in Vancouver. Probably yelp about it too. All-the-while, vancouverites use that same eatery as an opportunity to bitch about all the chains that are sucking down all their cash.

    • ol

      yes, but we live here.

  • Grr

    What’s funny is that h street has corporate chains already. subway, McDonald’s, foot locker, Popeyes, dtlr, rite aid, GameStop, cricket, family dollar, maid pro, autozone. So, bring on chipotle or chopt. See if I care.

    • Matt m

      That’s true, but most of them will be displaced by the planned condo building replacing that shopping center.

  • Fox

    Anyone know if there will be a new drug store coming in? Like a CVS or Walgreens?


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