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Today in Tasty Scuttlebutt – Old Tortilla Coast space will become a Wawa?

by Prince Of Petworth June 6, 2017 at 10:00 am 73 Comments

15th and P Street, NW

Well I confirmed with mine own eyes that Tortilla Coast has closed at 15th and P St, NW. I have no idea if this is true or not but Chris hears the space will become a Wawa. Seems like a reasonable possibility. STAY TUNED.

  • Wyane

    That sounds about right. Fun neighborhood attracts moneyed people followed by cartoon rents that only massive chains can pay. There was just a story in the Times about Bleeker st that feels eerily similar.

    • Joshua

      It seems to be a familiar theme these days: Folks from outside the mainstream move to an economically depressed neighborhood because it’s all they can afford. Folks with money follow because now it’s considered a hip neighborhood. Then many of the cool, independent businesses that made it an attractive neighborhood get priced out and are replaced by chains.

      • LosLobos

        I really miss the paint store as well as the stores that sold tube socks alongside suitcases on 14th st

        • spookiness

          I bought some great used chairs.

      • Bobert

        You’re roughly 20-30 years too late to the realization of how gentrification works to change neighborhoods.

        • Joshua

          No, but it’s cute that you think it’s only been happening for the last 20–30 years.

          • Bobert

            As it relates to the wide-scale urban migration patterns in America today? Yea, I’d wager that 30 years puts you in the median ballpark for most US cities. But yea – economic displacement has been happening for thousands of years, if that’s your point.

      • Camel

        Congratulations, you’ve figured out gentrification.

  • MadMax

    LOL, getting trolled.

  • Joshua

    This would be super handy to have in the neighborhood, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • anon

    I sadly hope this isn’t true. My vote is for another restaurant that has outdoor seating.

    • MadMax

      You can always take your slightly-better-than-Subway hoagie out on the sidewalk.

  • WanderingWahoo

    On the whole, Wawa seems like an above average replacement option for this location — not the best of all possible options — but better than most.

  • ACG

    Is WAWA as amazing as people are saying? You’d think they were Eataly by the way people are praising them.

    DC Native here (who has never been in WAWA) asking….

    • Bobert

      No, it’s a slightly elevated 7-11. Many folks came to D.C. from places where the local Wawa was indeed one of the better places to grab food (relatively speaking), so many wax nastalgic about their youth.

    • MARM

      It’s a Sheetz aka fancy 7-11 with made-to-order food. Amazing pretzels though. On the overall, though, I don’t get the hype – like, if you are having a panty-dropping moment about a convenience store, maybe you need to get out more? (JK, everyone has got their thing, it’s cool)

      • MadMax

        Yeah. That’s what I don’t get. Like, I realize it might be edible for the price, or whatever, but the actual level of excitement seems way overboard. Like, drop your baby because you can’t hold your breath type of hyperbolic reaction.

        • dcd

          I think we established (though that may be too strong a word) that it’s a combination of (i) growing up in a sorta food desert where Wawa was the only place to get a sandwich, and (ii) nostalgia, which can do frightening things. (I recently realized that my mother’s pork chops, which I LOVED growing up, were cooked so well done that every trace of moisture was removed. Presented with them today, I’d consider them inedible.)

      • OP Anon

        SHEETZ has the most absurd menu I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure Guy Fieri is their menu consultant.

    • Anonymous

      No, the excitement is mostly about memories, nostalgia, and associations with times and places. It’s a fine store but it’s not going to blow anyone’s mind.

    • d

      All three responses to your question are correct. People have trouble separating the nostalgic feelings of their childhood from the reality that it’s a slightly upscale 7/11. In two years, the opening of a new Wawa in DC won’t cause a peep (unless it’s on Kennedy Street).

    • WanderingWahoo

      Wawa is to convenience stores as Chick-fil-a is to fast food restaurants. Tight corporate control of individual locations leads to a more consistent and higher quality customer experience, but it is not a high end store. It’s a really good convenience store, but still a convenience store.

