Friday Question of the Day – What “Regular” Retail Would You Like to See?

by Prince Of Petworth June 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm 136 Comments

regular retail

Earlier this week when we spoke about the Volvo House’s eviction a few folks were lamenting the loss of another quotidian business. It’s not glamorous but if you own a car you need a mechanic. So what other non glamorous but useful retail would you like to see open up near you?

  • J

    Dry cleaner in Park View.

    • Daniel

      +1 Seriously. Any one of those small, vacant storefronts between Irving and Rock Creek Church would do.

    • Luray


  • neighbor

    Literally anything but a vape store.

  • Half smoke

    Bass Pro

    • jim_ed

      You may be joking but I’d legit love this.

  • Nancy

    Hardware store. Not having a car, driving out to a box Home Depot or whatever is out of the question. But if I could just walk a block or 2 to get some basics that would be nice.

    • At the rate they’re going, soon there will be an Ace Hardware every 100 yards or so in the city. I have four within two miles of my house, plus one more non-Ace.

      Also, if you DO have to drive to a big hardware store, i highly recommend Lowes by Costco instead of Home Depot. This will change eventually, but for now it’s always empty, very clean, and actually has staff that can help you.

      • HaileUnlikely

        The Lowes in Riverdale, a couple miles east of PG Plaza, is also solid, and depending where you live, may actually be closer.

  • HiItsNino

    Amazon.com. Retail is thing of the past.

    • DF

      Basically, yes. Amazon Prime + no sales tax makes it a no brainer.
      I do miss Pulp though, for the occasional birthday card that wasn’t from Target.

      • CatieCat

        Trader Joe’s has cute cards for 99 cents!

      • I Dont Get It

        Yes we need a Pulp re-boot!

    • If you only buy things that have no benefit to seeing them in person first, sure. Or if you never shop for things last minute.

      • textdoc

        Agreed. Also applicable if package theft is a concern in your area.
        Plus the whole point of this thread is people’s “wish lists” of brick-and-mortar stores — not “Pfft, you can get that on Amazon!”

  • Stationery store. The (crappy) Hallmark closed near my office and now Target is my best option for birthday/new baby/wedding card. Wish there were more options; would love a Chocolate Moose type place closer to where I live/work.

    • stacksp

      There is a Papyrus store at Union Station and on F St NW near Zara.

    • +1, I was going to say the same thing. I love a good stationary store, especially one that will do custom lettering. Something like On Paper in Columbus would be incredible.

      • BK Petworth Citizen

        +1000. I wish Paper Source would expand from Georgetown to Columbia Heights/Petworth! But both Upshur Books and Willow (both on Upshur St NW) have some great cards, too.

        • mtpresident

          YES, THIS!

  • Hookdntx

    How about a Target in one of the storefronts in the Starburst Shopping area, or really anything that is a bit more useful (I wish for a DSW or a homegoods store)

  • jumpingjack

    I’d love a Penzey’s in the city. Rockville and Falls Church are too far.
    And a small grocery store in Takoma!

    • dcd

      Penzey’s is a wonderful idea.

      • LittleBluePenguin

        oh! YES!

    • Pixie

      +1! Takoma really needs a small grocery store. Especially on the DC side. I would love a Glen’s Market or Yes Organic to open up in the Trohv space.

      • jumpingjack

        I agree so much, but with the space being subdivided I can’t imagine there’d be enough space. Busboys was going to partner with Glen’s for a small grocery across the street but changed it’s mind. So for now we’re stuck with 7-11.

        • Pixie

          True. The employees at t Big Bad Woof told me they are moving into the one of the spaces in Trovh, which is nice because their current space is so small. I wonder what will come in the empty retail space(s?) next to Busboys.

          • Ugh. I read that (incorrectly) and thought you had said Big Bad Wolf (the amazing BBQ shop in Baltimore) and got my hopes up way too high.

          • jumpingjack

            I’ve heard from several sources that Starbucks is going into one of the other spaces.
            On the note of BBQ, a co-worker who’s from Kansas City told me that a top notch KC BBQ spot – Oklahoma Joe’s (now called Joe’s Kansas City) – just opened a location in Vienna. He went and said it was excellent Good BBQ is one of the few things that would get me to trek all the way to Vienna.

          • If you’re going to drive out there, just go a bit fruther and hit up The Pit Stop in Aldie. It’s the best I’ve had in this area. (I grew up on NC BBQ, very different than KC style, but respectable nonetheless.) Take friends, the portions are huge.

          • anonymouse_dianne

            The new BBQ joint on 14th down from Busboys has gotten rave reviews.

          • I’ve been to their Union Market outpost, unless they’ve somehow changed drastically I was not impressed. DCity is the best you can find without a long drive.

