Glen’s Garden Market is closing in Shaw after two-plus years. The locavore grocery, cafe, and beer bar in The Shay development is shrinking its operations as of tomorrow, cutting counter-order deli service (packaged grab-and-go items will still be available). A permanent closure is planned for sometime in April.
The flagship Dupont Circle location will remain open, as owner Danielle Vogel plans to reinvest efforts and resources into improving the original store and its mission to impact climate change through local food largely sourced within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
“I’m super excited to amplify our impactfulness and position Glen’s Dupont as an activated community center,” says Vogel, who worked on the Hill in environmental policy before launching Glen’s in 2013. “What I have in mind is a space where people are truly engaged with the good food movement.”
She says that by downsizing the company will be able to offer classes, field trips to local farmers and makers, and more programs along the lines of their community composting. In nearly five years, the company has helped launch 79 local businesses, being the first to sell their products, which Vogel says is an important ongoing mission.
Neither local nor national businesses have a strong track record at The Shay, a high-end, mixed-use development in “North End Shaw” (as the developer tried to label the neighborhood), where 645 square-foot studios start at $2,500 a month. Glen’s is just one of several recent retail casualties. In the past year, Chrome Industries, Kit and Ace, Steven Alan, Frank and Oak, and Bucketfeet have all shuttered. Soon womenswear company Argent will also lock up shop to make way for DC’s first Korean barbecue restaurant, which was announced today.
“I think Shaw was super hot two years ago, and then it never delivered on its own promise,” says Vogel. She says there aren’t enough people walking through the doors to sustain a business like Glen’s. “We’ve had developments like The Wharf that’ve drawn people away, and there were changes in our political system that changed the constituency of our communities. The bubble kind of passed over.”
Vogel says she isn’t against opening another Glen’s location in the future; grandparents on both sides of her family started successful grocery chains, including the Food Emporium in New York and Pathmark in New Jersey. Still she says expansion isn’t part of the conversation right now.
“What they created is the right market for their moments in time. My obsessive focus is on making Dupont legendary.”
Read the full statement from Glen’s Garden Market.