      Drunk mac and cheese will change your life though.

      • anon

        for the better?

    • kd21

      It’s great relative to the burnt sludge posing as coffee and week-old hotdogs on rollers that you’d stumble across at gas stations just off the interstate, but I don’t understand the value proposition in a city like DC.

    • Swaz

      Now Royal Farms, *that* would be worth it.

      • OP Anon

        Seriously. Is there anywhere in the District where I can grab Berger cookies? They are my kryptonite. And I always pick up a box of them when in northern MD/Baltimore and driving by a Royal Farms.

        • Elvis’s Mom

          Giant has them!

        • blues

          Harris Teeter sometimes has them, as does Brookville Market in Cleveland Park.

        • Truxton Thomas

          I see them a lot at grocery stores. I’ll have to try them.

          • saf

            I find them far too sweet with a cake-like texture.

    • DM

      Wawa’s food is solid–its made-to-order sandwiches, I feel, are comparable in quality to Potbelly. Otherwise, it’s just a convenience store. I think it’s a combination of regional scarcity and nostalgia that makes people so excited. I didn’t grow up in a region that has Wawa, so I don’t really get it.

    • spookiness

      It’s ok and the coffee is ok. My last visit at one in DE was disappointing though because I thought I was trying to be healthy by buying a kale salad, but the store was completely OUT OF FORKS (!). I ate it at my destination anyway, so not a big deal. The sandwiches are ok. Frankly I prefer Royal Farms (fried chicken is good), but neither chain has very good dessert/sweet tooth craving options outside of the candy aisle and Tastykakes. I wish one of them had ice cream or soft serve.

      • OP Anon

        Berger cookies are at Royal Farms. They are amazing.

        • MadMax

          Chevy Chase Supermarket and Italian Gourmet Deli…also DDP makes a pie version.

          • MadMax

            Sorry was that in reply to your question above.

          • OP Anon

            What is “DDP”? And YES, I want a pie version!

          • MadMax

            Dangerously Delicious Pies, shop located on H Street and truck roaming downtown.

    • textdoc

      On the strength of recent glowing comments from PoPvillagers, I tried a Wawa hoagie when I was on a roadtrip a few weeks ago.
      I was disappointed. I tried another Wawa sandwich on the return trip. Still disappointed.
      I _will_ say that I was favorably impressed with their sugarfree caramel Frappuccino/frappe equivalent. But otherwise, I was disappointed.

    • j

      yes, don’t believe the haters. 7-11 isn’t in the same league by far. neither is subway.

  • maxwell smart

    This seems like a real missed opportunity for a prime bar/restaurant location. So few places in DC have substantial patio seating.

    • bean


  • Haiku Lonic

    Dacha — You should open here and not on S Street. There’s already a beer garden on 14th and S. There’s not a need for another one there.

    • Duponter

      That’s actually a pretty brilliant solution. Also if the scuttlebutt is true, this is the death knell of Logan Circle as the “it” neighborhood. A Wawa? I mean. God.

      • Bobert

        I’d wager that it’s been surpassed by “North End Shaw” (or whatever dumb name JBG tried to brand the area surrounding 9:30 club after building the Shay), at least in terms of nightlife destination for 20-30yo’s.

        • jaybird

          I’m fine with that.

        • Duponter

          I’d agree except I went to 14th Street the other day and immediately regretted it.

      • maxwell smart

        First Pacers, then Lululemon… safe to say this block has been on the slow decline for a while

        • jaybird

          And Pitango

    • minimalist

      So what? There are plenty of bars right next to each other in Logan, U St, AdMo, etc. Garden District is very small and the proposed 14th and S location for Dacha has a large outdoor area for a beer garden.

    • MadMax

      If only buying / leasing real estate worked that easily.