      • BrightwoodNorth

        Or in the Takoma Theater building. It’s so big, so close to the metro, and even has space for a parking lot. Would love to see a small grocery/market there. Drives me nuts to walk by it everyday and see it vacant.

        • Pixie

          That would be amazing.

        • jumpingjack

          OMG, yes!

    • DB

      + 1 on Penzey’s! I live in Arlington and Falls Church is still too far.

  • JM

    Music store (eg. Instrument sales)

    • If you happen to live near Capitol Hill check out Music on the Hill, a relatively new business that did a really nice job with the layout and selection. It’s on 8th and D.

    • Blithe

      The House of Musical Traditions — a reasonable walk from the Takoma Metro station is wonderful, and has exemplary customer service.
      – I wish Atomic Music would open a DC branch, though, or at least a Metro accessible store.

      • +1, although mainly because I like combing through their LPs

  • stacksp

    Target, Chick Fil A, H&M

  • LittleBluePenguin


    • wowtdc

      Agreed! I’m never in Georgetown and it’s one of the few reasons I still go to Pentagon City.

      • LittleBluePenguin

        yup! me too!

    • DCRachel

      I really wish Sephora would open up around Metro Center, Farragut North, Gallery Place, or even Union Station. All of the ones in the DC area require a special trip for me! Though my bank account would probably suffer.

      • LittleBluePenguin

        ha! yeah, true!

        • Hookdntx

          There is an Ulta that just opened in Ivy City

      • Pixie

        It’s no Sephora, but there is a Blue Mercury on Conn Ave near Farragut North

        • There’s one in Union Station as well.

  • David T.

    City Targets like the one in Rosslyn. Downtown could use a couple of them–one in the East End and one in the West End. I’ll be one would also make a killing in Southwest or Navy Yard.

    • textdoc

      What is a City Target like — something smaller than the Columbia Heights Target?
      When running errands in the ‘burbs, I’ve driven by a Target Express that’s on the street level of a new building in downtown College Park. But I haven’t been inside, so I don’t know what it’s like.

      • palisades

        Yeah it’s just a one-level Target with the essentials. I found the one in Rosslyn – despite being brand new – to be kind of depressing and lacking things I assumed would be there.

        • textdoc

          Oh, too bad — that’s a bummer.

  • hammers

    The only things I have to leave the (lower Petworth) neighborhood for are: a gym (that isn’t crossfit or WSC), art supplies (to include frames), quality shoes and work clothes, plants (more like a florist than grocery store flowers or Ace greenery), and while I love the food options, I wish there were more fast casual choices.

    • JohnH

      There’s a lot of areas that could use more fast casual. I would think places like Greek Spot (off of U) do really well. I’m still shocked there isn’t a Chipotle on U. (yes there’s one on 14th and P, but it’s really not that close in the fast casual world – especially if you’re talking 11th or 12th and U). There’s going to be a Cava before a Chipotle.

  • skj84

    A grocery store!!! I went from living within walking distance of a Safeway, Giant, CVS, and Indie market to having nothing nearby. Both the Harris Teeter and Giant are technically too far to walk. I really need to plan my grocery trips now.

    • IIRC there’s a Safeway not far from where you moved, in that Starburst center. It’s really not a good store, but it does exist!

      • Hookdntx

        There is also the Aldi!

      • skj84

        I completely forgot that Safeway exists. Good point. I probably should explore the Hechinger Mall more. Especially now they are putting in Zips and Payless.

      • textdoc

        Is that the one that used to be referred to (circa 2000) as the Unsafeway?

        • skj84


        • textdoc

          I always got a kick out of the Safeway nicknames, especially that one. :)

  • anon

    I live on Kennedy, so I’ll take anything besides sketchy bodegas, liquor stores, and funeral homes.

    I’d love a regular old, straight ahead gym. I don’t even care if it’s WSC.

    • iLoveSalvamexAvocados

      Salvamex and TropiMart are amazing — you should try them.

      • jim_ed

        +1 for TropiMart. It has a full produce and meat department that we’ve been impressed with. Great for small things between bigger grocery store trips. Prices are very reasonable.

    • Anon

      As far as Kennedy St goes, my end – unit through 4th offers nothing but storefront churches and day cares and a tiny CVS. I’d kill for a hardware store or coffee shop without having to schlep to 600 block. Right now I just go to Brookland!

  • anonacostia

    Any restaurant that will deliver east of the river (mamas pizza and thai orchid’s kitchen are awesome but seem to be the only current options). And a fabric store anywhere in DC!

    • skj84

      +100 on a fabric store. Also an arts and crafts store.

