Sunday, March 02, 2008

WOODLEY PARK: A Mini-Mart, Barely Open, to Close

THE CONNECTICUT AVENUE business strip in Woodley Park is dotted with some odd businesses. And one, an unnamed mini-mart, is about to close. But it was never really open to begin with. With two very large hotels — the Marriott Wardman Park and the Omni Shoreham, you'd think that the busy commercial district between Woodley Road and Calvert Street would have a vibrant business environment. But living in the neighborhood for now more than three years, I've found that there are precious few shopping options. The Manhattan Market is expensive and the inventory, including beer, is nothing special. But it does have the essentials. The CVS has more in the necessities department, but like any CVS, it comes with frustrations, especially when there's a line of tourists buying gum and cigarettes and you're in need of paper towel.

So late last year, a random convenience store opened, tucked away between the Chipotle and Mr. Chen's. But it had one lone small window. It didn't sell alcohol, but advertised specials on cigarettes and milk, two things I generally steer clear of. I think I saw it open maybe three or four times and then it went dark for many weeks. Until this weekend: It's closing down and everything must go, the sign out front says, advertising discounts of 50 percent to 70 percent for just a few days.

I am in need of paper towel, so I might swing through. But oh would I ever love a Wawa in the neighborhood. It'd make a fortune.

Anyhow, what's the next store on my Woodley Park failing business watch list? No, not the Oriental rug place on Calvert Street NW. (I think they've been through a series of "Bankruptcy" and "Under New Management" sales over the past three years.) No, not Antiques Anonymous. (It will end up the lone survive of a nuclear winter.) It's the random souvenir shop next to Velvet Garden that's peculiarly open past midnight during some weekdays. It has a friendly sign at the door that says "No Stealing." The last time I checked out the store, around Christmas, its campaign trinket collection consisted of anti-John Kerry tschotskies from the 2004 campaign. Mind you, this place has only been open for a year or two. Great bulk buy, eh?

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At 4:51 AM, Blogger Irene said...

Wondered about the mysterious mini-mart myself. You're absolutely right about the longing for a wawa and on the strange business activity in the area.

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