Some of the business comings and goings in the new year are at UDC.
Washingtoniana and Van Ness Main Street are leaving 4340 Connecticut early next year. Washingtoniana’s lease is up, and they’ve been told it’s to make way for a renovation of the retail spaces and new tenants there and at 4250 Connecticut Avenue.
And the UDC food service will open a cafeteria-style eatery in the former Epicurian & Co. space at 4250 Connecticut. The soft opening is set for Thursday, January 2nd, and the grand opening is the following Monday, January 6th.
This is a grand reopening of sorts, and it is a temporary one. The original Perkins food service closed in spring 2019 due to a fire. It will remain at 4250 Connecticut at least through the end of the semester, until space is readied on Level B in the UDC Student Center.
When we created a survey about Perkins in October, we didn’t know that the food service had been closed for months. Therefore, we are not including the survey results that evaluated Perkins food offerings.
Also, we didn’t get an overwhelming response, so as with any of our surveys, take the results with a grain of salt. There were a total of 163 complete responses with 29 (17.8%) responses from those who were attending and/or working at UDC.
For example, it’s possible that much of the community was already aware that there was a cafeteria-style eatery on the UDC campus. But the question seemed to catch our survey takers off guard. Nearly 75 percent didn’t know Perkins was there, or they were only vaguely aware of its existence. So we can only wonder if its temporary location at 4250 Connecticut and a permanent spot in the Student Center will capture a customer base outside of UDC’s students, staff and visitors.
Respondents could choose more than one answer to most of the questions, so except for the pie charts, the percentage values you see here won’t add up to 100%.
What brings you to Van Ness?
- It’s home – 62.2%
- To shop/dine – 31.1 %
- To work and/or attend UDC – 22.5%
- To access to public transportation (including bike share) – 17.7%
Age of respondents
How often do you dine out each week?
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the respondents aren’t entrusting it to an outside source. Breakfast was the least popular dining-out option – 59.8 percent nixed the idea entirely. Lunch was the most popular time to go out for a bite – 86.6 percent of respondents dine out at least once per week. The dinner crowd was a close second, at 84.8% percent.
How much do you typically spend on yourself when dining out?
The people who do go out for breakfast don’t want to spend much – $5-10 was the most popular price point with 52 (31.9%) of the responses, followed by $5 or less. The biggest lunch crowd spends $10-15 (80 or 49.1% of the responses), followed by the $5-10 price point. Dinner is where people were willing to spend the most: 61 (37.4%) of the respondents will spend $20 or more.
The dinner crowd was also an older crowd. The younger the respondents were, the less they wanted to spend.
What quick service food options are most important to you?
Respondents could choose multiple options. The top responses by far:
- Grab and go meals (90 responses, or 55.2%)
- Hot and cold sandwiches (84 responses, 51.5%)
- Salad bar (84 responses, 51.5%)
- Vegetarian and vegan options (67 responses, 41.1%)
Should Perkins be open for dinner and/or on weekends?
Survey takers – residents and students alike – were interested in having Perkins extend its planned business hours beyond breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Many of those who left comments wanted eating establishments open when more residents are around – at dinner time and on weekends.
Have you purchased breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks from another Van Ness business in the past month?
On a weekly basis, how often (do you purchase breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks in Van Ness)?
Whether it be for lunch, dinner or snacktime, a majority of respondents head out once or twice a week. Including those who buy food in Van Ness more often, there’s very little difference: 106 (65%) are getting lunch at least once a week, 103 (63.2%) are going out for dinner, and 108 (66.3%) are picking up snacks.
In the past month where did you pick up snack, meal, or dine in (in Van Ness)?
Since the top answers to “What quick service food options are most important to you?” were “Grab and go meals” and “Hot and cold sandwiches,” we found it interesting that fast food places (like Potbelly and Burger King) did not rank higher. The fast food category got 66 responses (40.5%).
- Grocery store (Giant, CVS) was the most popular, with 117 responses (71.8%).
- Not far behind: Coffee/Café (Starbucks, Bread Furst) at 111 (68.1%).
- Sitdown restaurants got 91 responses (55.8%).