Housing Complex

Bank, Restaurant Coming to Georgia Avenue Walmart Site

g ave

Walmart, which has something of a reputation for making things tough for nearby local businesses (a charge the company disputes), took action to counteract that rap by announcing that it would lease two spaces at its planned Georgia Avenue store to other businesses, preferably local ones. Now we know more about what those businesses will be: a bank and a restaurant.

On April 3, according to an email obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, Walmart's director of community affairs, Nina Albert, informed Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser that the smaller of the two retail spaces would be filled by a bank, but that the larger one was still available, and she suggested that Bowser publicize the availability.

Bowser's office, it turned out, was already working on it. Two weeks earlier, Carla Merritt of the LeDroit Park Development Company, which specializes in retail, had emailed two Bowser staffers regarding "Councilmember Bowser's desire to have a coffee shop co-located with the Wal-Mart being built on GA Ave NW." Merritt suggested two retailers that were "preliminarily interested" in the space: Sticky Fingers Bakery, which currently operates in Columbia Heights, and DC Scoop Cafe on U Street.

But the owner of DC Scoop Cafe, who answered the phone but declined to give her name, says it hasn't worked out. Doron Petersan, the owner of Sticky Fingers, says she decided against pursuing a store in the Walmart space, partly because she "personally will not support Walmart."

"It’s definitely conflicting for a business like me, a tiny little self-run business," says Petersan. "While Walmart might bring a lot of business to that area and help my business succeed, at the same time Walmart is a monopoly of sorts and puts small businesses out of business."

Merritt says she was in touch with Walmart and its retail broker until a few weeks ago, at which point they informed her that they'd signed a letter of intent with a business. But they didn't tell her what type of business it was.

Bowser, however, has some insight. She says she was hearing that it would be either a pizza place or a coffee shop, but that the coffee shop idea now appears to be out. Regardless, she says, it'll be a sit-down food establishment.

"The space is really well suited to a food use, and that is my preference for the space," she says.

Walmart spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg declines to provide additional information, writing in an email, "Negotiations are currently taking place, but we have no details to provide at this time." But she says the Georgia Avenue Walmart is expected to open at the end of the year.

Rendering of the Georgia Avenue store via Walmart

  • SammieT

    If you are a complimentary business to Walmart then you will most likely benefit. Restaurants, coffee shops, and banks(until Walmart rolls out their deposit and credit products) will do well.

    If you are a competitor such as a local grocery store or hardware store that must charge higher prices will be out of business very soon.

  • CapitalTruck

    I figure the Safeway at Georgia and Piney Branch will be closed within 2 years after Wal-Mart opens. That's a shame because Safeway is a union shop and Wal-Mart is shit bags.

  • CrapMadeInChina

    There should be a rule (or two) set-up before all of this Walmart shenanigans, no Walmarts allowed inside the beltway and/or only 1 Walmart within a 50 miles raidus of another store.

  • stick2yourguns

    Boy Bowser will be a multi-millionaire with all the under the table money she is getting from all of these WALMARTS.

  • justsayin

    Bowser's desire is to have a coffee shop. Did she bother to ask her constituents what they desire in the space?

  • re:justsayin

    You're an idiot.

  • Typical DC BS

    Love hearing the whine of the left wingers and uninformed when the word "Wal-Mart" is uttered.

  • justsayin


    If your ignorant response to an earnest question is any indication, you have three fingers pointing back at you.

  • Seth

    Wonderful news, Although WalMart has become less and less price competitive, I still continue to patronize occasionally, as I have over the last 15 years. They are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I have been going to the Laurel Walmart Supercenter.

  • george

    Wally World is a joke!!! They rob taxpayers. Walmart is a huge cost!!!

  • MikeR

    Walmarts in the country can cost the American taxpayers $900,000 in government food stamps and other benefits benefits because Walmart does not pay enough to it's workers to let them feed their families. Don't worry America...it's all worth the low prices and what is $900,000 for each store is not CORPORATE welfare I don't know what could be.


  • CB22

    Great news! I hope they drive the Safeway with their lazy ghetto unionized staff out of business.

  • Unregenerate Idealist

    CB22: What does your name stand for? Citizen Band / 22 rifle? I hope I don't find you in the 'hood.

  • Unregenerate Idealist

    It's nice to see from the rendering that there actually is a sidewalk, since Walmonster has had it under wraps for so long, forcing pedestrians to cross and re-cross Georgia Avenue if they need to be on the east side of the street.

  • happy camper

    Kind of wish Sticky Fingers did move in there. A local business should take advantage of the foot traffic the Wal-Mart will offer.

    In my dreams, a comic book store would open there.