Top 5 errand tips for Cleveland Park newbies

After a day of boxing up your old home, loading a U-Haul, and unpacking your belongings in a new space, the last thing you want to do is figure out where to buy toothpaste or grab a much-needed bottle of wine. If you’ve just made Cleveland Park your new digs, then you’re in luck—we’ve got a rundown of your top five first-weekend-in-the-new-place errands.

The Connecticut Ave. section of Cleveland Park.

The Connecticut Ave. section of Cleveland Park.

Supermarket Sweep

That new fridge won’t fill itself. Fortunately, Cleveland Park is flanked by two Whole Foods along Wisconsin Ave., meaning you can stock up on some healthy basics and then cart your groceries home on one of the frequently running 31, 32 or 36 buses. (Word to the wise: Even though the store at 2323 Wisconsin, in the Glover Park area, is larger, head to the one in Tenleytown, at 4530 Tenley Circle. Although it’s a bit smaller, the workers are friendlier and more helpful. Plus, there’s a newly opened coffee and beer/wine bar at Tenleytown, too, with happy hour Monday through Friday afternoons.) Or, there’s Yes! Organic Market at 3425 Connecticut Ave., which has lots of fresh fruits and veggies and a good vitamin and supplements selection.

Yes! Organic Market on Connecticut Ave. in Cleveland Park.

Yes! Organic Market on Connecticut Ave. in Cleveland Park.

If Safeway is more your style, Wisconsin Ave. has you covered, again, with one at 4203 Davenport St. (above the Tenleytown Metro stop) and another at 1855 Wisconsin Ave., at the corner of 34th St. The Giant Foods on Wisconsin closed recently to make way for a mixed-use housing and retail development, but the outpost at 4303 Connecticut Ave., near the Van Ness Metro stop, is still going strong. (FYI, the Giant on Wisconsin is slated to reopen in 2014.)

Beverage Basics

Beer, pizza and moving day go together like, well, beer, pizza and moving day. Although Whole Foods and Safeway can take care of your simple imbibing needs, what if unpacking really took its toll and you need something a bit stronger? Head to Burka’s Wine & Liquor Store, at 3500 Wisconsin Ave., for a well stocked selection of whiskey, gin and tequila. (I know I did right before Hurricane Sandy hit. Seriously.) Or you could multitask and go to Papa’s Liquor on Macomb St. and then grab a pizza from 2Amys. If you are closer to Connecticut then Wisconsin, Cleveland Park Liquor & Fine Wines is probably a better option, and is right off the Cleveland Park Metro stop.

If that to-do list skews to morning-time tasks and coffee is required, Starbucks abound—at Tenleytown and in Glover Park along Wisconsin Ave., or right next to the Van Ness Metro stop, at 4250 Connecticut Ave. But if you are looking for something more local, check out Firehook Bakery & Coffee House, a local chain with seven locations in D.C., including one at 3411 Connecticut Ave. I spent a recent Sunday afternoon here, reading my newspaper and sipping a cappuccino, and can attest to a friendly staff and yummy coffee. And there’s always Hawthorne Homemade, which can get you going with a French-pressed cup of coffee or a nutrient-packed juice.

A super-healthy juice from Hawthorne Homemade can give you that needed boost to get through unpacking all those boxes.

A super-healthy juice from Hawthorne Homemade can give you that needed boost to get through unpacking all those boxes.

Everyday Essentials

In my move across the country, I managed to misplace the screws for my bed, so before my storage container was empty, I plotted out my first trip to the hardware store. I had two options, with Glover Park Ace Hardware down Wisconsin and one in the other direction, in Tenleytown. While at the Tenleytown store for those all-important screws, I also stocked up on some Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products and had an extra set of keys made. The staffers were over-the-top helpful, patiently answering my myriad questions.

If toothpaste and deodorant are at the top of your list, a bunch of drugstores dot Cleveland Park. The two CVS stores on Wisconsin Ave. (in Glover Park and Tenleytown) are open 24 hours, in case moving has you burning the candle at both ends. The CVS at 3327 Connecticut Ave. isn’t a 24-hour store, but it is open until 11 p.m., seven nights a week. Two blocks up, at 3524 Connecticut Ave., is a fairly new Walgreens, previously the site of Yenching Palace. Chinese fare aside, the 50-plus-year-old restaurant was perhaps most famous for hosting talks between reps for JFK and Khrushchev that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now you can buy shampoo there.

Big Box Buys

Forget that Internet cord and TV cable at the old place? Need under-the-sink drawers that fit your funky new kitchen cabinets? Me too. The Best Buy at 4500 Wisconsin Ave. is pretty large, especially for a non-suburban outpost. Not only did I find routers, extension cords and miscellaneous cables, but there was even a local cable company representative at the store to set up new customers.

During the first few weeks at my new apartment, I practically bought out the Container Store on upper Wisconsin Ave. (located, quite conveniently, across the street from the Tenleytown Whole Foods and next to Best Buy). This is the only Container Store in D.C. proper, so Cleveland Parkers have a significant location advantage to other District dwellers.

Travel Tips

If the Container Store or Ace doesn’t have that one last thing and you need to head out of the Cleveland Park area, fortunately we’ve got easily accessible public transportation, too. The Metro’s Red Line can get you just about anywhere in the District, but for Northwest D.C. errands, your best bet likely is the bus.

As of a few years ago, a Target run involved heading into the ’burbs, but now that the Columbia Heights store is open, you can hop on the H4 bus for a quick cross-town trip. About 15 minutes later, you’ll be browsing Nate Berkus duvet covers and Room Essentials bookcases. Next door, there’s a Bed, Bath & Beyond, too, just in case one of that chain’s ubiquitous coupons is burning a hole in your pocket.

If your style leans a little funkier, you may want to head into the U Street area, where antique stores have sprung up in the past few years. If you are traveling from Wisconsin Ave., take the 96 bus through Adams Morgan to U and 16th (or, if you are coming from Connecticut Ave., take the L2 down to Calvert and then catch a 92 or 96). While in that part of town, be sure to check out Millennium (1528 U St.), Good Wood (1428 U St.) and Miss Pixie’s (1626 14th St.). Although wares from these stores trend a bit pricier (as does most good vintage), you may find it worth it for that extra bit of charm in your new home.


2 thoughts on “Top 5 errand tips for Cleveland Park newbies

  1. Pingback: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store | A Blackjack of All Trades

  2. So I feel like I know exactly how to get around in your new neighborhood! I may not need all of the just-moved-in essentials, but I am confident that if I forget ANYTHING when I come to visit, I will know just where to get it! 🙂

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