Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Room and Board" Deal Back On (For Now); Plus, a New Restaurant From the Policy Team

Those hoping for a 24 hour diner at 14th and T will have t put those hopes on ice...maybe.

The on-again off-again courtship between Minneapolis-based furniture retailer Room and Board has veered back into "on again" territory, as the report came out today that the chain has once again announced plans to purchase the building at 14th and T streets.

This is the second time the furniture retailer has announced that it is buying the building; the first time around, the economic crisis caused the deal to implode.

Our reaction to this news is: blah. Just, blah. Yes, we're glad to see the "Taylor Motors Building" (so called because it used to be a car showroom, way back in the day) renovated and put to use. The building and its fantastic space have stood empty for far too long. But a furniture store? You'll forgive me for failing to get myself all worked up about that.

For one, 14th street is awash in furniture stores. If you don't believe that, check out our post on that very topic from last year. Secondly, and perhaps even more frustrating, is that this means that the pipe-dream plans for a Constantine Stavropoulos diner/comedy club/yoga studio for that space can be put to rest. (Although I do have it on good authority that Stavropoulos remains very interested in the 14th Street corridor and continues to look for available spaces there.)

And, yeah yeah...I'm sure Room and Board has fine things, and yes I'm sure they have some affordable things, and yes I know that big box chains aren't all bad...but this is like your father coming home and announcing with great excitement that he had just purchased a new Ford Taurus.

As to whether or not Room and Board will actually open up this time...all signs point to yes, but I'll believe it when I see it.

"Policy" Guys Opening New Spot

Speaking of the "Room and Board space", the 14thandyous have learned that the same team that brought you trendy DC restau-lounge "Policy" are making plans to open a new establishment soon, in the space immediately adjacent to the future (?) Room and Board space. No formative plans as of yet for what the new space will be, but with Policy's success and generally favorable reviews, it's a safe bet to believe that yet another popular, trendy dining establishment is on the horizon.


Anonymous said...

Sit back, smoke a doobie and relax -- all the snarky comments are not going to change the fact that R&B is coming and 14th Street will be better for it. Plenty of room left on 14th street for a diner, a yoga studio, etc..

Anonymous said...

Oh, and you missed Seitsema's announcement about Masa 14 going in across the street. Still room down the block for your beloved diner, however -- try the dry cleaner's that is closing this weekend on 14th & O.

Clay Aiken's half brother's friend said...

Because what the neighborhood needs is another yoga studio, LOL.

I noticed all the illegal contruction going on in the spcae next door to this, including the rather large oil spill in the alley last Sunday, which drew police and firemen and I think put a hold on their surreptitious remodeling.

I'm interested if Policy is doing well. I think the food is OK but the ambiance is offputting and the design reminds me of a Vegas whorehouse. Not that I've ever been to a Vegas whorehouse.

Anonymous said...

Very happy that Room and Board is coming to the neighborhood and also even more happy that the "pipe-dream plans for a Constantine Stavropoulos diner/comedy club/yoga studio for that space can be put to rest." The latter had zero chance of ever happening, and so I'm glad that it is not holding up any more legitimate business offerings.

Anonymous said...

It is a done deal - the settled on the property last week - no speculation.

Mr. Other Upper NW said...

Could care less about the yoga studio...but the comedy club/24 hour diner I think was a great idea. And yes there are other I mentioned, my understanding is that Constantine is still poking around.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the 14th St mall. I hope you're all happy.

Anonymous said...

All, Folks from Policy are NOT opening up next to Room and Board.

It's actually the owner of Local 16 whom is related to one of the owners from Policy.

Policy guys are opening up a new space ... near Marvin's due to open next Spring/Summer, Name and Concept will be announced soon!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't think any type of retail establishments should be allowed anywhere within the borders of D.C. that use electricity or any technology beyond 1885. Everything should conform to 1885 standards -- architecturally, technologically and historically. Anything else destroys the Victorial, historical character of the neighborhood. In addition, I think businesses should have to close by sundown or 7 pm, whichever comes first. No liquor sales at all. I believe that if we take these measures that we will finally have peace in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Regarding my comment on maintaining the Victorian nature of Dupont Circle and all of D.C. and keeping everything at 1885 levels, allow me to add the following mandates:

(1) No dancing.
(2) No music, except in church.
(3) No laughter in public places (punishable by whipping).
(4) Women shall not wear pants.
(5) No brightly colored clothing.
(6) Horses must wear poop-catching-devices.
(7) Flowers grown in gardens facing the street must not be too bright, color or joyous in appearance.

I am sure I can come up with additional rules that will allow us to maintain the peace in the Lord's dominion of Dupont Circle.

Mr. Other Upper NW said...

Anon 7:26, not certain where your source for that info is. My info came from a very reliable source who is typically not wrong about these things...until I hear differently from someone who isn't "anonymous", I'm sticking with the original story.

Anonymous said...

There is a great new store that opened in my neighborhood about three weeks ago. The store is called "pilgrim".....I heard that they already sold out of two styles of dresses already, but are getting more in next week!!!!!! Can't wait! They also sell home, accessories, and art! Really great taste!

