DC Retail Space Touts Chance at Food Network Fame

by Lark Turner

DC Retail Space Touts Chance at Food Network Fame: Figure 1
The space in a well-known previous iteration. Courtesy Lisa Drazin.

An Adams Morgan retail space looking for a tenant could come with a special perk: a spot on a new Food Network show.

A casting producer for the to-be-aired program Restaurant Wanted told the owner of the space at 1815 Columbia Road NW (map) that it could be the perfect place to shoot the program. Restaurant Wanted will walk viewers through what it takes to start a new restaurant, from signing a lease to designing the space to bringing in the masses. Sort of a House Hunters for restaureuteurs.

Now, the space is touting the possible TV connection in the hopes of attracting a new restaurant to a strip that already features notable eateries like Mintwood Place and Cashion’s Eat Place.

“It’s enormous national and local exposure, publicity that would be free to the tenant,” owner Lisa Drazin told UrbanTurf.

The space has definite perks: it’s currently a blank canvas that’s zoned by right for a rooftop deck, and the landlord owns about 250 square feet of the sidewalk out front, Drazin said.

1815 Columbia Road has a lengthy history in the District. Longtime DC residents will remember it as the site of Comet Liquor, which Drazin’s father, Sidney Drazin, owned and operated until his death in 2005. Later, it was the subject of controversy when former talk show host Montel Williams floated opening a marijuana dispensary there (he was unsuccessful). Until recently, the site was occupied by Footaction, a national shoe retailer.

Whether the next tenant will get their name in lights is an open question. A spot on the show is not guaranteed even if the eventual tenant starts a new restaurant, since all potential candidates will have to go through an interview process to get on TV. Because casting is open to everyone and not limited to Drazin’s space, another DC restauranteur could get a spot on the show first if producers choose that location instead.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_restaurant_lease_with_a_tv_spot_on_the_side/8023


  1. Marcy Logan said at 11:58 pm on Wednesday January 22, 2014:
    I hope that the sign conveys and STAYS with the property. I would kill for it!
  1. Scoot said at 12:34 am on Thursday January 23, 2014:
    If I'm not mistaken the sign is currently being used by Comet Ping Pong (over in Cleveland Park), and something tells me they aren't too willing to part with it...
  1. Lark Turner said at 12:43 am on Thursday January 23, 2014:
    Hi Marcy, The sign was sold by the owners in 2005 when the store closed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/26/AR2005122600755.html). Scoot is right; it has a new home at Comet Ping Pong. If you check out Comet Ping Pong using Street View on Google Maps and zoom in, you can see the sign there (https://goo.gl/maps/KiEvg). Lark
  1. Stan said at 5:10 pm on Thursday January 23, 2014:
    New restaurant row in the making. Enjoyed the interesting history, too. And the sign is iconic and lives on at Comet Pizza.

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