These Throwback T-Shirts Pay Homage to Beloved DC-Area Businesses

Remember when we used to rent videos at Erol's?

Photo courtesy of Local Vyntage.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Washington of yore, website Local Vyntage is printing t-shirts inspired by now-extinct businesses around DC. The retro tees are like a wearable time capsule preserving memories of shops that once dotted the region. We only wish there were more. Some places we would like to see immortalized? Georgetown retailer Commander Salamander, French spot Au Pied de Cochon, Crown Books, Kemp Mill Records, home improvement store Hechinger’s, and Dart Drug. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the swag inspired by ghosts of businesses past:

Erol’s Video Club

The video store based in Springfield, Virginia was the precursor to Blockbuster (which, for our younger readers, was the precursor to Netflix); $32.

Peoples Drug

Alexandria’s chain drug store eventually became CVS, but the name lives on in another Alexandria business, cocktail bar the People’s Drug; $32.


The high-end department store at 14th and F Street NW—a go-to for stylish Washingtonians—closed in 1990 after 85 years of business; $32.

Sunny’s Surplus 

Maryland’s military surplus and camping store expanded to Virginia and Delaware before declaring bankruptcy—twice; $32.

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Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.