Tuesday, September 15, 2009

14th Street Pet Store and Comic Book Shop Closing

In yet another sign of the struggling market for local retailers along 14th Street, we have some sad news to report regarding a couple of local neighborhood businesses:

Linda Welch, owner of environmentally friendly pet supply shop Green Pets and comic book shop Big Monkey Comics has told us that both establishments will soon be shuttering due to the loss of their lease at their current location. Although a definitive closing date for each store is not yet known, the longtime 14th Street establishments will likely vacate their current homes sometime in the next 2 to 6 months. According to Welch, the two businesses are victims of rising commercial lease rates along 14th Street.

Welch indicated that she is exploring options for reopening both businesses in new locations. Green Pets might end up in the recently completed View 14 building at 14th and Belmont, which was developed in part by fellow 14th Street business owner (Universal Gear) David Franco. As for Big Monkey Comics, its future is a bit more uncertain.

The inevitable question that arises from this is what might take the space of these businesses? Nothing is certain yet of course, but we have heard that preliminary discussions are underway to bring in a "sex ed" (sex club?) entity called "WholeDC" on the second floor.

And no, we're not kidding.

28 comments:

Brandon Green said...

Can a sex-ed entity named Hole get past the zoning board? I'd imagine such a place would wreck havoc on nearby real estate prices.

IMGoph said...

unless the city does something now, there will be no independent small businesses left on 14th street in a few years, outside of restaurants.

if letting "the invisible hand of the free market" guide our commercial districts to this inevitable end is the wish of the people, then fine.

somehow, i feel like the residents of the neighborhood and the city would prefer a different outcome...

JOJO MOMMA said...

There's a raunchy gay bar in New York, been there forever, called Hole (you know, right next to the Cock). I'm sad to see GreenPets go. I will die if Dogs By Day goes. But I have nothing against a sex club. I'd never use it but I don't know why people get so upset by sex related businesses.

Shaw Rez said...

I would love for Big Monkey to relocate to Ninth Street! Lots of cool spaces that aren't too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Although it's sad to see Green Pets (or any indie business) go, I found a better source for pet food: Pet Mac at 4220 Fessenden. Much better and greater selection than Green Pets. In addition, the store supports local rescue orgs.

Anonymous said...

In related news, you may have noticed that "Garden District" has closed both is locations in order to consolidate into the space vacated by the used car dealer at the southwest corner of 14 and S.

Erica Amina said...

Yay! Come to 14th and Belmont. I'm at 14th and Chapin and would love to be able to walk to some place so close to get kitty food!!!

herrarmstark said...

Big Monkey - come to 9th Street! Closer to my place! (then again, it'll wreck my bank account...)

Anonymous said...

Not a sex club. Whole DC would be a store selling items to improve sexuality and also hold positive events (like lectures, not orgies).

Anonymous said...

Just so you all know, WholeDC (with a W) is a sex positive community based space where sex education can be easily accessed without the negative stigma and they've been holding classes around town for nearly a year, check them out. There will be sex toys sold, they will all be body positive, safe and environmentally friendly. There is not actually any sex happening in the space so it is NOT a sex club, though those do exist in DC. 14th St. and DC could benefit greatly by this kind of frank discussion and openness on the topic of sex.

Mr. 14th & You said...

FYI - I've corrected the spelling of the name in the post. Although for the record, I think "Hole" as better.

Anonymous said...

Always sad to see independent small businesses shutter, but my guess is that WholeDC is also an independent small (locally-owned) business. Congrats to them and welcome to the neighborhood! What a great idea!

Dr. Ruthie said...

Brandon Green - I bought a house through you folks! The "W" at the beginning makes a big difference... glad that error has been fixed. My understanding is also that Whole DC is educational, with some tasteful retail, and not any kind of a "club". They've been around for a bit, as others have said, and have brought several nationally respected educators to the area. It's an exciting and couple-friendly opportunity for the area!

FrenchTwistDC said...

I'm sad to see Green Pets go, the staff was very friendly there.

