Sprucing up

A corner store on East Capitol Street, post-renovation.

A corner store on East Capitol Street, post-renovation.

In the past I wondered aloud (on the Internet) whether the crappy stores in my neck of the woods would go out of business, a la Eastern Thrifty Market, or adapt to a more upscale clientele that is undeniably moving and grooving into basically all of Ward 6.

15th and East Capitol Street.

15th and East Capitol Street, pre-reno.

Formerly known as D.C. Express Market, The Cupboard (at least that is the new name of the establishment according to a receipt) has taken a pretty grim looking storefront and adding plantings and a nice new paint job; though the steel cage still comes down when the store is closed. I also notice the clutter of signs is now gone, replaced by upscale tease that is Green Mountain Coffee.

One would hope and think that a revamped exterior would also beget some fresh produce and products beyond chips and beer that are still the only draws of this place and many others like it. The cashier said  that is on the way; I am not sure if I believe him. 7-Elevens at least serve bananas. I like the new cupboard, but the owners need to make sure the fancy new cabinetry isn’t bare inside.

Update: Since this post got picked up by the Hill East email group, wanted to clarify the store has some produce now, as noted by the owner in the comments. A step in the right direction; we are all happy for the upgrade and I shan’t be attending S.E. Market anymore.

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6 Responses to Sprucing up

  1. Brian Campbell says:

    Thanks for the post. This is Brian. My wife, Mary Ann, and I, who have lived on the Hill for 14 years, bought the business in May. It has been a slow process, but we are trying to turn things over. We do have a produce cooler now, with produce from an Eastern Market vendor. We also have fresh sandwiches, some nice meats and cheeses.
    We are a work in progress. We are getting a sign (yes, it is The Cupboard). We will get the steel cage down at some point. Also, please let us know what you would like us to carry, and we will do our best. Stop in. Say hello. And there is good coffee. Also, if you have any concerns or suggestions, you are welcome to give me a call. My cell phone is 202-841-7007.
    Thanks much …

    • B-Money says:

      Hey welcome Brian — I don’t check the comments on my own blog very much obviously. Appreciate the effort man, I’ve written a bunch about the dearth of businesses in Hill East. You and the always-TBD “Crepes on the Corner” are ahead of the curve…

  2. asil7981 says:

    Great addition to the East Cap. Community! Welcome!

  3. fmd says:

    So great to have your revamped store!! Its hard to find any kind of produce or decent wine out here without going to Safeway. Its stores and owners like you that will help the monentum of our neighborhood!! Any chance you can put a few tables and chairs out front so customers can enjoy the coffee they purchase?

    • Brian Campbell says:

      I am going to put a little seating area across the front window (inside). Outside I have a challenge with licensing as well as kids hanging out – so am shying away from that for the moment.

  4. dcgent says:

    Stumbled upon this store while house hunting in the area–made the area feel more welcoming. We’ll be back once we close on the house!

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