Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s Is Open – Photo Essay & Customer Reaction

At 7:55am on Friday, September 29, the ribbon was cut officially opening the Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The store’s “Captain” is Tom Senior, at center, arms upraised.

Trader Joe’s is two levels down the escalator just inside the entrance.

Here’s the first view of the store that you see from the escalators.

The produce department, looking back toward the escalator.

Meat and Dairy

Olive oil, sauces, and frozen packaged foods.

Frozen fish – some of it wild caught and sustainably harvested.

This is about one-fourth of the wine selection.

Councilmember Charles Allen and Capitol Hill writer Robert Pohl.

You get a reminder of Trader Joe’s return policy as you leave the store.

Trader Joe’s at circa 7:10am, Friday, September 29. Evan, a Trader Joe’s fan who lives near Safeway, decided, he said, that he wanted to be the first customer. He arrived to stand in line at 7:05am.

The line for Trader Joe’s prior to opening, stretched down Pennsylvania Avenue. More than 100 were waiting when the doors opened. Councilmember Charles Allen is in foreground talking with Leah Daniels of Hill’s Kitchen.

Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s Is Open – Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

Trader Joe’s on Capitol Hill opened at 7:55am this morning.  There line was 112 customers long when the ribbon was cut and the doors opened.  The Capitol Hillbillies, a local band, played “When the Saints Go Marching In” as employees applauded and hung leis around necks of entering customers.

The store employs 160 and many are Capitol Hill residents, according to the new Trader Joe’s “Captain”, Tom Senior.  Senior says that the store features validated parking (for about 40 spaces)  – currently for an hour, but he hopes to expand that to 90 minutes next week.  The store is open seven days a week from 8:00am until 10:00pm and has 17 checkout stations with a single line, similar to the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods.

Councilmember Charles Allen showed up early, joining the line of customers.  Asked if he was there to shop, Allen said he would probably stop to do some shopping on the way home tonight, “…refrigerated goods don’t do that well in my office all day.”  He said, “Neighbors seem pretty excited to see Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood.  Being on top of Metro provides a convenient choice for shopping.”

Capitol Hill Corner solicited reaction from customers leaving the store.  Among the comments were the following:

“I love it.  Trader Joe’s is really cheap – it’s really a great deal.  The thing I like is that Trader Joe’s all have the same layout and it’s easy to find things.  I’ll still get my vegetables at Eastern Market during the summer.  It should draw more people on the weekends.”

“It’s smaller than I thought.”

“It’s big in there – really big.”

“They don’t have sugar-free products.”

“They have a good set up and decent prices.”

“It’s great to have.  The lines are shorter than the Trader Joe’s I usually shop in.”

“I was surprised it’s underground. I like the 19 cent bananas.”

“It’s great.  We’ve been waiting so long.”

“I usually shop at Safeway.  This is much nicer.  I’ll continue to get fresh produce at Eastern Market, especially on weekends.”

“I’m thrilled to have a Trader Joe’s.  It’s smaller than I expected.  I’m surprised it’s underground.  I’ll continue to shop at Eastern Market for things like fresh fish.”

“It’s wonderful.  I like Eastern Market, but prices are high.  I love Trader Joe’s.  The prices are really good.  I appreciate there will be an easy place to walk to at night.”

“I just love it.  It has a good selection of organic foods.  It seems designed to cater to singles and small families.  It fits well on Capitol Hill.  I’m very impressed with prices.”

“I can get everything I need.  The prices are right.  The staff is super friendly and polite.  I’ll continue to shop at Eastern Market for special occasions.”

“It’s a fantastic addition to the neighborhood.  I’m surprised it’s so big.”

“I’m glad they’re here. I’ll still go to Yes! for their broader selection of gluten free and organic products.”

“I really appreciate they always carry a selection of nice flowers less expensive that other stores.”


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3 responses to “Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s Is Open – Photo Essay & Customer Reaction

  1. Gregory Turner

    I wish there would be mention of Yes! Organic just across the way on 8th. A great grocery with greens and vegetables UNPACKAGED. Hello Big Cguy Allen, how about some boosterism for a tried and true community resource? SUPPORT YES!

    • Caroline

      I made it a point to go to Yes! on Trader Joe’s opening day and was relieved to see it had just as many customers as usual. I’ve always appreciated that store for their convenient location, friendly service, high-quality products, and stress-free shopping experience (the latter I value a lot and it’s something you can’t say about shopping at Trader Joe’s).

      • Gregory Turner

        Thanks for that, Caroline. I cross my fingers that Yes! will keep its revenue and survive the TJ machine.