Passings . . . .

Many people havcing been talking about closings in the neighborhood. As far as i can tell they are not based on the poor economy but rather on the success of the neighborhood. Mid City Cafe, Pulp, Miss Pixies and Rough & Ready have all declared that they are leaving the hood. I am sad to see them go because i really enjoy their quirky offerings.

BUT think about it. These stores thrive on cheap rents and emerging neighborhoods. If rents increase, they need higher volume or higher prices. The volume is maxed out by the amount of space and no one wants to pay a high price for the same thing they bought cheaply before. It’s time to say U and 14th may have arrived. Retail along the street are successful and higher priced. It reflects the higher incomes of residents and additional foot traffic. I am sad to see these stores go but hope they can find new neighborhoods where they can be profitable like the new location of Rough & Ready.

An additional Note on the Lincoln Theater. I don’t know what to make of this. It has a killer location but it is too pricey for its own good. I have heard from some events people that it is cheaper to rent the brand new Harmon theater in Chinatown than the Lincoln. For all it’s charm, the Lincoln is old and expensive to operate. They either need to declare bankruptcy and lower fixed costs or sell to a retail outlet that could use the space. (I am thinking the restaurant Tao in NYC based in a theater with a 3 story Buddha on the stage.) I am not even including the new Howard Theater due to open shortly. How will U Street keep 2 theaters open????????


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