A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Monday, March 04, 2013

A Change in Direction for J. B. Liquorette Space

Image from Google Streetview 

Ever since J. B. Liquorette (corner of Florida and West Virginia) closed it's doors months ago, I've fielded a lot of questions about why it closed, and also about what might replace it. A church down the street owns the building, did they refuse to renew the lease? Will it be replaced by a more upscale store, maybe a wine shop? These are typical of the questions I've heard, and the chatter has only increased since the windows were removed, and the first floor gutted.
J. B. Liquorette
Here's the story to the best of my knowledge: The closure was the business owner's decision. The couple had operated the store for years, and stayed open through at least one robbery. But they were getting older, and decided it was time to retire. From what I have heard, the landlord (which is the church, BTW) did not force the closure, but the church also doesn't want another liquor store coming in. I spoke with a certain gentleman this morning who told me that they have had strong interest from two parties.

J. B. Liquorette
One of these parties is a hardware store, that the man indicated was interested in not only in J. B. Liquorette's old space, but also the space next door. I'm not sure what kind of square footage that would be in total, but it's definitely a big chunk. The second party (and again, this is just what I've been told) is said to be Starbucks. Odd location for a Starbucks? Yes, but there is Gallaudet right across the street. Judge for yourself on this one. Regardless, it sounds like we won't see any business taking over that sells alcohol.


Anonymous curmudgeon said...

A hardware store seems like a losing proposition when Frager's is not that far away. Yes, I know, for everyone in Trindad/Old City (and much of northeast Capitol Hill), this would be closer than Frager's; but most people seem not just happy/satisfied with Frager's, but almost worshipful, like teenage fans of some music idol. A hardware store there would probably take business from Park's on H; but it'd have to be fabulous to take business from Frager's.

Mar 4, 2013, 11:31:00 AM

Anonymous Looking for profit! said...

Isn't a Starbucks one of the signs of terminal gentrification?

Mar 4, 2013, 11:42:00 AM

Anonymous Ann said...

I like Fragers as much as the next person, but as a new homeowner in Trinidad without a car (who didn't buy a reno and has a LOT of upgrading to do), I would gladly give up making the trek to Fragers.

Mar 4, 2013, 11:44:00 AM

Anonymous H Street LL said...

I go to Park's frequently, but of course their selection is extremely limited.

Agreed with Ann, I will go wherever is walkable (with the best selection) the most.

Mar 4, 2013, 12:59:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live 4 minutes away and I'll sign up to pay a portion of the rent for Starbucks!

Mar 4, 2013, 1:02:00 PM

Anonymous Peggy Fairchild said...

We have lots of Starbucks locations out here in Reston, and I just love all of them!

Mar 4, 2013, 1:33:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on what will happen with Black Supermarket on 13th and Florida?

Mar 4, 2013, 2:02:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

Not yet. I'm curious too.

Mar 4, 2013, 2:07:00 PM

Anonymous restonite said...

That actually would make a pretty good Starbucks or coffee shop.

Mar 4, 2013, 2:18:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure the customer service at that Starbucks will be outstanding.

Mar 4, 2013, 2:25:00 PM

Anonymous ktb said...

as long as it's not another liquor store i say yeah!!!

Mar 4, 2013, 2:51:00 PM

Blogger Adam said...

How about a small food store, with decent food (unlike all the other terrible/scary corner stores lining Florida Ave)?

Mar 4, 2013, 4:34:00 PM

Anonymous Jaqen H'ghar said...

Frager's North!!!!

Mar 4, 2013, 4:47:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hardware store > charbucks

Frager's is fine and well-stocked for its size, but have to drive to the other side of the hill and we would all benefit from competition/lower prices. Owning a fixer-upper a few blocks away, I'd be a regular there.

Mar 4, 2013, 5:18:00 PM

Blogger Anonymous said...

Definitely a Starbucks! It would be a great addition to the neighborhood plus a place for Galluadet students to meet and study. Win-win!

