At Last – Non-Food Retail Coming to Barracks Row

Kim Wattrick, Founder and CEO of Summit To Soul, Set to open on Barrack Row by the end of July at 727 8th Street, SE

Kim Wattrick, Founder and of Summit To Soul, Set to open on Barrack Row by the end of July at 727 8th Street, SE

At Last – Non-Food Retail Coming to Barracks Row

Woman’s Exercise Apparel Outlet Will Focus on Green Brands

by Larry Janezich

Summit to Soul, a women’s fitness and lifestyle boutique will open by the end of July according to founder Kimberly Wattrick.  The retail space at 727 8th Street on Barracks Row was formerly the home of Capitol Hill Sporting Goods which closed recently after 13 years.

Summit To Soul is a Washington, DC, based boutique that provides high-quality women’s fitness and yoga apparel and gear.  The store is committed to carrying only eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced, or Made in USA products.  Those brands include:  Beyond Yoga, Onzie, Wear It To Heart/WITH, Rese, Coeur, United By Blue, Manchuka, and Oiselle.

Wattrick said she chose to open on Barracks Row because she “lives on Capitol Hill and loves the community and saw a need for a women’s apparel outlet.”  After the store launches she has plans for Summit To Soul sponsored community events such as free run clubs and fitness groups.

Wattrick is a long time DC resident, a former collegiate tennis player and avid exercise enthusiast.  After a career in socially responsible investing, she founded Summit To Soul in 2015.   She received her BA from Georgetown University and an MA in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS, where she won a national business plan competition for sustainable business practices.  For more information on product lines, see the store’s website here:

Capitol Hill residents who have been pining for non-restaurant retail to return to 8th Street will undoubtedly welcome the news.  In addition to Capitol Hill Sporting Goods, two other “real” retail stores on the block closed recently:  Homebody lost its lease to make way for Pineapple and Pearls – Aaron Silverstein’s high end, $250 fixed price companion restaurant for Rose’s Luxury – and City Bikes closed earlier this year because of an increase in rent.   Barracks Row has struggled to attract retail on a commercial corridor where some landlords hold out for higher rents only food and drink establishments can afford.  As word spreads of the clout of the well-organized nearby neighbors who have been successful in requiring new restaurants to meet best operating practices, these landlords may be waiting for a while.


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7 responses to “At Last – Non-Food Retail Coming to Barracks Row

  1. Kat Echeverria

    So exciting! I can’t wait to check it out.

  2. CapHillDude

    Just in time for my wife’s birthday!

  3. caphill_neighbor

    If a general sports store couldn’t make it I’m sure a more niched, bougie boutique alternative ($80 tank top!!!) will have no problem thriving. From her website: “We believe in feeding the soul through adventure big and small, near and far. We are on a journey, inspired by friends and customers, who push us to keep innovating and exploring”–maybe she can put “the community first” by exploring how to promote inclusion and diversity on her website to better reflect the community she’s moving into.

  4. David S

    Capitol Hill generally, an 8th Street in particularly, have a bad track record of supporting retail. They may come, but will they stay?

    • John

      It’s not that Capitol Hill residents don’t generally support retail, it’s that the neighborhood has a number of artificial barriers to entry for many small businesses. Most notably, prohibitions against developments providing greater population density make a vibrant retail scene difficult to sustain. Additionally, historic preservation requirements make renovations more expensive and limit what is possible in many commercially zoned locations.

      It’s nice to live in a neighborhood with an abundance of character, but an over abundance of regulations meant to preserve that character often has the unintended consequence of pushing most retail activity to suburban big box stores. There needs to be a balance.

      • anon_1

        Navy Yard has loads of density and I don’t see much retail activity there either. It’s the same trend of food services and little else. Commercial retail is hurting in many places, as much from Amazon Prime as urban planning.

        This will likely succeed if it provides more than just a place to shop, and that looks like the business model. They’re making lifestyle and community-based fitness activity integral to the business. That’s what’s working at Labyrinth and Hill’s Kitchen, two outliers in a struggling retail environment.

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