I ran into a Vogue editor there on Sunday who bought a really great black short dress with a back cut out, but it was also their last one in that style! I also saw Tim Gunn's co-host of his show on Bravo, I think her name is Greta? shopping there the other day -- she got this great courreges lucite ring and Oleg Cassini 1970s sunglasses (vintage unworn). I asked if they had another pair of the Cassini sunglasses, but they didn't have more, but they had some great 1970s Lanvin sunglasses and some Silhouette sunglasses (I bought the Silhouette's -- very large lenses, but so great!).

The store is near Grand Street on Orchard... I believe 70 Orchard Street??? I also hear that the designer "James Caviello (sp?) is opening right next door to them soon?????? The whole block is amazing!!! Between Broome St. (Saving Khaki and Earnest Sewn (my two faves!) and Amoskegan between Delancey and Broome I believe??? they also do their own clothing line.....great stuff, I love what's happening to that neighborhood FINALLY!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Mr. 14th and You .. I think your source might be reliable but could have have heard it wrong .. I am 100 % on this .. Policy guys are NOT next to Room and Board. It's AMMAN from Local 16 whom is Omar (From Policy's) first cousin. Omar and Policy guy's are opening up a place across the street. Lease has been signed and due to open next Spring.

Who would you rather deal with ANC 1B or ANC 2B?

Anonymous said...

"Smoke a doobie"? Too funny. Personally, I think acid is the drug of choice when listening to/reading about the development dealings in the corridor.

Live a little. Enjoy the neighborhood. Be thankful that the nadir of 14 & U is fading into the past, replaced by a variety of faces, tastes, and attitudes. Communities are organic, when an attempt to control (not MANAGE, but CONTROL) occurs we get commercial corridors like Cleveland Park, Mount Pleasant and a once vibrant 17th Street NW. Check out Hollywood, CA. They seem to have found some middle ground.

We are not Downtown, nor the Waterfront, nor Columbia Heights. We are a neighborhood of residents and business owners who are investing in the heritage that is U Street's and Shaw's social legacy.

Wow! You all are intense. (In tents?) hahahahaha

Max Power said...

Getting a Room and Board is most definitely not like getting a Taurus. Say you have some other cars, but Dad comes home and announces he got something you actually like.

I would also point out that Room and Board is not "big box" retail store. Big box is usually referring to Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, etc. Things that are actually in a big box. This is a tiny box by comparison.

Room and Board is a chain, in that it has 10 locations. Hardly the same as stores like Pottery Barn with hundreds of locations.

I'm psyched it will be here even though I don't buy a lot of furniture. Because when I do, I have something I like that is reasonably priced.

Anonymous said...

I love how a vocal few are dictating the direction of this neighborhood. ROOM AND BOARD?!?!?! What a crappy idea. Thats not going to bring more people. Besides have you ever seen furniture districts???? They SUCK! Thanks Ramone!!!! I know you pushed this one through too! I can't wait until the next election.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Room and Board is NOT affordable. Nor will that furniture likely fit in our small urban apartments. I am so tired of furniture stores on this street. I DON'T BUY FURNITURE HERE. I go to IKEA once every two years. The one time I did buy a piece of furniture on 14th, the "local," "small business owner" was a dick about it. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Hunted House.

Tanya said...

Room & Board has a great selection of contemporary furniture. The pieces I bought fit perfectly into my studio apt. and were priced far more reasonably than other places (sans Ikea). You do get what you pay for - R & B furniture lasts. Also, great customer service. So, rather than dismiss them, check out what they have to offer.

Anonymous said...

Ramone? Ramon Estrada? He doesn't control real estate transactions. It's been widely reported that the Diner didn't have the bucks to buy it and I read in the Wash Biz Journal that Room and Board been looking w/brokers for a DC location for some time.

Lewt said...

Just read through several of your posts. Seems like you and (at least one of) your posters (could it be the guy who lost the election?) are set on conveniently blaming Ramon for anything you don't like or agree with. Then you take it further and attack his partner. Too many blog bullies here. It's too easy to sit at your computer and take aim rather than reach out and try to ask questions and address differences. From now on, if I want neighborhood info, I'll look elsewhere. This blog scrapes the bottom of the barrel.

Mr. Other Upper NW said...

Guys - we're happy to have you vent and swear off the blog (that is the beauty of the Internet, no one forces you to visits blogs that annoy you), but I do have a request: keep the comments on topic, or they will be deleted. This post and thread have nothing to do with Ramon Estrada, ANC elections or anything else of the sort. So keep it on topic please.

Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Now, on topic: I live practically next to the location of the proposed new restaurant and understand that they'll be asking for roof top use, which would be totally inappropriate since there are so many residents effected.

Anonymous said...

Room and Board has the resources to beautifully restore this historic car showroom. Their presence will help increase daytime shoppers which will benefit all of the area retailers, including other furniture stores. People will come for Room and Board, shop the strip, eat, drink, etc.