Mar 4, 2013, 5:49:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starbucks would rock. Couldn't care less about "the implications" because frankly I want a Starbucks nearby. Yes the customer service there will be ATROCIOUS but at least I can get a scone and a soy latte.

Mar 4, 2013, 5:57:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starbucks? Come on. Why would they even consider the location and not h street? Get it together people....

Mar 4, 2013, 8:14:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes the customer service there will be ATROCIOUS but at least I can get a scone and a soy latte."

Posts like this are why I sometimes wish all coffee shops would be consumed in pillars of fire from the heavens.

Mar 4, 2013, 10:16:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is already a Starbucks in the Safeway in Hechinger Mall, for those who might not know.

Mar 5, 2013, 8:35:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hardware store that isn't chaotic/disorganized would be great! I typically go to Home Depot since it's convenient, but it would be great to be able to walk somewhere if I need something on the fly (and yes I know about Park's, but they are a bit too disorganized/limited for me). A store similar to Fragers would be fantastic.

Mar 5, 2013, 9:10:00 AM

Anonymous adl said...

Fraggers North is a great idea. Complete with the "just ask" rental service would be awesome. I like to support Parks when I can for small stuff (dust masks, rubber gloves, brushes, etc), but selection of real products is very limited.

Mar 5, 2013, 10:23:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Sue was a lovely lady and we were weekly patrons of her store. Unfortunately, her husband fell very ill. Thus the family decided to close. I hope he recovered and is doing well. What's going on with the cigar bar? Are they closed permanently?

Mar 5, 2013, 11:42:00 AM

Anonymous Dave B said...

I dont think Fragers is replicable. That place is a zoo that has evolved over decades. Every employee seems to know where everything is (like in the basement behind the gimp box). They seem to have one of everything. You need to find the same number of employees that Fragers has each with 100 years of knowledge (even if they are less than 30 years old somehow) and their rainman-like abilities to know where they saw something last.

Mar 5, 2013, 1:22:00 PM

Anonymous dt said...

Y'all know Fragers is a True Value store, right? It's not some one-off. Either an Ace or a True Value in this location would be fantastic, they always seem to have everything I need even in limited space, and their employees actually know more than I do - a lot more - unlike every Home Depot/Lowes I've ever been in.

With all the turnover in the housing stock lately, I bet they'd do really well. They could stock things particular to local housing styles (plastering supplies, radiator covers, whatever) and make a killing.

Mar 5, 2013, 1:51:00 PM

Anonymous Chris said...

Frager's is indeed a True Value store. But True Value hardware stores have a lot of leeway in stocking etc.; they aren't remotely all alike.

Mar 5, 2013, 4:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be a hardware store with a coffee counter. The barista will answer your home improvement questions. Price of croissant is applied to hardware purchase.

Mar 5, 2013, 7:26:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It will be a hardware store with a coffee counter. The barista will answer your home improvement questions. Price of croissant is applied to hardware purchase."

That's funny.

How about Hardware/Coffee/Wine Bar?

Price of croissant applied to wine purchase. Liquor price applied to dangerous power tool or electrical hardware purchase.

Mar 5, 2013, 7:55:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ain't kidding, dave, and that's why I love that store. So many random things and a staff that knows it all, even the seasonal garden shop folks. Even if it can't be replicated, a start-up could learn a lot about customer service from them. I'd settle for less than everything in stock, but being able to call or go in and get what I need - or know they don't have it - in 10 seconds flat is HUGE. FWIW, Brookland Hardware scores pretty well in this regard. They're smaller and more limited in stock, but their staff knows their stuff. And they have old-timey candies, to polish off the experience.

Mar 5, 2013, 9:42:00 PM

Blogger O.K. Talleyrand said...

Just to stick on the hardware store theme, Parks Hardware is on the market for 1.9M.

Mar 5, 2013, 10:49:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A coffee shop, candy store, that sells smoothies and Jamaican patties would be amaaaaazing there. Especially if they open up the windows.

Mar 6, 2013, 1:04:00 AM

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Mar 9, 2013, 2:49:00 AM


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