      • Blithe

        It’s pricey, and might be out of your way, but Sullivan’s Toys and Art Supplies has a fair amount of arts and crafts stuff, and great customer service. I’ve also heard that a Michael’s will be opening up in Friendship Heights in the old TJ Maxx space. In a pinch, I’ve also often found sewing supplies at Rodman’s — packets of needles, thread, patches, and other basics.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if a Michael’s opened up in the Costco/Lowe’s/PetSmart/etc shopping center on South Dakota. They seem to be targeting all big-box operations.

    • B

      A fabric store would be wonderful! All the good ones are 30-45min away (G Street is depressing and JoAnns fabric is too cheap and doesn’t hold up).

    • XAX

      A new art supply store just opened up in Hyattsville, straight up Rhode Island Avenue— it’s really great!
      Artist and Craftsman
      4902 43rd Ave
      Hyattsville, MD 20781

  • plowdodger

    Cocktail bar specializing in small plates in Shaw

    • Toonces

      +100 Right?! It’s like they’re *completely* non-existent there…

  • Daniel

    A florist in Park View.

    • Blithe

      Mary Woods Florists is wonderful, and has been my family’s florist of choice for many, many years. They’re located on Kennedy St. a bit over from Georgia Ave. (Maybe Illinois Ave)

  • GPDC

    A self-serve carwash!

    • timmyp2353


    • textdoc

      Agreed. I dislike having to go out to the ‘burbs to find a gas station with an automatic car wash.
      Or did you mean one of those places that has hoses and whatnot where you wash your car yourself?
      I probably ought to spring for a full done-by-humans carwash sometime. Never had one.

      • Truxton Thomas

        Montana Ave. Double Wash! $20 for the works and well worth it.

      • Mr. Magoo

        A well-managed Jiffy Lube (they do exist) with an automatic car wash. This will never happen in DC however.

      • jim_ed

        I assume he meant the type with the spray wands and foam brushes. Far better job cleaning your car than a drive through that smacks your car with rubber strips. That’s what I want at least, and the only one remotely close to the city is in a less than great part of Temple Hills.

  • PetworthMom

    A Wegmans in the District

    Fast, casual food in Petworth

    • LittleBluePenguin

      YES YES YES YES YES to both of these!!!

    • jumpingjack

      A Wegman’s at Walter Reed! Hopefully before 2026!

      • PetworthMom

        I am holding out hope for that one. Until then, I’ll make my bimonthly trips to Largo or Fairfax. Womp. Womp.

    • anonymous

      I heard Wegmans is coming to the patch of land on NY ave/Bladensburg. Anyone else heard this?

  • That One Guy

    Tower Records…I still miss its demise.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I saw a great documentary on Tower Records recently (on cable). They are apparently still going strong in Japan!

      • SparklyKittyTacos

        They are! I make sure to make a trip to Tower Records every time I’m back in Tokyo. It’s awesome.

      • textdoc

        Nice! That’s good to hear.

  • Jess

    A low-frills bike shop in Petworth. It would do crazy business!

  • Kalorama Resident

    A puppy store that’s not a Petsmart.

    • KalPup

      Doggie Style and Wylie Wagg are both within walking distance of Kalorama.

    • textdoc

      What do you mean, a puppy store — selling puppy supplies? Dog supplies too? (Not actually selling puppies, right?)

  • Petworth dude

    Hot sauce stop. Not regular but I don’t care.

  • BookaholicAnonymous

    I live in Mt Pleasant, so I’m somewhat spoiled–on Mt Pleasant street we have everything I need on a weekly basis (dry cleaner(s), liquor store(s), hardware store, pharmacy, both high- and low-end small groceries, a yoga studio, and nail salons) plus businesses in Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan are very easily accessible. But if I were being really demanding, I’d second the calls for florists and stationary stores (or maybe just a florist that had a nice small selection of cards).

    • Anonymous

      way to rub it in, lol

      • textdoc

        Surely a REAL humblebrag would be PPercy talking about how great it is to have boutique this and boutique that, but what he REALLY needs is a more conveniently located Bentley dealership. ;)

    • BookaholicAnonymous

      I lived in SW Waterfront for 10 years–including several years before the Safeway was redeveloped. I’m still basking in the glow of having actual retail within walking distance!

      • well

        yes, but I would really like the following in SW too:

        * inexpensive hair place like Hair Cuttery or Great Clips. Bonus points if they also did nails and waxing.
        * a day care center
        * bike shop…though one is coming to Navy Yard
        * coffee shop other than the Starbucks in Safeway
        * hardware store…heard one will be at the Wharf.

        Also I would like Safeway and CVS to be better managed.

        • BookaholicAnonymous

          I don’t have kids, but other than that, your list was my list when I lived in SW (and also the reason why I was over in Capitol Hill every weekend!). Here’s hoping the Wharf development is everything they’ve promised for you all!

