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Connecticut Avenue to Get a Flippin Pizza, Smoothie King

by Borderstan.com September 29, 2009 at 5:00 am 1,168 5 Comments

Flippin Pizza  (Photo:Luis Gomez)

Flippin Pizza is opening a store at 1745 Connecticut Ave. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Smoothie King       (Photo:Luis Gomez)

Smoothie King is coming to 1621 Connecticut Ave. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Two new fast-food places are coming to Connecticut Avenue NW above Dupont Circle. Flippin Pizza is opening a store at 1745 Connecticut NW. The chain has seven stores in the DC suburbs and four more in California. They claim, “It’s like pizza in New York.” I hope so.

Meanwhile, a much bigger food chain, Smoothie King, is opening a store at 1621 Connecticut NW. They are nationwide and already have a store at 1300 Pennsylvania NW and several stores in the DC suburbs.

Yes, I would rather have locally owned stores that are not chains. But when real estate prices and leases go sky high and we’re in a recession, this is what we will get. Furthermore, I would be happy to see both of these chains open on the 14th Street corridor. More cheap food, please!

  • No offense to any individual hard-working franchisees who may be involved, but this is a sorry turn for Dupont.

    While the entry of chains was inevitable, in just three years we’ve gone from the Washington Post examining (link below) the impact of “polished national chains” on Dupont to, today, seeing repeated entry of very unpolished places–Five Guys, Johnny Rockets, Potbelly’s, Subway, Flippin’ Pizza, Smoothie King, Baja Fresh, etc. It’s becoming about as polished as a mall food court.

    I certainly hope this doesn’t come to 14th, but it’s inevitable there too–franchisers get the word around. There’s a big difference between a variety of food price points and a proliferation of downscale fast food chain outlets.

    We need more independent, quirky, and quality-focused businesses, food or otherwise. We need the city’s urban renaissance to leave us not looking like a mall in Anywhere, USA. With the last independent business incentive package having been whittled to nothing, however, and the recession having KO’d indy businesses into prime-and-overpriced vacancies, hope does not exactly prevail.

  • mattyillini

    Joel – Your concerns are warranted. But how would one stop them? I don’t have an answer. I will say that DC is a very inhospitable climate for small business owners — between DCRA and ANCs and the laws on the books. I think that all too often the only companies that can do battle are the franchises and large corporations. Who else has the money to pay lawyers to show up at ANC meetings month after month after month? I place the blame at our own feet. If we really wanted to encourage local entrepreneurs we would do something to become more friendly to them. Go look at the composition of local ANCS: How many small business owners do you see? I don’t see a single one on ANC 2F-Logan or ANC 2B-Dupont. This tells me a great deal.

  • The often misplaced priorities of ANCs and citizens’ associations are a factor, but not overriding ones. Those are micro challenges to what is a macro condition, citywide. There has been little to nothing in the way of potent tax incentives and incubator packages to invite and nurture independent local businesses. If potent incentives were developed, the micro issues would still exist and warrant attention, yet would fall down several rungs in their level of obstreperousness. Stadiums and glossy development projects (the latter of which I certainly have welcomed) should be met with similar macro attention to the value of independent businesses in creating a unique urban experience.

  • mattyillini

    I agree, but stand by my point. What is the make up of the City Council? Who on that body truly understands these issues?


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