Bicycles, Bakeries and Restaurants Fill Up Rhode Island Avenue’s Retail Strip

by Shilpi Paul

Bicycles, Bakeries and Restaurants Fill Up Rhode Island Avenue's Retail Strip: Figure 1
Rita’s, one of Woodridge’s few retailers.

Earlier this summer, we took a look at the unorthodox strategies used by Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) to draw retailers to their near-empty commercial corridor. Between flash mobs and a fall festival, Woodridge and Langdon residents are eager to fill the vacant storefronts on a stretch of Rhode Island Avenue, roughly between 16th Street NE and 24th Street NE (map), with exciting retail options.

Slowly but surely the efforts are paying off.

Happily for residents, a restaurant is finally coming to the strip. La Table DC will be opening up at 2212 Rhode Island Avenue NE early next year. The restaurant is a project from Oliver Friendly, a FoRIA member and owner of Eat and Smile Catering, a locally sourced catering company. La Table DC was originally Friendly’s “roving restaurant” that popped up in various locations; 2212 Rhode Island Avenue will be its first home. Friendly is currently in the permitting process for a full exterior and interior renovation (more info can be found here).

Bicycles, Bakeries and Restaurants Fill Up Rhode Island Avenue's Retail Strip: Figure 2
Taylor Gourmet’s 14th Street location.

Next, the popular DC chain Taylor Gourmet is apparently securing another outpost at 1811 Rhode Island Avenue NE. The owners will definitely set up a bakery in the space, and residents are hopeful that a full sandwich shop will open there as well.

Finally, Bikes of the World (BfW) is opening up a used bike repair and sales shop, dubbed a Retail Laboratory, or “R-Lab,” at 1601 Rhode Island Avenue NE. John Burg of BfW tells UrbanTurf that the organization, which has been operating since 2005, was looking for a place in DC to set up, and reading about FoRIA motivated him to reach out the group. Conversations led to them setting up a booth during the neighborhood’s recent fall festival.

“The community members, both young and old, were very supportive and even a few bicycle commuters who did not live in the area stopped to share their support since they ride along the corridor almost daily,” Burg said. The festival proved fruitful (one resident even offered up his storefront, the former location of Mr. Y’s Golden Room), and the wheels are in motion now to secure grants for the non-profit and start preparing the space. R-Lab will also be particularly community focused, and hopes to work closely with organizations like Montgomery County’s “Identity-Youth” and the Sasha Bruce Youthwork of DC. BfW plans on supporting a two-year initial start-up phase for R-Lab that may lead to a permanent installation. At that location, they are pleased to be the only bike shop in the NE corridor, keeping them from the competition that exists in NW.

In less concrete news, FoRIA chose Bloomingdale’s Rustik Tavern for their second Rhode Trip, an event where residents descend, en masse, on a desirable retailer in another neighborhood in the hopes of encouraging the establishment to come to their area. The event served to strike up a friendly relationship between FoRIA and the restaurant, and some suggestive tweets left residents wondering if Rustik may actually be interested in opening a second shop in their neighborhood.

Perhaps because of this and other as-yet-unknown developments, FoRIA President Kyle Todd sounded pretty optimistic about prospects for Rhode Island Avenue.

“I hope to have much good news to share with you in the coming months,” he said.

See other articles related to: woodridge, taylor gourmet, rhode island avenue, langdon, foria

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/rhode_island_avenues_retail_strip_starts_to_fill_up/6179

1 Comment

  1. Lindsay said at 10:16 pm on Thursday October 18, 2012:
    FoRIA is doing great things! Love them!

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »