• shmo

    never had a chance. Note to anyone thinking of opening a casual food spot… make sure potential customers know what you are selling. Walking by this place, youd never know what they were trying to sell you. And the name didnt really help either.

    • Dude

      I thought it was a bar? I got invited to a lot of fundraiser happy hours here– apparently if you’re a nonprofit and willing to do the bartending yourself they’d give you the whole place for a night. I always thought they must not be bringing in a lot of customers if they can afford to do that.

      • FridayGirl

        It was a bar. I thought they didn’t serve food? Did they?

        • pcdc22

          They had pretty good grilled chee.

        • Timebomb

          They had food available from partnering food trucks out back. They couldn’t cook food on-site because of ventilation issues, I think. Which is why Zeke’s DC Donutz shut down.
          I miss Zeke’s DC Donutz.

  • Evan Tupac Grooter

    The only time I went was with a large group after a wedding on a Saturday night. We completely overwhelmed the bartender. Before we arrived, there were only 2 people in there. They had boozy milkshakes (which I shouldn’t have ordered because it put the bartender deeper in the weeds, but I couldn’t resist) and board games. I felt like they should have had more business. The biggest problem is that the young crowd they were targeting doesn’t live in Dupont anymore.

    • DrewInBloomingdale

      Exactly. It looks like a fun concept — I would have liked to try it if it had been over in Bloomingdale or NoMa or Columbia Heights or H Street.
      Incidentally, I sometimes walk by it between the bus and work, but today — when I saw the “for lease” sign in the window — was the first time I had ever noticed it. Besides location, the name and the fact that you couldn’t really tell what it was from the outside, seems to have doomed it.
      The “terrible location” thing reminds me of Gypsy Sally’s. I’m perplexed why you’d open a new music venue on the far west end of Georgetown in 2013. I like some of the acts they have, and the venue is pretty cool, but most of the time I don’t go because of where it is.

  • BW

    Zeke’s DC donutz was the best donut place that opened over the past 5 years. I wish I could still find them…anywhere

    • Timebomb

      Back when Redlight was Bar di Bari, they occasionally had Zeke’s donuts available. But they were smaller and somehow just not as good.

  • figby

    What was it????

  • AlexLady

    They served CookieMan truck cookies. So good. I would have visited it more but parking in that neighborhood is impossible at any time of day. Plus I’d rather hit up PanasEmpanadas if I ever can find a spot.

  • DC_Chica

    I would support the return of Tangysweet/Red Velvet if it would stay open late! Or auxiliary seating for Panas when it gets busy.

  • (Disclaimer: I have lived in the 2100 block for 25 years, and am a neighborhood advocate/activst.) The problem with that space is that everyone who has opened there has this notion that customers are supposed to flock to them because they’re there. None of them bother with demographics of the area. None of them bother with reaching out to neighborhood residents and building a core customer base. Instead, they stop just short of telling the neighbors to stay away, that we aren’t hip/cool enough for their offerings.

    Tangy and Red Velvet designed the place to look like a dark cave that you couldn’t tell was open, even if you went in. Their help was mostly incompetent and too busy talking with each other or on the phone. Bon Qui Qui would have won Employee of the Century over them. Zeke’s did himself in by never being open when customers who would have cleaned out his inventory were walking past. The “when I feel like it” hours don’t fly in an area with carved-in-stone commuter and pedestrian traffic cycles. When there was whining how the neighborhood didn’t support him, I just laughed.

    Thomas Foolery could have been one of those incredibly cool, neighborhood treasures…had they bothered to engage the neighborhood. Instead, the focus was on being a destination for people who don’t live around here, hoping the hip, cool people would come across town from NoMa, H Street, or down from Petworth. I tried reaching out to them with an idea to have a regular neighborhood mixer/happy hour/game night (several huge apartment buildings having 100-300 units within a 10 minute walk, plus several hundred smaller residences). “That would be too much effort to sustain.”

    Memo to Whoever Wants to Open There: Stop with the dark, mysterious cave. Make the inside visible. Make it inviting. Have a concept that will make it as much a go-to for the 4K or so people who live within a short walk as it is for people outside West Dupont. Make sure your hours capitalize on when target customer are most likely to be around. Properly train the people you hire about whatever it is you sell. Make it an absolute rule that they are not to be using their phones anytime there are customers present. And, don’t dismiss any particular age bracket as customers: There are countless people here over 40/50/60 who are anything but uncool old geezers


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