  • Jessica

    Good drycleaner and grocery store west side of Brookland/Edgewood

  • Girl on a Hill

    A gym in the H st area that isn’t Crossfit! Would be a dream.

    • +1, I was really hoping for a VIDA, or similar, in that Whole Foods-to-be building. Wouldn’t hate on an Orange Theory either.

      • Anon H St

        Totally agree! A VIDA would be great and would seem to be the perfect fit for one of those big new condo buildings. The closest one to us is Navy Yard and it’s a hike. I would also love a walkable hardware store.

        • There is WS Jenks on Bladensburg, but you have to walk through at least 2, probably more, sketchy AF corners to get there.

          • skj84

            Co sign on WS Jenks. Which also doubles as event space. My Fringe show was staged there last year, and the owner mentioned they wanted to rent the space out more. The corners are a bit sketchy, but I felt ok walking by myself.

      • bll

        there’s an orange theory coming to navy yard. it’s not near h, but it’s also not often that someone mentions it so I thought you might like to know.

      • Girl on a Hill

        VIDA would be amazing, fingers crossed. I feel like those new apartment buildings will probably have lovely gyms for tenants, but not the greater H st neighborhood. I think that’s how it works in most of the new apt buildings in the NoMa area currently.

  • I Dont Get It

    More no-frills cheap corner barbershops.

  • I feel so lame writing this, but I would love to have a good kids shoe store where they measure the kid’s feet well and a Hanna Andersson for cute kids clothes (that are too expensive, so maybe it’s ok that they aren’t in the district). But, I’m really at a loss for how to buy shoes for my kids without dragging them to a mall. I’m terrible at measuring them.

    • Blithe

      There’s a small shoe store in Chevy Chase DC called Ramer’s that specializes in fitting children’s shoes. They’ve been there for a few decades.

  • BethPopville

    I juuuuuust want a Sweetgreen in Adams Morgan/Woodley Park, or another Sweetgreen-like place to grab a salad. Seems so simple, but there’s nothing.

    • anon

      I want this in Takoma!

    • d

      Same. The remaining retail bay at the Adamo would be perfect for a Sweetgreen.

  • shop local

    A nice hair salon. I hate having to trek a 1/2-hour to get my hair cut. At least one of the salons in Petworth doesn’t have a business license and their people aren’t even licensed to cut hair. A legit, nice hair salon would be great.

    A place other than Target/Children’s Place, (insert chain) to get some cute kids clothes.

    A craft/hobby/fabric store.

    An actual liquor store in Petworth proper – Lion’s is great but it is still a good 15 minute walk for me. Lift the moratorium!

    Record store

    Housewares – a la a miss pixies or goodwood type of place.

    I love brick and mortar retail. I would much rather buy in person.

  • petworther

    Petworth direly needs a gym. The only thing moderately close is the CrossFit or the WSC in Columbia Heights. Any regular gym would do very well in Petworth.

  • flieswithhoney

    Ann Taylor (or a similar store), craft store, and self-serve car wash that also has a hose for washing bikes and dogs (random, I know) in the U St area.

  • anonymous

    Craft and/or fabric store (i.e. JoAnn’s or Michael’s). I think that’s the only thing I still need to schlep out to the ‘burbs for when I need to buy mats for framing or some cloth for ill-fated sewing projects.
    Unless I’ve totally missed a store that’s already in DC…happy to get any recommendations

    • anon

      Not DC but not too far out either–there’s a Michaels in downtown Silver Spring.

  • JMR

    A nail salon and a generic gym (machines, some classes, not specific to one kind of workout) in Bloomingdale.

  • Crafting in DC

    An Artist and Craftsman store just opened in Brentwood! (walkable from Rhode Island Ave metro past the Home Depot). It is mostly fine art supplies, but they do have some crafty things (like some jewelry making stuff) and seem open to suggestions on what to stock. Unfortunately, no fabric.

    • XAX

      One just opened in Hyattsville, too! It’s great!
      4902 43rd Ave
      Hyattsville, MD 20781

  • Philippe Lecheval

    A gun shop.

    • Mr. Magoo

      This is DC. Why pay retail?

  • Dan

    A wawa in Logan

    • Girl on a Hill

      +100 to Wawa. We need on the Hill too. A much better alternative to 7/11 :)

  • llucas

    A grocery store in the Riggs Park / Ft. Totten area, please. Sure, the new Walmart opened up, but who wants to shop there?

    • Josh

      You mean like the Giant on Eastern?

    • Anon

      +10000 And call me crazy/mean but I’m not looking forward to the Cafrit bldgs. I think they’re only bringing a Senior center and a (expletive) children’s museum!

  • lxs

    A gently used kid’s store. It doesn’t need to be all new and fancy. Used and consignment is great and there just isn’t anything like it in DC. Baltimore, of course, has some. So does Bethesda.


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