Lots of Retail/Restaurants Coming to Rhode Island Row (NE)

by Prince Of Petworth December 6, 2012 at 10:30 am 42 Comments

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Thanks to a reader for sending photos of all the coming soon signs now up in the retail spaces at Rhode Island Row located outside the Rhode Island Ave metro (near Home Depot.)


The Rhode Island Row website lists the following retail/restaurants as coming soon:

Opening First Quarter 2013: Chipotle, Sprint, T-Mobile, DC Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Carolina Kitchen

Opening Summer 2013: Carolina Kitchen, CK Burger, D’Arte Nail & Spa Salon, and Sala Thai


  • Nothing screams “hot new retail!” like a storefront DMV.

    The question remains: will they serve small plates!?!?!

    • nathaniel

      As someone who lives near there I am actually most excited for the DMV. First off it makes perfect sense as a location because many people who need DMV services can’t drive so putting it near a metro station is great. Second, it is going to generate foot traffic and people will be waiting around for a while, so the restaurants and other retail will get some business from people outside of just the local area.

      • Nabob of NoPe

        Absolutely true. The DMV office is the only reason to get excited about this, and the only reason I’d go to any of the other places.

  • That’s interesting that there’s a DMV location coming back to that area — there used to be a freestanding one adjacent to a strip mall on Brentwood Road, on the other side of the Home Depot, Giant, etc. I think it closed sometime in the past few years.

    • Anonymous

      It’s actually the DMV exclusively for drivers with a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).

      • Ahh, OK. I think I forgot that detail. I just remembered that I used to be able to get my DMV-related stuff done there and that last time I’d checked, I’d had to go to the one in Southwest instead.

  • Welcome2DC

    Sala Thai is so terrible.

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        Me too. I like the one on Bethesda.

        • Rich

          Strictly tourist Thai but not bad for what it is. All these eh chain businesses is why these developer centric projects add so little to real city life.

    • I disagree too.

      I remember being unimpressed with the one on U Street, but I’ve been happy with the Georgia Ave.-Petworth one.

      • Another vote for impressed with GA Ave Sala Thai. Have been every excited, as over the last year, there is significantly more people in there when I go get carry out than there was in 2010 and 2011.

    • Thats crazy talk. Sala Thai in Petworth is fantastic.

    • Stavros

      Re Sala Thai Petworth: I’ve had mixed results with the Thai, and maybe more bad than good in the end. But the one time I got sushi I though it was quite good.

    • Anonymous

      The one in Cleveland Park was also terrible. But I guess if you live in a neighborhood that has about three restaurants that aren’t greasy old carry-outs, then it probably tastes like heaven.

      • Low blow more suited for 2009. You should swing on by some night, we actually have quite a few nice places these days.

  • Yup

    That area (including the neighboring Home Depot/Giant shopping center) is a top contender for most befuddling/strangely laid out retail complex in DC.

  • Anonymous

    I actually think it’s about the best mix of retail you could possible ask for in this area (whether it will succeed is another story). The DMV will actually act as a major anchor- it draws a ton of daytime traffic, believe it or not. After the previous RIA and Gtown locations closed, they really need another one anyways.

    • jeff

      Huh, cool point about the daytime draw from the DMV. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Hope it helps support everything else. Personally I’m most excited for a nearby Chipotle (as someone who lives a few blocks up in Brookland).

  • What, no Cricket? Where am I going to get my burners?

  • This whole development befuddles me. Who wants to live on top of (very close to) the Rhode Island Avenue metro station?

    • People who commute by Metro and don’t want to spend a lot of time getting to the Metro station?

    • Anonymous

      How does that “befuddle” you? I walk 15 steps across the street and jump on the metro for work. I don’t have to tromp through the cold for 20 minutes while walking to a metro station or waiting on a bus.

      I can also walk about 100 steps across the road to TJ Maxx and spend copious amounts of money on things I don’t need.

      • Anonymous

        For privacy and noise reasons, I probably wouldn’t want one of the units that’s facing the Metro tracks head on, but other units wouldn’t be so bad. (The style isn’t my personal preference, but I can see where such close proximity to the Metro would be convient and appealing for some people’s commuting situations.)

  • nolo

    Chain Central. This all sounds awful, which isn’t surprising considering how insincere the apartments there look. (Though I concede that the DMV could be really useful for some.)

    • anon

      I get that the apartments look mass-produced, but “insincere”??

      Which apartment or condo buildings do you find sufficiently “sincere”? Are any of them recent construction?

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps nolo’s point was that the development looks faux-urban, and that the addition of various chain retailers exacerbates that. Or, at least, that’s how it looks to me. I’ll add the caveat though, that I’m not sure how easy it is to create new, transit-oriented communities that don’t look mass-produced, and I’ve love to know of some examples of newer construction that look more organic or eclectic. Personally, I have a fondness for character and older construction…but eveyone has different tastes, so maybe RI Row is someone’s thing. (Aesthetic preferences would be less important if the price was right, but with apartments starting at $1850…meh.)

        • Anonymous

          The Yale Steam Laundry Condo and Apartment buildings are a perfect example of a new building blending in perfectly in a historic neighborhood. But I agree, you can count the number of great timeless new buildings in DC on one hand. The ATF building in Noma and the Newseum are the only other buildings that have been put up in the past ten years that are passable.

    • It’s the Maryland development aesthetic invading DC. Meh.

      • anon

        Someone doesn’t roam in architecture/design circles or get out much, do they? Check out DCMud from today. The most recent two articles are about Silver Spring; both articles show architecture 10,000x better than just about anything that’s gone up in DC anytime recently.


        It’s the worst. DC badly needs to step up their game to even begin to compete with suburban MD. It’s not 1992 anymore – suburb isn’t a bad word, especially suburbs that are more vibrant and walkable than most areas of DC.

        • Anonymous

          Um, CITY was a bad word in 1992. Now people (especially those with money and education) are fleeing the suburbs in favor of the city. Although I agree that Silver Spring is one of the few suburbs that are doing things right and staying competitive with urban areas.

    • Colhi

      I know, right? That development was totally like, I really like your shirt. And then later, I found out that it didn’t really like my shirt. It just said that. I couldn’t believe those apartments could be that way. Lame.

  • RozCat

    Love the place, but Chipotle’s gotta being nearing its Starbucks-level saturation point.

    • AP

      I think it’s surprising that there’s NO Chipotle anywhere near U Street. With all the dense development near 14th & U, you’d think there would be one here before Rhode Island Ave NE.

    • Still waiting for the Petworth Chipotle. The Columbia Heights safeway is always packed, half hour line every night of the week (love on-line ordering btw!)

  • Anonymous

    Wooo hooo on the new DMV!!! I hate trucking it to G-town car-less.

    • Anonymous

      Especially when you get there and find out that DMV office was closed months ago!

      • Anonymous

        I had no idea! Thanks for the info!!

        I am taking my first driver’s test on the 21st so wish me luck 🙂 And yes, I’m an adult haha.

  • Lauren

    I think this is great! I live in the neighborhood (S. Dakota & Rhode Island) Both Chipotle and Carolina Kitchen are restaurants that I occasionally drive out to PG county patronise, and it will be great to be able to stop there on the way home from work and keep those dollars int he District!

    • anonymous


  • Jiggy

    So much hate now! How is Rhode Island can get these type services but upper Georgia Avenue is left out…?

  • ughhh enough with the d.c. food snobbery, go eat your 5 star $50 plates and bugger off! if you don’t like it don’t eat! haters suck!


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