From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @maggiebarron.
Yes, you heard right. After 20 years, Reincarnations is closing its doors. As the pioneering furniture store in an area now known as “furniture row,” the end of Reincarnations, on 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, feels particularly significant to the changing 14th Street landscape.
Back in January, when I profiled owner Christopher Torres for Borderstan, he seemed excited about what was to come. Why the sudden change? According to Torres, negotiations with his landlord have been going on since November, but the landlord would not settle on a final contract.
Torres told me on Wednesday that with real estate taxes included, his rent was slated to go up from about $15,000 to $18,000 per month. “I don’t think people realize how expensive rent can be,” he said, “and that’s not counting other expenses like insurance and utilities. I could have made it work, but I am not going to crank $300 sofas out the door all day to make the rent. I felt like I would have had to sacrifice quality or service to do that.”
“I told the landlord, ‘If you can rent the space for that amount, do it.'”
Torres said it has been a very difficult decision to make. “I’ve struggled with it. I’m very sad to leave. I was a pioneer on that street. The store is doing very well, and it’s never been an issue of ‘going out of business.’ But for the price I’m paying there, I could be in Manhattan.”
As for plans to move to a new location, Torres says he has not considered it, yet. “It’s always been in the back of my mind. I’m not saying no but I haven’t even had time to go look at spaces.” He added that he is not selling the business or the name, so the possibility is always there.
Though Torres is sad to close, he still sounded upbeat. He is currently working on a line of upholstery called CGT, which he expects to be available in some local Borderstan-area stores. For customers who want to know what’s next for Reincarnations, Torres says that he will keep the store’s Facebook page running with updates.
- 14th Street: Reincarnations Furnishings Closing
- Reincarnations: Furniture (and Furniture Shopping) Should Be Fun
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- PULP Finds Local Buyer: “Miracle on 14th Street”
- 14th & T: Taylor Gourmet Replacing Ruff & Ruff Furnishings
- Photos: Sunday’s Farewell Party at go mama go!
It was a very hectic weekend for the guys at Reincarnations Furnishings after their “Lost our Lease – 20% Off” sign went up last Friday. Borderstan profiled the local business in January. Originally on the 1600 block of 17th Street NW, Reincarnations moved to the northeast corner of 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW almost 10 years ago.
Borderstan spoke to members of the store staff Monday as they were working with customers. One staffer said “the weekend had been very hectic.” There has been no announcement on where or if they will relocate.
In the January profile, owner Christopher Torres explained how his design business and the store went from a side project to a fixture of 14th Street’s “furniture row.” The store’s eclectic and fun mix of furnishings was well summed up by Torres in the January profile: Furniture and furniture shopping should be fun.
Reincarnations is another local business leaving, after being one of the pioneers in the last decade of 14th Street’s rejuvenation (see related posts below). Moreover, it is another business that will be leaving that particular block of 14th Street; Playbill cafe closed in September 2011 due to a rent hike.
No firm closing date has been set — but hopefully they will reincarnate.
Another Look at Pearl Dive
So you decided you didn’t have enough money to give to charity this weekend and skipped the Pearl Dive Oyster Bar soft opening for charity. If the picture didn’t make you reconsider your decision, here are some more pictures! Washingtonian has a great slide show of photos as well as some drool-worthy descriptions of dishes. Oysters mixed with bacon are an extra special aphrodisiac, or so I hear. Or want. Delivered to me in bed. Sorry. Back to news.
More Food News… Chipotle with Soy Sauce?
Chipotle, the Tex-Mex fast service lunch time staple of hungry hordes of office workers, has been hard at work at a spinoff concept for more than a year. It’s called ShopHouse and it involves noodles. At the concept restaurant, you can get noodles or bowls starting September 15. At least, that is the date the Washington City Paper is going with, despite newspaper on the windows. It definitely has the attention of the national media, as the first location opens in Dupont soon…Esquire and the LA Times are drooling over it.
Chief Lanier Takes on FOP
It was impossible to be anywhere near DC or a television on 9/11 without feeling the impact of the day. It also was hard to not see the stepped up police presence all over the East Coast and especially around the monuments, bridges, tunnels and DC landmarks. However, these officers are paid (and deserve more) than just our gratitude. This is the sticking point between the brewing fight between Chief Lanier and the Fraternal Order of Police. Lanier says the ‘crime emergency’ warranted 12-hour shifts; FOP says they should have planned better. Decide for yourself at We Love DC.
A Place to Spend Extra Cash
For those not trimming the fat, Foundry is set to open in the old Boundless Yoga spot soon. As U Street Girl reports, the store will sell vintage furniture. Not maybe in the budget, but for those of you living high on the hog, it is some really nice stuff on sale at the new store in the ‘hood.
Worth It for the Headline
The headline is, “Kwame Brown Tackles Ethics Reform.” It is brought to you with a mostly straight face from our friends at DCist. Among one of his issues is Constituent Fund Reform, where he brings to task a number of members, including Jack Evans, for their expenditures. Also said with a straight face, Kwame saying he finds himself in “a perfect position to push ethics reform.” Folks, we can’t make it up.
The Washington Business Journal reports today that Room & Board, a small retail furniture chain, has finally reached a deal to occupy the corner space at 14th & T Streets NW. There is more information about it here. Also… Borderstanians remember some earlier deals that didn’t go through.
Now for the local wonks who read this blog. This piece of property is in the Dupont Circle ANC: ANC 2B/Dupont Circle and the commissioner for the district, Ramon Estrada (ANC 2B-09). But, you ask: When did Dupont Circle extend to 14th Street NW? It does not, but the ANC does.
This is why does ANC 2B–and not ANC 2F/Logan Circle–represents this stretch of 14th Street; there is a panhandle that stretches east to 14th and runs from the south side of U Street down to the north side of S Street NW. This panhandle is in single-member district 09 in ANC 2B. Otherwise, the eastern boundary of ANC 2B is 15th Street NW, with a small exception in the very southern part of the ANC. See map.
Here are earlier postings about this property: