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Wawa Has Closed in Columbia Heights. What Does That Mean for Other DC Stores?

The Columbia Heights Wawa on opening day in 2019. Photograph by Elliot Williams.

The Columbia Heights Wawa has closed permanently, Popville reported Monday. The Pennsylvania convenience store and cultural institution moved into DC with a splash in 2017, opening its largest-ever store on 19th Street, Northwest, south of Dupont Circle, and went on to open shops in Georgetown, downtown, and Thomas Circle, among others. Its Adams Morgan location, which opened in late 2018, closed about eight months later. The Columbia Heights Wawa opened in 2019 and drew fans who reportedly yelled rude things at a nearby 7-Eleven.

So what does the Columbia Heights closing mean for the chain’s larger ambitions for the District? Washingtonian asked Wawa why the Columbia Heights shop closed and whether other DC stores may follow. The privately held company responded with an emailed statement nearly 24 hours later:

After careful evaluation, our store at 1400 Irving St., NW, DC has closed as of Monday, June 6.  All associates have been transferred to nearby locations we operate in the city.  We appreciate the support of the community over the past few years and hope to continue to serve them in other locations or through our convenience services including catering and delivery.

Wawa temporarily closed or limited hours at many stores in early 2021, NJ.com reported, citing “operational challenges or staffing“—i.e., the same crunch that has affected many businesses since the pandemic. Wawa even closed locations in Philadelphia, the rough equivalent of bookstores pulling out of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.

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