85°Mostly Cloudy

Sad News – Pulp Closing after 12 Years at 14th and S St, NW on Sun. Jan. 12th

by Prince Of Petworth January 2, 2014 at 11:20 am 30 Comments

14th and S St, NW

Thanks to all who forwarded the email from the owner of Pulp:

“After more than 12 years of fun, frolic, and feeling the love, I regret to announce that PULP will be closing it’s doors on Sunday January 12, 2014.

Please know this has not been an easy decision. The store has been a really special place for me, the dedicated staff and the neighborhood. Not to mention the thousands of loyal customers who have supported PULP since I purchased it in 2010 and certainly before then.

Between now and January 12th, we will be open regular business hours (11am – 7pm Monday thru Saturday and 11am – 5pm Sunday) and offering special discounts on the remaining merchandise. I do hope you will come by to see us one last time.

On behalf of the staff, please accept my thanks and gratitude for being our customers, neighbors and friends.

We will all miss you.”

Ed. Note: Back in July we noted Pulp hoped to raise funds for store improvements. In 2011 Pulp briefly closed before the ‘miracle on 14th Street’.

  • dcgent

    Real shame–wife and I bought many gifts there. Only possible solace? Maybe Garden District next door can expand into space and stay open yearround?

  • JinDC

    Nooo this place is a neighborhood gem.

    Hopefully it’ll be a small local shop that replaces it and not small plates or a bar that serves just enough food to get a license. Ugh.

  • KellyKapowski

    This makes me pretty sad. It’s going to be replaced with a bar, I bet. Don’t get me wrong, I love bars, but I really think neighborhoods need unique retail like this as well.

    • Tom

      Agreed, and that’s because bars, restaurants and other are service-based businesses are not completing with the Internet (yet). And with the on-line commerce continually expanding, direct retail is heading towards extinction. With every click to purchase on Amazon and other on-line vendors, we are driving the nails deeper into the coffins of brick and mortar storefronts.

  • hispanicandproud


  • I’m not one for giving cards, but I’ve been shopping at Pulp since they first opened (as an upstairs pop-up), a little under 12 years ago (I’m not sure where the “more than 12 years of…” comes from!) This is a terrible loss for the neighborhood. Hell, even our dog will be upset, as Pulp has always treated their furry customers very well.


  • etcetera

    such a loss. I have loved this store and glad to say I patronized it frequently. seems like little independent shops like this are harder and harder to come by. i think my favorite Pulp purchase was from this summer – a plastic bottle of hand soap with pump (like you keep next to your sink) that said “Maybe you touched your genitals hand soap.” it was a big hit.

  • I had the pleasure of working there for just over 4 years. It was so great to get to know the community of 14th and U, sell fun merchandise, and see the bountiful changes on 14th and U over the years. As an employee I truly feel our customers and dogs were wonderful. Thanks for all of the happy memories!

  • colheights67

    What sad news. I’ve loved Pulp.

  • Anonymous

    This really sucks. It was my go-to place for unique gifts that you really couldn’t find in any other shop in DC.

  • Anonymous

    Incredibly sad to hear this – Pulp was one of the few remaining places that made our neighborhood feel like a neighborhood. I don’t know what happened with the July fundraising effort, but I wonder what it would take to keep the place open…. I know, wishful thinking.

  • bb

    Very sad. DC needs more quirky retail gems like this.

    • Anonymous

      dc only wants bars it seems.

      • KellyKapowski

        I don’t think this is unique to DC.

        • Anonymous

          you travel much?
          dc is a bit unusual in this regards.

        • Anonymous

          hi kelly,
          i’m sorry you think i live under a rock. perhaps i do. perhaps i’m just a moron.
          by my take there are very few shops in DC like this.

          but every other city i’ve been to in the past few years have more.
          even places with new shops opening.
          so i ask you this, where else in DC are stores like this? what decent cities have fewer cool stores like this than DC.

          and no, i wasn’t talking about retail in general.

  • sarah

    such a bummer, i’ve been a fan of pulp for years, they always have great little gifts. completely agree with others on this thread, dc needs to work to incentivize more independent retail. not saying it needs to be an either/or thing with restaurants/bars, but the retail scene in dc pathetic, and i say that as a lifelong resident. pulp will be sorely missed, as one of the most unique shops in the city. quite a loss.

  • Anonymous

    This is unfortunate news but if you look at the net number of amazing new establishments that opened on 14th St over the past three years, this casualty doesn’t seem as bad. Pulp was a great store, but in exchange you now have world class restaurants, design stores, and several solid grocery stores. The cost of doing business has gone up, and many businesses can no longer afford to operate, but the neighborhood is vastly superior than it was 12 years ago.

    The days of boutique retail opening up on 14th may be over, but there are still countless vacant storefronts on 9th, 7th, North Capitol and H St NE. Not to mention the emergence of big time retail in Penn Quarter. The city is constantly evolving, and it’s nice to see that economic development is pushing these stores further into fringe neighborhoods and driving growth.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see how this can be good news as you’ve stated. Not everyone who lives in the city wants a restaurant on every corner. Diversity in retail is good. Many neighborhood residents would pop in while walking their dogs or w/their kids on their way home for the day. Trust me, Rite Aid doesn’t cut it for last minute gifts.

    • Anonymous

      And don’t tell me to move to the burbs. I made a decision to stay for almost 20 years because we can walk and take public transit to run errands and go about daily life without a car.

  • DC_Chica

    sad news indeed. between the closure of go mama go and pulp, does anyone have recommendations on where to go to buy similar fun gifts and decorations?

    • AMDCer

      Tabletop in Dupont, Homebody in Barracks Row, Salt & Sundry in Union Market, Chocolate Moose at 18th & L, various vendors in Eastern Market.

      • AMDCer

        Oh – forgot another go-to favorite of mine – Proper Topper in Dupont

  • MAR

    Weird…I was just in there the day after Christmas to browse for something interesting. While there I noticed the second floor was closed and they had hardly any merchandise…I thought maybe there were just getting ready for a big restock/got wiped out by the holidays. It didn’t even occur to me that they might be closing. Sad.

  • tntdc

    That HuffPo article is by METRO areas, not cities. VA and MD have few bars-they’re mostly in DC resulting in probably more here than other cities because of our small size relative to the Metro area.

  • paul

    Pulp received crowd funding through Clovest ( https://clovest.com/projects/renew-refresh-and-re-do/posts ) in September 2013.

    Does anyone know what happens to that loan? Will the folks that put money up get repaid?


  • northeazy

    This has to be a mistake. Are you sure it isn’t a bar that is going out of business? I mean from everything I ever read, especially about gentrifying areas like U st and H st., is that we need more local retail–not another bar. So, I am sure Pulp isn’t going out of business, you guys. There are just too many supporters of local retail for this to happen.


Subscribe to our mailing list