Linda Welch said...

Just to be clear GreenPets is not closing. Our lease is up the landlord is asking too much and we need more space to expand and serve the community better. So we are shopping for a bigger and even better location. We remain positive that we will find such a space here in the neighborhood with a landlord who values independent business. We will be around and continue to have great products and staff for years to come.
And just so you know we continue to support local animal shelters and rescues by contributing large amounts of resources every year for over 10 years.
Thanks for the kind words and concern.
Linda Welch
owner

Mr. Q said...

Please move GreenPets to 9th Street...there are some "vacancies" at the intersection of 9th and Q!!

Anonymous said...

a new independent business just opened up in that empty storefront on 14th & W street. it's a bike shop, more like a "bike boutique", but it's pretty cool to have in the neighborhood.

they said they rent bikes for $20 a day, so that might be fun too...

Anonymous said...

Green Pets, what's going to happen to the big black kitty you have living there? I hope she continue to has a home!

ccort said...

On the one hand it sounds bad the landlord is jacking up the rent. On the other hand, now I'll only have to walk 1 block to get my pricey PC dog food. Note also that our end of the world now has "Bike Station" on 14th just south of Florida. It rents, sells & repairs bikes. Nicely renovated space of a once vacant building.

Anonymous said...

This is really too bad...it is so convenient to have my dog groomed while at Dogs By Day.

Anonymous said...

GreenPets is not closing. Check their website. www.greenpets.com

Anonymous said...

"In related news, you may have noticed that "Garden District" has closed both is locations in order to consolidate into the space vacated by the used car dealer at the southwest corner of 14 and S."

That Garden District location has been there for about 7 years at 14th and S St.

Anonymous said...

"Can a sex-ed entity named Hole get past the zoning board? I'd imagine such a place would wreck havoc on nearby real estate prices."

If Jim Graham has any say in the matter I'm sure it would ;) lol

Mr. 14th & You said...

"That Garden District location has been there for about 7 years at 14th and S St."

Anon - I'm referring to the car lot across the street from their current location at 14th and S.

Dustin Cole, ANC-2F-05 said...

Here's an email from Green Pets...What gives 14th & You?

"No, we are NOT closing!
GreenPets is in your neighborhood to serve you... and will continue to be

Thanks to some very questionable 'blog-journalism' on-line, we've been fielding a flurry of inquiries about the rumor that GreenPets is closing.

It's not.

Quite the contrary: GreenPets is expanding.

If you've been to the store at all recently, you'll notice that we've been refurbishing our physical space (pardon our dust during the process, by the way). You'll notice new products, such as 100% recycled-materials leashes & collars, USDA certified organic pet foods, and innovative products like no-spill bowls. You'll even notice new personnel, as our staff of experts evolves toward greater excellence.

GreenPets is always looking to expand and improve our services to you, to your pets, and to our neighborhood! See you soon at the store."

Mr. 14th & You said...

I have seen that email from Green Pets, but here are the things I know to be true (after personally following up with Ms. Welch):

-Green Pets will not be remaining at their current location, as their landlord has made it clear that he intends to terminate the leases for both Green Pets and Big Monkey Comics within the coming months.

-While, as I indicated, Ms. Welch would like to reopen Green Pets in another location, no definitive plans exist.

-The future of Big monkey Comics is even less certain.

Beyond Ms. Welch's own comments to me, I don't have any definitive statement or correction to provide.

I certainly hope that Green Pets is successful in negotiating a new lease in a nearby location, but the true crux of this story I believe lies with the fact that two longstanding (and popular) businesses are being priced out of their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Ive heard them talk about relocating for years but it's never happened, hopefully they will find a place before their lease runs up otherwise they probably will have to close down for good.

Anonymous said...

What a shame, the landlord pricing these two amazing tenants out of their locations. I have only been to GreenPets and my dog and I love it, so I hope they will stay nearby. It is a shame if they have to move, being so close to Dogs by Day, City Paws, and other dog-friendly establishments...