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Normally, I yawn through the Washington Post’s Home section. But today’s edition had a delightful front page offering. Turns out, the two guys behind Taylor Gourmet—-one of the area’s most promising and speedily-expanding mini-chains—-bought the H Street property where their deli is located, and live in the two apartments above.

Bold move! What if Taylor hadn’t been so successful?  The two guys would be stuck living in units above their failed business for at least a while.

(The first operation opened Fall 2008; The next location will be in Mt. Vernon Triangle, and the guys are scouting locations downtown and in Rosslyn.)

Also, the place was a former crack den with “bloodstains on the hardwood floors and drug vials scattered all around.”

So, even with a thriving business, they still had to suffer a bit.

Here’s more from the Post story:

Both floors were dirty and dark with nonsensical layouts and multiple layers of plaster on every wall. But those were the least of their concerns. There was also asbestos on the walls, and there were blood stains on the hardwood floors and drug vials scattered all around. At one time, Mazza says, the building served as a crack house. Not exactly homey and inviting.

The renovation budget was low (“a shoestring,” says Patten, 29, “and it was ripped in half”), but they found a way to make it work.

Image by Charles Steck