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“After 37 years, 3 owners, 6 locations, & thousands of happy customers; Ruff & Ready will no longer maintain a brick & mortar location in DC”

by Prince Of Petworth October 28, 2016 at 9:25 am 21 Comments

4722 14th Street, NW

From Tarek:

“Just in, news from ATTIC DC that Ruff & Ready Furnishings of Upper 14th St will be closing the doors on its brick and mortar location at the end of November. The store was previously located at 14th and T St, NW (now occupied by Taylor Gourmet). It’s the second vintage furniture store once located on bustling 14th to move to a new area and then close up. Hunted House went through a similar evolution. On the up side, Ruff & Ready plans to maintain on online business with well priced vintage, antique and used furniture. Read the full announcement from the store’s owner Bill Troy:

“Ruff & Ready Furnishings will close its location at 4722 14th Street NW, Washington DC on Sunday November 27, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

After 37 years, 3 owners, 6 locations, & thousands of happy customers; Ruff & Ready will no longer maintain a brick & mortar location in DC.The Closing Sale starts Saturday October 29 , 2016 with 25% off EVERYTHING, with lots & lots & lots of additional sales & special markdowns!

In the future, Ruff & Ready will be hosting periodic sales at our Clinton, MD warehouse, amping up our on-line listings on ATTIC & maybe making an appearance at the occasional Flea Market or Antiques & Collectibles Show.
So, come see us in our last month & save before it’s all over for Ruff & Ready in DC. And, we will be bringing in new items from our warehouse up until our last week; so keep coming back!”

  • siz

    nnnnnoooooooooo i love this place! ugh and simon’s is gone too. blerg.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    It’s just sad that the city’s economy is changing in a way that pushes out stores like this. The suburbs begin to seem a lot cooler when the only new things you can look forward to in the city are more condos for the wealthy and José Andrés’ 50th mediocre restaurant.

    • Anon


    • Rich

      Even in less prosperous cities, there are fewer and fewer of these places. I was in Cleveland last week and neighborhoods that once had many second hand furniture stores have fewer places or they are smaller and more niche-oriented. Used furniture stores used to routinely fill spaces that once were variety stores or early super markets, but not so much anymore. A lot of this kind of commerce has gone on line.

      The usual claptrap about “the market”, though, needs to recognize markets always are distorted and things reach a point where certain kinds of businesses (often chains) are the only ones with the capital to take a risk, whereas there might be real demand for something else.

    • dc owner

      The prices at places like IKEA are driving a lot of uses furniture places out of business. Even if you acquire the furniture for basically nothing, the cost of storage and transportation make it hard to compete on price. And we’ll a well furnished vintage home is much better than IKEA, most people simply don’t have the time or inclination.

    • Guillermo Brown

      If by “city’s economy is changing” you mean there are more wealthy, younger residents who have more disposable income, why are places like this thriving instead of disappearing? Rent may go up? Ok, but so should sales. Maybe they just haven’t adapted.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        Yeah, shame on them for not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t Las Placiras close to opening up on this block? This store seems pretty niche and while I hear the folks that lament how DC is changing, I also know that the market will dictate what stores survive and which ones don’t. Wish them the best, but I live four blocks away and have never heard of them.

  • tacopuss

    Even at 25% off it’ll still be obscenely priced. Sidenote, I’d love it if they could replace this location with a Taylor Gourmet as well.

    • Xenolinguistica

      I went in there looking for 12″ diameter globes. I’ve seen globes just as nice in Value Village, but R&R wanted in the neighborhood of $70 – $150 for such globes over the years.

  • Near Northeast

    I walk past the store a lot and always wanted to shop there, but their incredibly limited hours did not help. I wish they’d been open on weekdays–or even just _one_ weekday.

  • andy

    I always held out hope but never have quite understood how small businesses could succeed given amounts of consumer traffic here on 14th at Crittenden/Decatur. Sorry to see them go.

    • dc owner

      I think most of his customers drive there.

  • Xenolinguistica

    I live just a few blocks north of here, and while it’s disappointing to see another business disappear, I’m of multiple minds about the whole thing. I’m glad to see small businesses failing up and down this small corridor. That something is successful is amazing too, and I love Highlands, which is often packed open to close. About a half-mile north is a restaurant that I had great hopes for, Swampoodle, but given how empty it is most of the time (and how boring the food can be), especially now that it’s getting chillier and dark earlier, leads me to suspect that the business may not last a full year before closing its doors after an enormously expensive and successful renovation. I doubt they even have a full seating on the available tables once a night. The point is that failing small businesses indicate a number of things:

    1. The small businesses that exist aren’t strong enough or doing the marketing needed to really be successful.
    2. The neighborhood is not amenable to most small businesses, especially niche establishments, because of a lack of population density or people who want to spend their disposable income in a dark, dead strip of closed businesses where nothing else is happening. I mean, even the beer/liquor store closed, and who knows how many alcohol consumers live around there!

    I hope this provides development advocates with some strong arguments that this area needs some substantial new buildings (WITH UNDERGROUND PARKING). I would love to see the two commercial strips sold off to developer who does what they’ve done on various blocks of H Street and Columbia Road. Then there’s the horrible waste of space that is the Metro bus depot, and the former Safeway building at 14th/Colorado/Kennedy. I really don’t care about my various neighbors’ protests of such development for any reason whatsoever. Their thoughts, opinions, beliefs, etc. are irrelevant to the mission, which should be creating housing and opportunity for the area, to bring a population density to this area that can support more thriving businesses.

    • Anon

      “I’m glad to see small businesses failing up and down this small corridor.” – it’s rather lonely at the top, huh?

    • gotryit

      Huh. I never knew I had neighbors excited about failure of small businesses on our little stretch.

      While Swampoodle is no Michelin star restaurant, there are enough decent things on the menu for me, and a good place for us older folks with kids to hang out. I’d rather that than a trendy small plates place with “interesting food”.

      • KenyonDweller

        I agree that Swampoodle’s food is fine for a neighborhood restaurant. A number of their menu items are quite good. I wouldn’t drive to eat there, but I certainly would (and do) walk a block for a meal in the neighborhood.

    • caphillnative

      so basically you want to take the neighborhood feel out of your neighborhood… k

  • lawderly


  • Arlene

    Hello Bill

    I am so sad to see you closing your doors. Since the very first time I shopped at Ruff and Ready in Sept 95 you always took care to insure I received the best prices, even down to my last purchase, the 3 black and yellow Donna Vinci hat boxes I mailed home to Florida. Farewell to a small business with a big heart, lots of goods times, and always packed to the max with one of a kind goodies. See you on-line.

  • Denis

    I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve been an R&R shopper for over 20 years. Bill is the kindest guy and always was willing to barter. I’ll continue to shop online.


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