Monday, July 09, 2012

Living Ruff Being Put to Sleep

Living Ruff, the pet store on Georgia Avenue, has announced that it will close at the end of the month. From an email sent to customers:

It's with mixed emotions that we announce Living Ruff will be closing at the end of July. It has been our extreme pleasure serving you, your pets, and the Silver Spring community the past four years. Why are we mixed? Well, because while we're sad to say goodbye, we're also excited to announce we're expecting our first (human) child in the Fall, and we feel this is the best decision for our family.
Local dog owners may be dismayed by this news, but at least they've still got Club Wags, located just down Georgia Avenue.

Let the obligatory "All businesses in Silver Spring fail!"/"What will replace it?" commenting begin.


Clancy said...

We will truly miss Living Ruff, and not just because it was the only place to get great pet products (especially food) in downtown. Ron, Jessica, and many of the staff are wonderful and friendly to both people and dogs.

Anonymous said...

Always seemed like a cool place, though I don't have a pet so I can't speak from experience. Darn human babies! Other than an Apple store, I really hope another electronics place doesn't move in. The AT&T store next door is plenty, thank you.

Anonymous said...

(Homer voice.)

"Apple store..."

Anonymous said...

DAMNIT! I love this store. Shiznit

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed for an Ethiopian restaurant!

Sligo said...

LOL @ that last comment. We need another hair salon, too...

Anonymous said...

This isn't Peterson Co.'s property, right? They were talking about how they had a number of choices to pick from before selecting H&M, so hopefully whoever owns this spot is capable of garnering similar interest.

Sligo said...

No, it's on the ground floor of that office building.

Anonymous said...

How about a bike shop for all of those who can't run people down on Ellsworth? Anything but a Cheesecake Factory please!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to Eric @ThayerAve.? Two houses are currently under contract on Thayer...hope he hasn't moved away!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I always walked past that place and marveled that a place like that could survive...and we're dog owners ourselves.

I guess this is why:

"Americans now spend $41 billion a year on their pets—more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world"

Anonymous said...

I bought all my pet food there, and occasionally bought toys and treats. I liked that they had quality brands that you can't find in the supermarket, and the two ladies that worked there in the evenings were always super-helpful. Guess I'll have to order my cat food online from now on.

wombat said...

Bookstore! Bookstore!

A person can dream, right?

Anonymous said...

This isn't Peterson Co.'s property, right? They were talking about how they had a number of choices to pick from before selecting H&M, so hopefully whoever owns this spot is capable of garnering similar interest

The Living Ruff space and the office building IS part of Peterson's Downtown Silver Spring development so hopefully something good will go in its place.

Sligo said...

Good point. I forgot that the AT&T store (ugh) and Copper Canyon are both in that building, and they are part of DTSS.

Patrick Thornton said...

This is a big loss for the DTSS area. It's really one of the most unique and charming stores around Ellsworth. The location was fantastic too.

The ability to walk from your house to this place helped make this
place special, and it's the kind of experience you can't get most places. Super markets don't sell high quality pet food and this was the only option within walking distance in the area. Club Wags is both far from DTSS and in one of the most miserable places in the entire region.

I'd rather go to Takoma Park to their pet store or just order online. I bought all of my pet food from Living Ruff, but I doubt I'll switch to driving to Club Wags. That part of Georgia is like a third world country with tons of traffic, a poor layout and really narrow sidewalks.

Maybe Club Wags would consider moving into this space? Far better location, but far higher rent.

As to what will replace this, keep in mind that this is a small store, and that will limit what can move in here. It's far too small for a restaurant or book shop. I too hope it's not another phone store, as those are just about the bottom of the barrel as far as urban stores. Thankfully, this space is probably too small (or would we just get a really, really crappy phone store).

I often wonder how Cake Love is doing in their new location. I wonder if the Living Ruff spot would work better for them. It has significantly better visibility.

The DTSS area could use more coffee shops, and that space could fit one. I'm not sure, however, if anything other than a Starbucks or another big chain could afford the rent that Petterson's charges.

