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Why is it that as soon as a restaurant or bar opens it becomes packed immediately but none of the established places become less crowded?
This question brings to mind Yogi Berra’s famous metaphysical contradiction: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” How can it be that crowds do not diminish even when the number of places to go increases? There are a number of factors at play:
- Math. The District’s population of about 618,000 swells to close to a million during the day, and an untold number of those people stay in town for happy hour.
- Novelty. Who doesn’t want to try the latest cool bar?
- Reverse psychology. Some will reason that the opening of a new place will shrink the crowd at the old places. They will not anticipate dozens of others having the same idea.
- Science. Nature abhors a vacuum. If a space starts to empty, matter will expand to fill it. Even if the number of bars on 14th Street NW tripled overnight, ChurchKey would still be packed. Sorry, it’s science.