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Potential Trader Joe’s Patrol – Glover Park – Start the Clock

by Prince Of Petworth February 22, 2017 at 10:22 pm 51 Comments

Former Holiday Inn at 35th and Wisconsin Ave, NW

Thanks to all who emailed the Washington Business Journal story “Trader Joe’s in talks to open in north Georgetown”.

Some commenters have been talking about this in the rant/revel and other posts so here’s a proper post for it. As to the North Georgetown/Glover Park name dispute? Why are you doing this to me God? Why?!?!? OK, sorry about that. Let’s officially start the clock for this Trader Joe’s watch.

Now keep in mind – the clock is still running for the Eastern Market and Union Market(ish) Trader Joe’s.

By the by – here’s how the Eastern Market (old Hine School) location is looking:


  • penguins9966

    Speaking of the Eastern Market Trader Joe’s, any update in a ballpark opening date? As someone who lives two blocks away, I cannot wait to stop shopping at YES! Market

    • Hill Denizen

      I kind of feel bad for the peeps at Yes! I mean it’s really expensive and the produce is hit or miss, but the people are so nice. They have a few hippy dippy health things you can’t find easily elsewhere, but their not particularly well-displayed and often dusty. Right now they’re primarily a grocery store for people who can’t/don’t want to venture to the Harris Teeters or Safeway. Once TJ’s opens, I, and I imagine most of their current customer base, really won’t have a need to go there. They really need to revamp their business model, cuz otherwise we’ll just have another empty storefront.

      • Rich

        Yes! seems to survive ok near the 14th Street TJs. They have a niche and it’s closer to Whole Foods than to TJs, if only on price.

        • Hill Denizen

          But I think that one is a more convenient option to people living further up north on 14th. These are literally right next to each other.

      • Feldspar

        Yes! wins the award for most misnamed store. When I used to live in the neighborhood and I would shop there, they would not have what I was looking for.

  • Bob sacamento

    I wish Trader Joe’s wouldn’t just open in the wealthiest parts of D.C. Come to Petworth or Columbia heights. There are people with money of course but it is also diverse (plus I live there). Anyhow. Trader Joe’s food is super affordable and quick so would really be even more helpful in dissadvantages parts of D.C. (I know Columbia heights and Petworth are far from disadvantaged but going off on a tangent here). The affordability and quick food would be great for the working poor. Especially in food deserts. Beats 7-11 and giants service in poorer areas and even Columbia heights is terrible. I really believe these communities would shop at tjs if they got a chance. I imagine they just go where they think they can make the most money. Does anyone know what analysis reader joes or other grocery stores do in choosing where to locate. There must be some sort of equation of sorts for each company. (Rant over)

    • dcd

      Remember that famous quote Willie Sutton may or may not have said? There’s your answer.

    • Anonynon

      you can walk down to U street….what more do you want?

    • DCbyDay

      I’ve never thought about this before but I feel like a “fast” trader joe’s concept would be really interesting in some parts of the city — not a full service store, but grab and go stuff you can eat immediately and maybe some microwaves to heat up frozen food — like a better/healthier version of 7-11.

      • Anonynon

        I don’t know if those meals are necessarily healthy….iv heard they are packed with sodium

        • Anon Spock

          Most frozen food is heavy on the sodium

    • Michael Pierce

      I’m thinking that an Aldi, which is co-owned with Trader Joe’s, might be a better option for underserved neighborhoods.

      • Rich

        Aldi & TJs are not co-owned. they are owned by different branches of the same family which split years ago and also have different turfs in Europe.

        TJ’s core clientele is basically graduate student-ish young people and middle class retirees, although some of their stores draw families (Columbia-yes, Rockville-not really). Upper Georgetown/Glover Park is perfect for them. They probably see Petworth as not quite there, yet and Columbia Heights as too close to U Street. If you really feel strongly you could do what the Logan Circle Community Association did 20 years ago and compile data to make a case to management–that’s how they got Whole Foods.

    • Glover Park

      I’d hardly call Petworth or Columbia Heights “food deserts”, with Target, Giant, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and other locations right there. But also, you realize there are a lot of people in Glover Park and N. Georgetown who live in apartments, right? (Speaking as a GP apartment-dweller.) There are tons of apartment buildings, and they’re full of college kids, med students, or Joe Schmos like myself who enjoy paying a fraction of what we’d spend in rent in CH or Petworth. Not everyone in those neighborhoods are wealthy.

