by January 11, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,498 0

What kind of businesses do readers want in Dupont-Logan-U Street? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

The votes are in and our readers have spoken! Just after the new year we opened voting in the first Borderstan reader poll of 2012. We asked our followers, “What kind of businesses do you want in Borderstan?”

We gave voters 12 choices plus an “other” category. Voters were allowed to pick as many of the choices as they wanted. The top four choices were about food, coffee, movies and clothes.

Overwhelmingly, the most popular choices called for more dining and entertainment establishments. Leading the list — with more than 15% of all votes cast — was cheap eats/diners. (See the compete list at the end of this story.)

It seems lots of us want an alternative to fine-dining — such as Estadio or Komi — that have come to the Logan and Dupont Circle areas in recent years. Residents may get their wish for cheap eats in the New Year. Just last week, Taylor Gourmet opened a location near 14th and U Streets and a burger joint called Black & Orange is scheduled to open across the street in the coming weeks.

In general, food options were the big winners: 37% of all votes went to just three categories, cheap eats, delis/corner markets and grocery stores; a number of the votes for “Other” were also related to food. In addition, indie coffee shops/cafes garnered 11% of votes cast. Bars and lounges took just 4% of the votes, but movie theaters got 13% of reader votes. The clothing stores option was in double digits with 10%.

In second place was the corner markets/delis option with 13% of all votes. No doubt people want a convenient alternative to the P Street Whole Foods and the 17th Street Safeway. There are a few local independent markets; notably the Best DC Supermarket at 1507 U Street. We should see some more options in the future. It was recently mentioned that Trader Joe’s might take the ground floor retail space of the apartment building planned for the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets.

Readers were also interested in seeing a movie theatre in the area (13% of votes), an alternative to going to the multiplex at Gallery Place or Georgetown. While one comment pointed out that the chances of that are slim, there is a short-term option to take in a first run movie here in Borderstan. The landmark Lincoln Theatre in the 1200 block of U Street will be showing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo until January 18.

Rounding out the top four choices, were votes for indie coffee shops/cafes (11%). This one is not a surprise since we have just recently lost a few such establishments. Last year Mid City Cafe closed its doors, and both Love Cafe and Artfully Chocolate (ACKC) announced closings within two weeks of each other (although both have other locations that will remain open).

Fortunately, we still have several independent options including Java House, Steam Cafe, Dolcezza and Filter in the Dupont area and Peregrine Espresso, Pitango, U Street Cafe and Cafe Collage in the Logan and U Street area.

The only other choice to make it into the double digits was clothing stores (10%).

Whatever your vote may have been, remember to support your local businesses. The closings of several Borderstan favorites in recent months underscores the risks local retailer face in an increasingly expensive real estate market.

What kind of businesses do readers want?

  1. Cheap eats/diners: 15%
  2. Small delis/corner markets: 13%
  3. Movie theaters: 13%
  4. Indie coffee shops/cafes: 11%
  5. Clothing stores: 10%
  6. Grocery stores: 9%
  7. Gift stores: 6%
  8. Other: 6%
  9. Pet supply/grooming/day care places: 4%
  10. Bars/nightclubs/lounges: 4%
  11. Children’s stores: 3%
  12. Office supply stores: 3%
  13. Furniture stores: 2%



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