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Julia’s Empanadas Abruptly Closed in Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth January 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm 32 Comments


Julia’s Empanadas with the yellow awning pre-plaza days in July 2008

Super sad news for Julia’s fans. Tuesday was their last day in Columbia Heights. They opened up in the now Columbia Heights plaza at 14th and Park Rd, NW back in 2007. A couple of readers sent emails saying that Nelson the counter attendant relayed the news that the Columbia Heights location was closing. I called Nelson who confirmed that Tuesday was sadly their last day. He did not know the reason for the closure but guided fans to their Adams Morgan location at 2452 18th Street, NW. I’m aware not everyone is a fan of Julia’s but I freaking loved them. Thanks again to all who sent word.

  • JM

    That’s really too bad. Julias was my best post-workout lunch option. I could get something that was actually the right size for a mid-day meal, as opposed to the trough of glop served at Chipotle.

    • Anon

      You can get 1 or 2 tacos at Chipotle and actually have a low-calorie meal there.

  • Grand Funk

    El Pollo Campero, two doors down randomly started advertising empanadas some months ago. I wonder if that had any effect on Julia’s business? It seemed kind of odd, maybe it was an effort to push them out?

    I really liked Julia’s and enjoyed the quick concept and small portion along side a reasonable price. I’ll definitely miss it

    • I doubt Pollo Campero’s offering of fried empanadas, as opposed to Julia’s baked empanadas, affected sales much.

      It’s sad to lose a Julia’s location, as I love Chilean empanadas. Coupled with the loss of Paila Grill nearby, there is now a gaping hole of Chilean cuisine in Columbia Heights. What a shame.

      Panas near Dupont Circle also offers a variety of delicious baked empanadas.

  • A

    I’ll definitely miss Julia’s. I love their empanadas – they’re delicious and the perfect size for a quick meal on the go. I hope this doesn’t mean the other locations might be on their way out too.

    Unrelated, but I completely forgot that there was a Rita’s where the Fro-zen-yo is now.

  • Anonymous

    This is unfortunate. I hope you are able to keep in touch with Nelson. There is another location near 18th and Columbia, which is within walking distance from here.

  • Anonymous

    I just moved from Adams Morgan to Columbia Heights two days ago, and was excited that I’d still get to go to frequent Julia’s. Bummer.

  • Never ate at that location, but I’ve had many empanadas at the 18th St location. Good, cheap, quick food when you want something small to eat.

  • Becket98

    I always wished that this Julia’s would have stayed open as a place to get a late night empanada like their other locations. I suppose it was due to a voluntary agreement with the condo building, but I can’t tell you how many times I got back to Columbia Heights at 1 or 2am wishing they were open.

  • Anonymous

    This is too bad– I was a fan of Julia’s. It was a convenient, quick meal after a trip to DC USA or running errands in CH or on my way home from the metro. The 18th street location may be close, but I won’t be making the hike for an empanada and coke.

  • saf

    There’s a newish location in Brightwood, at Georgia and Sheridan. So those on the north end of the Columbia Heights zone could go there.

  • I’m starting to feel guilty I didn’t go there more often. I really liked their spinach empanada. To Grand Funk’s point, I’ve never tried Pollo Campero’s empanadas, but I doubt there was any correlation. If anything, I think the additions of Lime and Cava Mezze took away the biggest chunk of business.

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Anonymous

      YES! Oh nooooooooooooo :(

  • JB

    I’m not a huge fan of their empanadas (didn’t like the sweet crust), but I’m sad to see them go. I wonder what we’ll get in its place. If it’s California Tortilla I’m moving!

    • Ha ha ha, great, now that’s exactly who will move in now. Either them or Cosi.

      • JB

        If it’s a Cosi, I’m going climb a tree and protest!

    • Anonymous

      Bye! California Tortilla has awesome California-style burritos. Delish.

      • California, Ohio, maybe.

        • seriously. What the heck is a CA style burrito anyway? There is no such thing. Talk to someone from SD and another from SF and they’ll give you different definitions of what a burrito consists of.

          -CA native

  • Anonymous

    I’m reading all these accolades and thinking to myself, “REALLY???” Will not be missed.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, this. As the person above said, way too sweet. And I was never a big fan of the texture. Hopefully something better moves in that will somehow be an antidote to the riffraff hanging out in the plaza.

    • rayul

      I agree…will not be missed…and I’m Chilean! Their empanadas always upset my stomach.

    • BitterElitist

      Too damn sweet. I couldn’t finish ’em.

  • Rich

    They were never super busy when I stopped by, but they were one of things I’d enjoy when I was in the area.

  • Anonymous

    My dog and I would split an empanada on Saturday mornings after a trip to the dog park. He will miss that.

  • Sr Macul

    Loved Julia’s. Favorite stop on Conn Ave.

    Years ago before she started the business, I was lucky to meet her in person and make empanadas from scratch with her -Amazingly delicious. She was a lovely gentile person and an artist with food, empanadas were a part of her.

    Julia’s is my favorite local business sucess story, a local artisan selling what she knows and does best.

    • bullwinkle

      Do you notice any difference in taste between the locations? I never thought the empanadas at the Conn Ave location were sweet.

  • New Cuban place on Park has empanadas and they are GOOD!

  • good riddance. now perhaps we can get on with the work of turning this whole strip into sidewalk cafes

    • Anonymous

      I for one welcome our latte overlords

  • shep

    Certainly wasn’t the food. Likely the lease. I’ll miss the pies too

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