    • Boozehound

      The thing about a biergarten though is that they’re usually just a patio (typically openly seasonally) with a small kitchen. This space doesn’t really lend itself to that. It would have to be run year-round with as much indoor seating as outdoor, which really means you’re talking about a full-on bar/restaurant and not a biergarten. I’ve always thought a legit wine bar would do well in that neighborhood. Vinoteca should open a second location there.


    I think the lot is too small. I imagine Wawa has a specific SF requirements when selecting sites plus the main access from one way 15th Street and one lane P St doesn’t seem ideal for maximizing potential customer traffic

    • These are “urban” wawas. The one coming to 19th Street isn’t very large either.

      • Planner

        Yes. I only know Wawa from going to college in Philly. Very urban stores. I was a little surprised later when I saw them out in the suburbs.

  • This is just sad – not exciting at all. Went to grad school in Williamsburg, VA and Wawa(non gas station variety) was a quick acceptable lunch option for two years. Definitely nothing to get excited about. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m driving down to Richmond I might stop at a Wawa for coffee or a sandwich but this is not something I would frequent in in the neighborhood. Tortilla Coast wasn’t great but at least you could get a beer and sit on the patio.

    • OP Anon

      The Williamsburg WaWa may be the busiest I’ve ever visited. It is THE late night spot in that town.

      • THE late night spot to get food after the other late night spots have closed down.

      • anonymous tribe

        Yep I went to W&M and it’s literally across the street from campus, it accepts the college’s campus bucks (attached to meal plan/student ids), and it’s one of very few late night options that’s walk-able (good for students without cars, good for students who are drunk). It makes sense that it’s super busy.

        It was a really great spot to spend money my parents gave me for laundry on Natty light instead. And drunken hoagies or mac n cheese. That sad, not at all excited about it coming to DC. It served it’s purpose in a small college town with few other options.

    • MadMax

      Given the number of really great sandwich spots in Richmond you could probably just wait the 2 hours vs eating at a gas station.

  • Jim in NoMa

    Enough with the over-the-top love for WAWA. It’s a bright, upbeat 7-11 with very good sandwiches, no more. As a former Philadelphian, I know I’m supposed to love the place, but all this kvelling reminds me of the way West Coasters talk about In-N-Out Burger. It’s ok, but something creative, unique, and local is my preference any day.

    • j

      every single storefront can’t be unique and creative and local. i’ll settle for somewhere i can go for luch and not pay $10 for a salad like the (non unique) places down the block and across the street.

  • pcat

    This makes no sense at all. Why would you put a convenience store practically next door to a grocery and around the corner from another convenience store?

  • OP Anon

    Add a curb cut and some gas pumps! It will be like turning back the clock about 10-15 years.

    • jaybird

      More like 20.

  • dcd

    Who is Chris? And why should we think that s/he know what s/he is talking about?

    • Chris down at the vape store, c’mon man!

      • dcd

        Ahh. Well, obviously.

        • I’m not sure why but this exchange gave me a giggle.

  • Captain Obvious

    So will the Wawa have outdoor seating?

  • minimalist

    I like Wawa on road trips, but I don’t really see the appeal of putting one at this location. I live two blocks away and would probably rarely, if ever, go there.

  • Rich

    Something affordable and in pretentious. That would be a novelty in the Rea. And it appears to annoy Justin as a bonus.

  • Boozehound

    I’m surprised this closed. Does anyone know why? My GF and I lived about a hundred feet from there for three years from 2012-2015 and it seemed to do solid business. We rarely went since we found it to be over-priced for underwhelming food and drinks, but plenty of others seemed fine with it. Putting a WaWa there seems absurd. Like others have said, it’s a 7-11 with slightly above mediocre subs. We used to have one in College Park years ago when I was in grad school and occasionally I’d grab a sub there when I was in a rush. It was never a particularly great sub. A really good Indian place would have been great in that neighborhood. It would be interesting to see if some place like Bindaas could expand out to a larger space like that.

    • MadMax

      See previous thread linked in the post above.


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