  • Bob sacamento

    By the way, on a completely unrelated note I just want to say all the ways I love tjs that some may or may not have noticed. one of the coolest things about Trader Joe’s are the people. I have known a ton of people that worked there. Tons of weirdos misfits and music fanatics. Great to see a company embrace the weirdness. Also nice that people there actually know what aisle things are. They are told to take you to the item and not just say it’s around the back or something like that. And the line. It’s actually studied that have a single line is better than multiple lines. If you have multiple lines you can get randomly stuck behind an old lady with coupons(sorry people who use coupons but it drives me nuts). If you have a single line it gets rid of the variation in waits. Maybe you won’t get through in 1 min at times but your never stuck behind one person who takes forever because there are multiple registers. Or perhaps you like the variation but I don’t. Thank god for Trader Joe’s doing grocery shopping right! Would love to see more of them here in D.C. Maybe the old Walter reed? Please!!!

  • Bob sacamento

    Jesus I sure have a lot to say about grocery stores hahah

  • FridayGirl

    As a former Glover Park resident, I think this would be totally amazing.
    But from a realistic perspective — Why does this stretch of Wisconsin Ave. need a Safeway, a Whole Foods, a Giant (ok, this is a bit of an outlier geographically) and now a Trader Joe’s? It’s great to have the variety but when I lived there the stores were never particularly crowded anyway — even on the weekends.

    • GBinCH

      Seconded! I used to live in Glover too and they already have a plethora of grocery stories.

      • kwilkat

        Thirded! I would have preferred seeing this left as a hotel (only one other in the “hotel desert” in this part of NW) but supplemented by multipurpose retail/decent restaurant space, above which some condos and gym facilities.

    • FoggyBottom

      I absolutely agree–either the Safeway or Whole Foods is probably sufficiently close for most residents in the area. However, the nice thing about grocery stores is that they provide a much needed attraction, especially to this part of Glover Park/upper Georgetown. Save for the Starbucks, the businesses on Wisconsin and 34th have floundered from lack of foot traffic and general interest. Supposedly, JBG will also be building apartments or condos on this parcel, which frankly seems a much better use of space than a hotel. This development probably should have happened above the Georgetown Safeway, but we all know how hard density is to get approved around these parts.

    • stacksp

      Trader Joe’s sells items at least for me that you cant get at those other stores like that crazy delicious 2.99 popcorn lol and all the prepackage frozen food like the rack of lamb that is awesome, orange chicken for the kids etc….

    • andy2

      This will be great – because if you look west of Glover Park there is only one grocery store – a shitty small Safeway. Plus there isn’t a grocery store in Woodley and only one in Cleveland Park – so lots of potential customers.
      My one issue is traffic. JBG better do a good job designing and siting the building so as not to create a total cluster. Glad there will be more residential and increased foot traffic in GP.

      • anonymous

        I am pretty sure it is a requirement for opening a TJ that the parking situation be horrendous. I’ve lived near 5 or 6 different TJs in different states, and they all have parking lots that are even worse than they would be if you set out to design the worst possible parking lot.

    • Glover Park

      To add to this, not sure when you lived here, but the stores are pretty crowded, especially in the evenings and on the weekends. But also, I don’t go to WF unless I need a specialty item. $$$$$$$$ – would be nice to have the cheaper, more diverse offerings of TJ’s

      • FridayGirl

        I lived there two years ago for 2 years. Sure, there’s lots of people BUT compared to the other grocery stores in other parts of the city (Teeter, P St. Whole Foods, 14th Street Trader Joe’s, etc.) they are really not crowded. When I lived there, a “long line” was like 4 or 5 people.

  • Frank

    This would be fantastic. I would probably go there weekly. The West End Trader Joe’s is too far for me and the 14th street one is too damn crowded.

    • Anonynon

      agreed. 14th street one is a zoo after work

  • Michael Pierce

    I know other neighborhoods are dying for this type of development, but I’m pretty thrilled to be able to hit Safeway, Trader Joe’s then Whole Foods in one fell swoop.

  • L

    Can we talk about what an abomination that new building is in Eastern Market? I hadn’t been over there in at least a year and was so disappointed to see that old school gone, and this eye sore in its place. oof.

