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Best DC Supermarket Closing on U Street

by Prince Of Petworth April 20, 2016 at 10:25 am 37 Comments

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1507 U Street, NW

A reader reports:

“I was by Best Super Market (located on U Street between 15th and 16th). They are going out of business next month and have their groceries 50% off and beer/wine 30% off.”

I stopped in yesterday too and was told they’ll be closing next month or when the groceries run out. Another big “end of an era” for U Street. Back in 2011 we spoke about what retail U Street was missing – what do you think could/should fill this square footage today?

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  • RAC

    Nooooooooooo this was the best for last minute stuff I was too lazy to walk to Harris Teeter or TJs for. :(

  • Dave

    I used to live a block from this place when I first moved to DC. Would go here all the time for beer, snacks, and other random stuff. Nothing special, but still a solid place and something every neighborhood needs. Sad.

  • wandafish

    Good riddance. They sold expired products, and the meat smelled and tasted like soap.

  • stacksp

    Wonder what will take its place? Hopefully not another $13 sandwich and $9 beer place with a mixologist serving curated cocktails…

    • GBinCH

      How about a 7/11?

      • FridayGirl

        Ugh to all of the above.

        • stacksp

          LOL : )

  • Kathryn-DC

    Wow, that place is one of the last remaining from when I moved onto the block. I like to pick up Firehook breads there, one of the few places that carries them. TJ’s bread selection is good, but not large.

    • FridayGirl

      Doesn’t Yes Organic have some firehook stuff? (I might be crazy, I never actually buy it. I just thought I saw a sign for it at one point.)

      • Kathryn-DC

        I’ll have to look

  • Sam

    TJ’a didn’t kill them. The pervasive smell of rancid food and bleach did. Or maybe the suspicious “deliveries” from the back seat of the owner’s minivan. Or (probably related) maybe constantly selling expired products. Bought a pack of Oreos last year that expired in 2014. Their vegetables tasted like they’d been dipped in 409.

    That place was gross. I’m confident they just recycled stuff that “fell off the truck,” or worse. I only went there for beer, and there are plenty of places for that.

    • *

      I’ve never been here, but to be fair, just because the owner is transporting products in their minivan, doesn’t necessarily make it suspicious. If they are a small store, such as this, they may not get deliveries if they order in small quantities and may opt to pick up their own products at warehouses or places like costco.

      • Sam

        It’s suspicious when what comes out of that minivan is expired cereal.

  • jcd

    I’ve lived two blocks from here for years and rarely stopped in. Having even closer convenience stores for small things, and Harris-Teeter, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods left them off my radar. I wonder how many other people that was true for, and how much that contributed to their closure?

    • CVR

      Definitely true for me. I’ve lived in the neighborhood 13 years and never stopped in. The only time I ever thought about it was when I was walking by and then it quickly went out of my mind.

  • petworthy

    I liked this market. Cool place. The end of an era will be reached though after the Black Cat closes. Mark it, dude.

    • anonymous

      The end of an era happened in 2001 when the Black Cat moved and the Metro Cafe closed.

    • textdoc

      I doubt it will close any time soon — they own the building, and primary investor Dave Grohl isn’t exactly hard up for cash.
      .
      I suppose they could sell and relocate elsewhere, but I suspect there’s not much financial incentive for them to do so, given how prices/rents have risen.

  • Hurleybird

    U Street is still lacking a real grocery store. TJ’s is too limited and Whole Foods is too expensive and silly/annoying to do regular food shopping. Yes is too small and expensive. HT is great if you live in that direction, but a little far for most of the U Street area. Giant is too far.

    • FridayGirl

      We also have Streets but it’s overpriced. All the stores we have are fine, I just wish I didn’t feel the need to go two or more places to get everything I was looking for…. Thus the biweekly trek to Harris Teeter for me.

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      Yeah, I have the same issue. The Giant is four blocks away and has too long of lines and the fish at the local market smells and the Safeway is 7 blocks away (what am I a competitive walker?) and the Whole Foods has sooo many millennials and the Trader Joe’s doesn’t have 17 different brands of pasta sauce, and the Wegman’s in my building has been difficult with the condo association and I’ll never shop there until they fix the loading dock issue, and I refuse to shop at Wal-mart because I refuse to be complicit in all that. Aside from that I have literally no options within a 1/2 mile radius.

      • stacksp

        lol at Whole foods has soo many millenials.. what does that even mean? I was born in 1980 does that make me a millenial?

        • textdoc

          Wikipedia says maybe:
          .
          “Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.”

          • A. Nony Mouse

            I’m a millennial now? Who knew. Guess I better get started on the beard and buy a beanie and some fake glasses.

          • pjl35

            @A. Nony Mouse. You’re thinking of hipsters with that description, not all millenials.

      • FridayGirl

        Hahaha, I appreciate the sarcasm. I kind of agree. TJs & Whole Foods is just fine for me 85% of the time (I mean, most of us chose to live in the area knowing what was there… and we had even less a couple years ago). And I’m not complaining about my 30-minute round trip walk to HT (unless I’m carrying frozen food in the summer), but I do wish I lived a little closer. We, by no means, live in a food desert.

      • Dognonymous

        I won’t be happy until there’s a Publix in my coat closet.

        • Hill Denizen

          I’m just imagining getting home, opening my coat closet, and someone taking my jacket and in exchange handing me a chicken finger sub right before I plop on the couch in my sweats. That sounds like my idea of heaven.

    • James

      I like the Safeway on 17th. Small but has most of what I need.

    • annonny

      Geez…try living in the U Street neighborhood back in 2001 when Best Supermarket was the ONLY thing going except the 17th Street Safeway. Between HT, TJ, Glenn’s, and a soon-to-be Whole Foods, there’s pretty much nothing to complain about. And if you do want to complain, just shut up and order via instacart.

  • Planner

    Oh no. This is the bad news to counter the good news about El Tamarindo.
    I liked this place – convenient and handy, with a decent wine and beer selection.
    I will miss it.

  • gonzodc

    with some sort of market saturation, you need to specialize in one or two things and do them really well to keep traffic. Can’t try to half-ass everything when you can walk a few blocks away and get something better.

    My dream is someone giving me $1 million to transform this place into a great butchery, fresh bread, prepared food emporium, with easy take out of beer and wine. Reply below if you’re interested. :)

    • HillM01

      +1 to a great butchery and prepared food emporium. For great fresh bread go to Bread Bite Bakery – they just opened across the street. Their bagels and bread are great.

  • I Dont Get It

    I went there at lunch hoping to score some discount canned goods and spices but discovered they are only open from 3-9 during the week.

  • eeb

    BOO! That’s my go to. I live around the corner on New Hampshire. Its too bad the block between 15 and 16th on U doenst have as many good options as the nearby blocks. Frankly its all due for an upgrade.

  • JGK

    This sucks. I’ve been living w/in a block for 10+ years. Best has def gone down hill in the last year or so, but was a solid option for basics, last minute items as well as beer and wine. Streets, Yes, Smucker, HT and finally TJ were each a (different size) nail in the coffin. I’d also argue that when U St Wine and Beer burned and was redone so nicely, that was another nail. All the sudden you have the same selection + a lot more of the upscale offerings people want.

    I’m very curious about what goes in there. Once you take out the aisles, refrigerated cases and the odd elevated office, there’s actually quite a bit of space. I wonder how big the back area is…

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