City Paper Widget

Friday, November 15, 2013

17th and Q to Get Organic Indian Grocery Store

Updated November 15, 4pm - see below

An organic Indian grocery store named Pansaari will open at 17th and Q Streets NW, the future owner/operator announced at the regularly monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle on November 13.

1603 17th Street is on the right
The store will be located in the basement of 1603 17th Street NW, the former location of Club Chaos nightclub, which closed in 2008.

Owner/operator Rano Singh spoke briefly to the ANC about her vision for the new establishment. She described it as a "Indian organic grocery and cooking school". As for her reason for opening in downtown D.C., she said: "I'm tired of running to Rockville and McLean" in search of genuine Indian ingredients.

She also said there would be a chai bar, but no take-out, so members of the neighborhood would be forced to stop and get to know each other.

Pansaari has a web page where you can sign up for email updates about the grocery's opening.

Although the word Pansaari (also spelled "Pansari") is translated by online Hindu-English dictionaries as "Grocer", a 15-minute promotional video for the new store (available here) has another explanation. A "Pansaari", the video says, is a traditional herb and spice merchant, whose store is also a sort of holistic pharmacy for practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine.

The video also details Singh's influences and inspiration for the new venture.

Some digitally-created visions of the future store's interior appearance are available here.


Thanks to an email from ANC2B Commissioner Kishan Putta (district 04) for this additional information:
  • Pansaari has signed a lease on the space.
  • Architectural drawings are being finalized before submission to D.C. authorities.
  • Projected timetable: Construction starts in December, storing opening March.
  • Pansaari may seek a wine/beer license.
Putta adds: "In the Internet age, a liquor license moratorium does not save or promote retail business in the District. Innovative and unique business ideas are the keys to success. I welcome Ms. Singh to the neighborhood and wish her the best of luck."


  1. I wonder if she knows she can run to Langley Park (a lot closer than Rockville) to get Indian groceries as well. Subzi Mandi, next to Woodlands, at the corner of University and New Hampshire.

  2. Just a clarification, Ms. Singh does not want to serve any alcohol. She says she MAY look into selling bottles of organic beers/wines - not for on-premises consumption.

  3. Subzi Mandi is closing, actually.

    1. The store owner told us that a few years ago. Are they finally going to make good on that threat?

  4. Hey everyone! Rano from Pansaari here.

    Just wanted to say I'm really excited about the store and hope to see all of you there. If you're interested, please check out our website and sign up to be notified when we finally open up this coming spring!

    Also, let me know if you have any suggestions or hopes for the store at Our full website with more information will be coming soon.