It started as a modest sidewalk sale of six businesses that wanted to get customers’ attention by selling items on the street. Now, the 15th annual MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Sale will boast more than 70 businesses in the gayborhood, between 14th and U streets N.W., this Saturday and Sunday.
Shops, salons, restaurants and even art galleries take their businesses from inside the doors to the pavement to attract customers new and old with their sales.
Home Rule (1807 14th St., N.W.), a local housewares store, was one of the main organizers for the event in 2000. Rod Glover, one of three of the store’s co-owners, says the initial idea was to have local businesses in the area have a summer sale and for customers to take notice of the, at the time, small business district. The businesses all worked together to organize the sale weekend and to raise the money for ads.
The sale was also a good way to get rid of summer inventory and make room for fall items. Since its inception, the sale has grown into a special weekend event for the neighborhood.
“It’s such a great community event,” Glover, who’s gay, says. “People really look forward to it. It provides a lot of visibility for businesses that people wouldn’t normally know are there.”
Cork Market (1805 14th St., N.W.) will have a lemonade stand, ice cream sandwiches and cookies to celebrate the annual savings weekend. Champagne and wine tastings will be offered all weekend and Cork Wine Bar (1720 14th St., N.W.) will be opening early at 3 p.m.
Cork owner Diane Gross looks forward to Dog Days every year.
“I love how many people come out and support the neighborhood,” Gross, who’s straight, says. “Traditionally older businesses would participate but it’s nice to see newer ones. Lots of people come down to 14th for the sale. It’s like a block party.”
The main thing, though, are the sales.
Home Rule’s sale will be 50 percent off kitchenware, tabletop and home décor. Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot (1626 14th St., N.W.) will have 20 percent off everything in the store. Gallery plan b (1530 14th St., N.W.) will have a 15 percent discount on gallery inventory.
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (1939 12th St., N.W.) will have 20 percent off a cup of frozen yogurt and 10 percent off all merchandise when you say “MidCity Dog Days.” Pearl Dive Oyster Palace (1612 14th St., N.W.) offers specials such as $1 shucked oysters and fried peach pies with vanilla ice cream.
For a complete listing of all participating businesses and their sales, visit dogdaysdc.com.