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Starbucks Scuttlebutt – 14th and U – Inevitable Edition

by Prince Of Petworth April 5, 2016 at 10:45 pm 35 Comments

pre reno elysium
1925 14th Street, NW pre-reno/development

A reader hears:

“Apparently on the first floor of The Elysium building currently being built across from Trader Joes is a Starbucks that will feature alcohol. The area is getting a TON of new coffee shops … but not complaining because they’re all so packed!”

  • J Street


    • Tony

      How so? I’ll never understand anti-Starbucks comments. I love their products and Starbucks is a pretty ethical corporation.

      • Anonymous

        Corporations are bad, m’kay?

      • Anonymous

        Meh, probably because their coffee sucks and is rather generic. And yes, influx of national chains drive up rents and push out local proprietors.
        How long until 14th is the new Chinatown? I give it 4 years. The offices are already creeping in.

      • Colin

        Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Team America. And then Team America goes out, and the corporations sit there in their corporation buildings, and see they’re all corporation-y, and they make money.

  • rob

    and no CVS?! kinda the DC staple – Starbucks/CVS combo.

  • FridayGirl

    I wish it was something other than Starbucks, but I agree about needing more coffee shops. I tried to meet someone for coffee a couple months ago and we tried The Wydown, Peregrine, and two different Starbucks and there were NO seats. We ended up just walking around :( I haven’t bothered trying to set up coffee dates again here.

    • JohnH

      Dunkin! If the Starbucks on 13th and U is good enough (assuming that was 1 of the 2 you went to), Dunkin is more than nice enough. Their seats along the windows aren’t bad and usually available. And only grumpy people don’t like getting a donut too…(although the service can be a little sketch here..)

      • FridayGirl

        I wish I liked Dunkin. Their coffee gives me heartburn for some reason :(

        • I Dont Get It

          I wish I could drink coffee! I feel so left out in this town!

      • David T.

        You do realize that there is a Dunkin’ Donuts outpost a half block north of this location, right?

        • FridayGirl

          David T., are you talking to me or JohnH? I’m sure he was referring to the Dunkin at 14th & U St, which is what I assume you’re also referring to. But, as I noted above, Dunkin gives me terrible heartburn for some reason so I don’t go there.

  • JohnH

    Coffee shops in an expensive area like this are never going to be “big enough” to have enough seating for their customers at peak-ish times. I don’t think it necessarily equates to needing more coffee shops – the lines are never really absurd. The shortage is places to sit – you could open 5 more coffee shops and still have trouble finding a place to sit at peak times, but most would go out of business.
    This area has plenty of quality coffee options.

    • rob

      yea but some people prefer to take it slow; sip and chat, rather than hustling to catch that next train.

      either way, it’ll be nice to have another coffee option that’s open after dinner hours.

    • Philippe Lecheval

      Why is it that people like to spend hours sipping a single coffee with their noses in their laptops? Do they all live in dark, squalid hovels with nine roommates?

      • FridayGirl

        Actually, this is DC and rent is through the roof. So probably many do, actually.

  • U neighbor

    If it were ANY OTHER CHAIN, I would normally say “No way, there is another one barely a block away”.
    Don’t worry, Peregrine, you still hold the loyalty of old timers like me.

    • Never got a taste for their coffee once others opened – Dolcezza and Wydown for me. But I love there are so many fantastic options.

  • I would be really surprised if this were the case – there’s SO much nearby, which usually doesn’t hurt Starbucks, but I have a hard time thinking they’d take the plunge here when there’s one at 13/U and 16/U AND so many other coffee places nearby.

    • I’m 99.9% sure this is happening…

      • hey, it’s starbucks resources and they’re not a terrible employer. I just don’t understand it.

    • HillM01

      The line at 16th & U in the morning says there could be another SBUX nearby. Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever walked into the one at 16th and U and not had at least one person in front of me

  • MissCaribou

    I don’t mind the addition of new coffee places, but I wish they would add more ample, comfortable seating – like how Caribou used to be with comfy couches and chairs.

    • Anonymous

      Because what a low margin business like a coffee shop really needs is for people to camp out there all day in a comfortable seat nursing their one cup of coffee and sponging off of the free wifi?

      • anon

        actually yes. thats why starbucks gives free refills to its reward program members. They want people to stay in the store. Full stores attract lines and most people take their coffee with them.

        • FridayGirl

          also the longer someone stays in a store the more likely they are to buy food (at least, one would assume. I’ve seen it happen a million times and am guilty of it myself).

  • lemeow

    Any mention of Starbucks brings out the #NeverStarbucks coffee snobs.

  • James

    There is also a Peet’s opening on 14th just above S, by Masa. The Wydown and Peregrine are full pretty much whenever I go. I’m usually there in the late afternoon, 3-4, and they are often full. I can’t imagine those are peak times.

  • Sketer

    I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t understand the coffee craze that people have, but can someone explain to me why it seems like people get very riled up whenever a national chain business opens up in the city and state that the city is losing its authenticity or whatever but they don’t have that same reaction whenever a Chipotle and Starbucks opens up.

    • Anonymous

      You must be new to this forum if you’ve never read an anti-Starbucks rant here before. There are a couple in this very thread.

  • TJ

    Starbucks isn’t a coffee shop. It is a fast-food joint full of pre-packaged factory food, catering to an uncaring palette and cloaked in false progressive marketing. It didn’t have to be that way, but it is.

    I’m pretty sure its existence no longer affects independent shops in the business of making good coffee.

    • Anonymous

      Taste is in the eye (and palette) of the beholder. If you name any indie coffee shop, you’ll find a number of people who think their coffee is crap, along with a number who think it’s the best coffee on earth. And “indie” is also in the eye of the beholder. Is a brand that has ten stores but only in one city really an “indie” shop?
      In any event, unless it discovers a neighborhood before everyone else has, I don’t see how any truly indie coffee shop makes it in a major city given the high rents that have to be paid. Hard to imagine that the margins on coffee are that good.

      • Anonymous

        Hey, people will pay a lot for the twee factor!

  • John

    Good, although there are lots of coffee shops around–the majority independent–it can be very hard to find one that has available searing if you want to read a book or get some work done. Oddly enough I’ve found that the SBUX at 16th and U is often the best bet, despite being a very small space: I suspect that many people who go there don’t walk in with plans to actually sit down, and there’s often a spot available.

  • P.

    The Starbucks on U and 13th is expected to close down when the new one on 14th and T opens FYI.


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