Payless ShoeSource is closing its Adams Morgan store at 1777 Columbia Road NW. This national chain sells shoes, accessories and some clothing. Payless operates several other stores in the District, including a smaller location just blocks away at DCUSA on 14th Street. Employees of the Adams Morgan location gave no reason for closure. However, they indicated that the store would close only after the current inventory was depleted. Yesterday afternoon the clearance included 20-40% off of all products in an "all-sales-final" sale.
The closing store still has a bare-bones Facebook page, but no longer appears on the locator tool of the main Payless website. I wonder if the new store is making more $$$ per square foot while drawing customers from the Adams Morgan store. No word on what could replace the large space, but it joins nearby empty but high visibility storefronts at 1760 Columbia (Pizza Hut) and 1805 Columbia (Blockbuster).
So, a national chain closes, but a local small business opens! Sweet Themez Cake and Cupcake opened earlier this November at 2318 18th Street NW. This was the original location of Crooked Beat Records (since moved to 2116 18th St NW).
Sweet Themez keeps it pretty simple: they offer custom wedding & event cakes, cupcakes and cake pops. That's pretty much it. The small retail space consists of sales counter and a wall display of the day's available cupcakes. I imagine most of their business will consist of special orders and wedding cakes. I didn't count, but they offered about 15(?) cupcakes which are always available--two were vegan. In addition they offer another 4 or 5 rotating flavors. I had the plain vanilla vegan cupcake with chocolate frosting. Lots of frosting and on par with other plain vanilla cupcakes offered around town. Great to have a new non-restaurant/bar business opening on 18th Street. Good luck!