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Ballston Smoothie King Abdicates

by ARLnow.com September 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm 6,373 44 Comments

The Smoothie King in Ballston has given up its throne in an effort to conquer Adams Morgan.

The eatery, at 850 Randolph Street, across from Ballston Common Mall, is now closed. A sign in the window says the store is moving to 18th Street in Adams Morgan.

According to a tipster, employees hauled off store furniture last night. A sign above the store has already been taken down, though posters remain in the windows.

  • NoVapologist

    If he really wants to conquer Adams Morgan, he better be adding Red Bull & Vodka smoothies to his menu.

  • DarkHeart


    • John Fontain

      Robek’s won’t be far behind Smoothie King in closing up shop.

      • Juanita de Talmas

        They are both mostly sugary syrup and ice. Not much in the way of real ingredients.

  • Ding ding

    No way. Where will I get my cup of mostly ice?

  • JamesE

    I still miss Blimpies/TCBY

    • JamesE

      Also perfect location for a Taco Bell, make it happen.

      • Zig

        Gross – you must be in college or recently out.

        • CW

          Don’t pretend like you don’t love it; you know you do.

        • damn I love Taco Bell

          College is a distant memory for me, but damn I love Taco Bell.

  • Quoth the Raven

    I think Robek’s is pretty good, but (sorry, left coast bias) there is nothing like Jamba Juice. Too bad there aren’t any out here!

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      There used to be a Jamba Juice inside the Whole Foods. I miss it.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Great point. I do too. GW had one too, but it was terrible and the workers there didn’t know any of the recipes, so you’d get a random smoothie no matter what you ordered. Sigh….

      • DarkHeart

        JJ left WF about the same time I moved more than walking distance from Market Common. No need to deal with all that human congestion at this point.

  • Brian

    Two problems:

    1. This is the third tenant (deli and video show) this building has lost recently. There has to be something to it.

    2. Their smoothies were crazy expensive, so not surprised business was low.

    3. I still miss Blimpie/TCBY too

    • Brent

      I think there’s something up with Archstone (the landlord of that building). I’m pretty sure the video store and the deli were pushed out by the landlord in order to create a larger space for some new market. There was a sign about an alcohol license on the door of the deli for a while.

      I’m a resident of that building, and the rent has gone up a lot since I moved in. Maybe Archstone is raising its rents even higher for the commercial space.

      • Rent

        Rent is going up everywhere in this area, don’t just think it’s your building.

      • Joe

        I’m also a resident. But the video store is now becoming a “massage place” and the deli a “health food store.”

        • Andrew

          Dang…beat me to it!

      • Andrew

        I think a massage place is going where the video store used to be…

  • anotherlocal

    UMMM what about my groupon????? It was only good at that location!

    (not groupon i guess, but one of those…i still have 2 smoothies left that expire in december!)

    • Rent

      I’m guessing Groupon or whatever it is will refund you if you tell them.

    • anotherlocal

      Figured it out – for anyone else in the same predicament with the BuyWithMe deal from March, if you call them, they’ll credit your account for the portion of your deal that has been unused. They won’t credit your credit card, but I guess it’s better than nothing!

  • Chris

    Finally, we’re one step closer to Taco Bell winning the Franchise Wars as it was prophesized.

    • Jason

      How will I get used to the three seashells?

  • beeline

    Even though the area is already saturated with coffee places, I would love to see a Dunkin Donuts replace SK

    • Heifer

      Can donuts compete with cupcakes? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Rick

      Rather have a krispy kreme. breakfast and a show

  • CW

    I’d like to see Taco Bell hold out for a more grand and spacious location…

    When are people going to wake up and realize how easy it is to make their own smoothies?! I do it almost every day, with real ingredients instead of the processed crap those places use.

    • drax

      But theirs had special magical stuff that made you supersmart, invincible and immortal.

  • And here I thought in McDonnel’s VA it was business friendly! Why is he fleeing to the other side of the river?

    • Lou

      It’s because Arlington is business-unfriendly. It was something Zimmerman promised to work on this year.

      • Agent Michael Scarn

        Yeah, nobody goes to Arlington anymore. It’s too busy.

  • John Andre

    Why couldn’t they open a SECOND location in Adams Morgan & leave the Ballston location open. Landlord issues???

    Reminds me a bit of the Sholls Cafeteria situation. Sholls went through a crisis around 1999 before closing for good 3 months after the 9/11 attacks on Dec. 5, 2001. I had hoped that Sholls could have moved to Ballston Commons but apparently the rent was too high. Now Ballston Commons is in a bind. I really liked the Market to Market buffet but it has been closed for over a year. The pizza place also closed and now only the fast-food outlets remain. This afternoon I ate across the street at Big Buns rather than going to the Subway there. Despite the cost I may do that more often in the future.

    • Rick

      Because he’d have to spend a lot of money on franchise fees and new equipment? http://www.smoothiekingfranchise.com/investments-and-requirements.php

    • Novanglus

      The Adams Morgan location has been open for a while. He didn’t really move the franchise, he expanded first and then closed up this one. The retail in that building (SK, Blimpie, TCBY, etc) made sense when it first opened, but the neighborhood has changed. I think the landlord is recognizing that.

      Stay tuned for more cupcakes, paninis, and microbrews.

      • MC 703

        How so?

  • JimPB

    CW — Right on. I do my smoothies, too. Real ingredients. Nutritious. Great taste. It’s THE way to go.

    • Real?

      I’m confused by this “I use real ingredients” discussion. last time I went to Robek’s they poured juice into a blender, added fruit and yogurt and ice. If you don’t any of the boosts, how is it not “real”?

      • Aaron

        You don’t honestly think that any of the people here complaining about things have ever had firsthand experience with the things they’re complaining about, do you?

        • CW

          Actually, like I said, I make smoothies almost every day, so I do have experience. Robek’s is probably the best of the places, but a lot of them, like SK, use from-concentrate juices, sugar-sweetened syrups, etc. So the sugar content ends up way jacked up. Even if places use good ingredients, they’re charging $5 or so; it costs me less than a dollar to make the same thing at home (and it’s faster too).

          P.S. a good smoothie should not have ice in it – use only frozen fruit.

  • JimPB

    ARLNow.Com — Great headline.

  • YTK

    Good bye Good luck Good riddance — I hope the one in Pentagon Row folds too– they gave me ABYSMAL service one day. I never returned

    • TH


      I am the owner of the Pentagon Row store and apologize for the poor service you received. I will forward your comment to my team members and strive for us to do better in the future.

      As for this location, it is my understanding that the landlord did not renew the lease. The owner tried to find another site in the vicinity to no avail.


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