Monday, March 17, 2008

Super Save May Be Gone

Super Save, the gem of Mt Pleasant Street bodegas, may be no more. The business has been closed for more than three months, with the owners and landlords tied up in rental dispute. Now, via word of mouth, or rather keyboard, I fear Super Save may never reopen. The owner of the bar and lounge Asylum (18th St in Adams Morgan) recently posted a proposal on the Prince of Petworth forum site. The proposal solicited for investors and partners in a venture to open up a natural foods and "high end" beer and wine establishment on Mt Pleasant Street. While not mentioning any business by name, the message notes that the potential space used to be occupied by a grocery store and had an existing alcohol and wine license; two conditions which point only to Super Save. It appears that Super Save lost the dispute with their landlord and was either forced out of or voluntarily left the space.

This loss would be another serious blow to the established fabric of our main street. Within the last 6 months, the neighborhood has seen the recent burning of an entire apartment building, the closing of three long time business residents on the street (Yoly's, Speedwash, Mt Pleasant Super Market) and now the apparent loss of Super Save. Laundry facilities come and go. As do variety stores. However, groceries and bodegas leave much larger shoes to fill when leaving. The owners usually operate on paper-thin profit margins, but provide one of the most important services for a neighborhood. Thriving communities have convenient places to shop for basic food items. Some can get by on Safeway, Giant and Harris Teeter, but locally owned small shops with diverse food choices make our neighborhood what it is, and I'm sad to see that slipping away. I do support the idea of an actual natural foods store on Mt P Street, and I think the wine/beer store could have success there as well. I just wish it didn't have to come a the expense of such a great market.