City Paper is not for tourists
Foster Brothers Coffee, 3515 Connecticut Ave., in the old Park & Shop strip of Cleveland Park officially joins the rest of the dead soldiers in the neighborhood, including the next-door Whatsa Bagel, which closed more than a year ago. The coffeeshop had been on life support for some time, but along with So’s Your Mom in Adams Morgan, Foster’s was one of the few places left you could still score a Whatsa Bagel bagel.
Rumors about the closing are aflyin’ on the Cleveland Park listserv, to wit:
The unfortunate part to this story is the women who work there had little heads up and were kept in the dark as late as Friday. After the original message was posted Wednesday, I stopped by that night to check in with the staff I know and the owner had yet to say a word to them. As of Friday night,they were only told that there were “negotiations.”
Based on the current number of empty storefronts in our four retail sections on Connecticut (five counting Fosters), the length of vacancy (three have been empty more than a year), and type of business that has replaced three previously empty locations (CVS expansion, Bubbles Salon, and Foot Solutions are all multistate operations of various size) it appears that the rents and conditions (mostly small spaces, some requiring a lot of work) are not practical for a local, independent business to be profitable in our neighborhood verses other sections of DC, VA, and MD. I remember the wish lists from previous related discussions (hardware store, book store were two mentioned multiple times) and unless significant tax breaks are offered, I think we may need to reconsider what type of businesses can realistically thrive in Cleveland Park and support the local restaurants and businesses we *do* have.
This, after the epic battle regarding whether or not Cosi should be allowed to occupy the space that was Blockbuster’s on Connecticut between Ordway and Porter. For more on that sticky subject, check this analysis by Bill Adler, owner of the listserv and neighborhood advocate.