Anonymous said...

Ethiopian restaurant in 3...2...1...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea how much rent goes for in that spot or that area in general?

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at you, Free People & South Moon Under

Anonymous said...

FYI, there is a, yet, another Ethiopian restaurant opening. On the corner of Fenton and Silver Spring Ave. where, lately, Good Food was and, prior to that, Healthy Start (I think that is what it was called.) This one is called Gursha.

The closed Ritz Camera is soon to be filled. Don't get too excited. In its place will be an Hour Eyes. I like it because my insurance covers me there.

Anonymous said...


This has to be a joke right? More Ethiopian? re you sure this is not a bit?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if there is enough space but the Living Ruff location would be a perfect location for a McDonalds.

Anonymous said...

I assure you another Ethiopian restaurant is not a joke.

Got to hand it to the owners writing reviews before it is even open -

Need more proof? -

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a running total as to how many there are in dtss now?

Anonymous said...

I think like 8 or 9 (depending on if you count the coffee house/restaurant). If they do well enough, financially, to stay in business and add vibrancy/people to the street and money to tax coffers, that's certainly not something I'd stick my nose up at. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of them don't last the year and personally wouldn't miss them if that were to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Addis Ababa

It is almost like they are unaware there is a whole second half of the alphabet from which to choose their name.

Rebecca said...

noooooo! I love Living Ruff...while their selection of cat stuff is not very extensive, they do carry our cats' favorite toys and we prefer supporting them over Petsmart. This makes me sad :(

Hopefully something just as good will replace it.

Mike said...

They were always good to our dog rescue group and other rescues. We're sorry to see them go. It'll be tough to find another location for adoption events where you can find so much foot traffic around the area. Club Wags would suck for that reason.

Anonymous said...

The Ethiopian restaurant list left off Lesaac and Lucy.

Anonymous said...

The Ethiopian restaurant list left off Lesaac and Lucy.

Also, I forgot Zed's.

Zed's is Ethiopian, right?

Anonymous said...

You can't count Zed's as Ethiopian just because it is owned by Ethiopians. It doesn't serve Ethiopian food.

If we're counting Ethiopian owned restaurants then you would need to include Fenton Cafe (the crepe place.)

Next up, a count of Ethiopian grocery stores.

Anonymous said...

Right, Lesaac is the coffee house that also sells Ethiopian food (unlike Zed's, Kefa, Fenton Cafe, etc. that are owned by Ethiopians but don't serve Ethiopian food).

Anonymous said...

How about some meaningful human-centric business in that spot, like an Apple store.

Anonymous said...

I think the question was more about Ehtiopian restuarants. Not really an issue as to who owns places that dont sell only ethiopian food.

Would anyone care or list them if a McDonalds franchise popped up but was owned by an ethiopian. Would we include that too? No.

the point is that the area is flooded with one food style and its ridiculous. The point is not to single out business owners of a particular ethnicity.

Anonymous said...

Of course. Kefa and Fenton Cafe are two of the nicest spots in dtss. Only that 1 racist guy from before who said something along the lines of "Ethiopians can't run businesses" would argue with what you said.

I don't think having 8 Ethiopian restaurants out of the, what, 150 restaurants in dtss is a flood or crisis. If there is demand, they'll stay in business. If there isn't, they'll fold. Who cares. There's still basically every type of food under the sun available in dtss. It's not like we have 1 strip mall to choose from and Ethiopian food is taking up all the available space.

Anonymous said...

The food selection is a bit overrated. There needs to be more variety.

Anonymous said...

I can think of a few additions I'd like to see, but certainly there aren't many places in the world that have the variety dtss has. When you have a Burmese place across from a Cameroonian place, you're in a pretty darn unique neighborhood, if not one of a kind.

Anonymous said...

"in the world"?

Might be a tad bit hyperbolic. But yes there is some interesting contrasts in the food choices.

dccampfin said...

For those wanting to remember Living Ruff, here's link to the short Docs In Progress documentary about the store from a 2010 summer film class.

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