    • ET

      I am not going to comment on the new building’s design. It it is what it its- they weren’t going for architectural awards, but you can not tell me that the architecture of the old school (that had been sitting empty for years save the occasion election voting activity) that was demolished was attractive and that eyesore of an empty lot was better. That building was hideous and was made worse by the fact that what faced Pennsylvania Avenue was basically an unused side door with a weedy plot in front.

      • L

        I was just hoping they could salvage some of the old school building and build it out from there. In my mind I saw it as a cool project, rather than a full demo that would then result in your typical run of the mill building that looks like it could be in any suburb. I guess I’m sensitive to new buildings that I consider “boring” when there is so much great architecture in DC. I’m not super familiar with that area though, so I can’t tell you how long that school sat vacant (I’m sure for too long for the residents of that neighborhood!)

        But hey, if a TJ’s is going in there, that’s great – love me some TJ’s!!

        • Hill Denizen

          The old school was fugly. It was typical blah 60s school architecture. I also prefer salvaging at least part of old buildings (e.g. the HT in Navy Yard), but I don’t think there was anything there worth salvaging.

        • HillEast

          the old Hine school was hideous. while the design of the new building is admittedly boring, it’s better than what was there.

    • Anonynon

      I think it looks pretty cool….

    • Hill Denizen

      I don’t dislike it at all. Agree it’s not winning any awards, but it’s functional and a somewhat modern take on the neighborhood’s aesthetic. Would you prefer the giant glass blocks going up elsewhere?

    • Feldspar

      It would be difficult to exceed the old school in terms of eyesoreness.

    • Anonymous

      Sure, as someone who lives in the neighborhood and is not just around there once a year, I’m really happy to see it progressing so well and am excited for the completion. I’m also excited for the Union Market-ish TJ’s to help divert some of the crowds away from the Eastern Market location, which I will be using regularly!

    • navyard

      I actually like it. You can’t really tell from this photo, but on the Pennsylvania Avenue side, the brick columns are not all vertical, and there’s something about that that is pleasing to my eye.
      It reminds me of the new building out at Reston-Wiehle station that looks like giant “W”s. I just like it and when I drive out that way, I can’t keep my eyes off of it.

  • Dear Trader Joes (or Yes or MOM’s). Please take over the Bestworld. Kthanxbai.

  • d

    I agree that Glover is already well served by grocery stores, but TJs would do fine there. If TJs could find a large enough space to open in Woodley Park that might be one of the wealthiest, densest neighborhoods in the country lacking a real grocer. I always thought the Omni annex facing the park should be converted to grocery, even has parking right outside.

  • SVinDC

    I live nearby and this would be amazing if true. Yes it’s literally a five minute walk to Safeway and Whole Foods but I assume TJ’s market research / financial people will figure out whether it makes sense. They would really need to work on the parking and car access from Wisconsin Avenue, which could be a nightmare.

  • jch

    Do people find that TJs allows them to do a full grocery trip (pick up all the essentials – fruit, veggies, meats, etc) ? I’ve only been to the TJs near Foggy Bottom and felt that I had to run to Safeway/HT in order to finish my grocery trip.

    • Hill Denizen

      If I have a specific recipe, no, but for the basics, generally yes.

    • Michael Pierce

      It would be really hard to do a full grocery trip at Trader Joe’s. I’ve found that much of their produce and meat are not top quality. But their basic dairy and bakery items are decent enough.

      • FridayGirl

        I think it really depends on what you get. I hate TJs chicken and will go elsewhere if I want that, but they have amazingly priced steak and ground beef, and their in-season produce is usually top notch (example: I’ve rarely gotten an apple bag where an apple is dinged. Usually they’re in great shape, unlike at other stores.) BUT you may not be looking for steak or apples, so.

    • James

      Their produce looks great and goes bad in two days. Its astounding. I try to avoid all Trader Joe’s branded items and only buy items from national packaged goods companies and some frozen meals there.

      • Anonymous

        I thought everything at TJ’s was private label. Have they added some national brands recently? On price, however, I found that private label (365) soy milk at Whole Foods is less expensive than at TJs, as are some of the other 365 products at Whole Foods.

      • FridayGirl

        You should take a look at the “packaged on” dates before buying! I always look and buy recently packaged produce (for example, the blueberries I had last week were packaged only 2 days prior. They were great and good all week. But other things don’t make it to the store that quick.)

    • stacksp

      Generally yes but as a family we do TJs and Whole Foods when we do the bulk grocery shopping.


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