Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cereal Bowl Closes in Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park's Cereal Bowl restaurant, located on Connecticut Avenue between Ordway and Newark Streets, NW has closed. The restaurant, which specialized in cold, mixed cereals succumbed to what many neighbors regarded as a limited and over-specialized menu. As one patron posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv, "The proprietors of the Cereal Bowl always seemed like such nice folks that I wanted to patronize their store -- it's just that I virtually never needed a bowl of cereal, nor did anyone I know."

Cleveland Park has long had a schizophrenic --sometimes combative-- relationship with restaurants. Some restaurants are desirable to some neighbors. Others have met fierce opposition, including a Cosi, which was beaten back because of opposition by some neighbors to "chain restaurants," and Divino, an Argentine restaurant/tango hall, which some neighbors opposed because it would bring more late-night traffic into Cleveland Park.

But the restaurant scene has been hopping in Cleveland Park: Palena and Ardeo have recently expanded,.  Ripple is planning an expansion as well, and the Tackle Box will be opening in early 2011. Cleveland Park's newest culinary venture, Cacao, a chocolate shop, has lunch and dinner -- eat in or take out.


  1. I'm sorry for their employees, but come on -- a *cereal* restaurant? I'm surprised it stayed in business as long as it did.

  2. It would be nice if Starbuck's came back to that space.

    I agree with the comment above. A cereal restaurant -- cute and clever, but why go there?

  3. That's why I was surprised to read that it might re-open with a new owner!

  4. I think a the cereal concept is fun and novel. I tried it a few times, but I think the fundamental problem is simply that it is too easy and reasonable to purchase a few different boxes of cereal and mix them yourself if you wish. Cereal isn't a product you are forced to make from scratch if you don't buy it at a restaurant type outlet.

    I also think that a business such as this would do better on a college campus - where students would be more frequent and consistent customers, based on the fact that most students do not store much food in the dormitories.

    I would love to see a Starbucks or a simple, good deli/sandwich shop open up there. No more nail or tanning salons are needed.

  5. There is one on the UofD campus and I don't think that one is doing well, either.

    From what I hear, everyone says it's a funky, fun, cool idea, they go there once, and never go again.

    One reason, as someone already stated, it's just too easy to pour cereal and milk at home.

    The biggest reason? Apparently it's stupidly expensive for some cereal. Which is about what you would expect of a business trying to serve cereal and pay rent, employees, utilities, etc.

  6. My problem with the approach (I went there semi-regularly, because hey, I like quiet places to blog) was that they treated "hey, cereal!" as if it was enough to get people in the door. Which is not to say the concept was bad, but if they had, you know, put more work into making the place a destination, with comfortable furniture, better coffee and a cozy, work-here-for-hours vibe, it might've worked better. Instead, they banked a little TOO much on the cereal, and clearly cheaped out on things like furniture.

    Also, I learned they were closed the hard way; I stopped by in the middle of an insanely heavy rain storm, walked up to the door and realized I had to go BACK to the Metro.