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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Changes in store for iconic Annandale newsstand



Nothing says “Annandale” around here as much as Anna N’ Dales, the newsstand at 7025 Columbia Pike. It’s become sort of rundown in recent years and there’s hardly any customers, except for a few regulars, but there are indications that things could be changing for the better.

According to sources close to the property, the new owner of the building is looking for a new tenant, and has had several offers already, including people who want to open a food store, vitamin and supplement shop, and hair salon. The place needs to be cleaned up first—there’s a lot of trash inside—and it hasn’t been determined yet whether the building will be torn down or renovated.

On a sad note, the main tenant, George Gabriel, suffered some sort of medical emergency and was hospitalized. He is reportedly in a retirement home and is not expected to return; most of his things have been sold in an estate sale.

Gabriel lived in the building and ran a business there for at least 15 years, selling magazines, porno videos and magazines, and random items like lighters, beepers, and novelties. He had reportedly been a physics teacher in Hawaii years ago, and two of his former students took care of him after his recent illness; he didn’t appear to have any relatives nearby. Another guy who leased space from Gabriel and ran a wedding invitation business hadn’t been paying rent and had to move out.  

The Advance Electronics and Appliances repair shop in the small detached house on the property is on a month-to-month lease and will stay at least for the time being. A former Annandale High School student works there, fixing cell phones, game consoles, and other items.

George Guida, the proprietor of George’s Small Engine Repair behind the main building, will also stay, at least for a while. At the request of county code inspectors, the area has been somewhat cleaned up, and a fence has been installed between that property and Buenos Grill next door. There are still dozens of nonworking lawnmowers all over the yard, however.

Before it was Anna N’ Dales Newsstand, the building at 7025 Columbia Pike was reportedly the site of Teddy’s Auto Parts and Miller Real Estate. It was built in 1950 as a single-family house.

10 comments:

  1. If its not going to be some kind of high density urban redevelopment, I hope the old building stays. Last thing we need is to replace a relatively attractive old building with something new and bland at the same denisty (like is happening with Walgreens)

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    1. I do hope the building can be fixed up and saved - and not torn down.

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  2. I think the code inspectors may want to revisit the site - it looks like an episode of Hoarders in the back of these buildings!

    I would love to see something like an ice cream shop go in this location - not another one of the "fill your fro yo cup and dump on the toppings" places that we already have several of... but an ice cream shop. Or deli. Or bagel shop.

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  3. I had another strange experience with that George fellow who runs the lawnmower repair business. Last week at midnight I was standing by my car in the parking lot by the Cue Club, last row right before Columbia Pike. I look up to see this man running across the street towards me as cars fly by him. He's waving his arms and saying something to me. I'm a little concerned thinking at first he needs help. Then as he approaches I realize who it is from a previous experience. He tells me (not asks mind you) to come help him move something with his friend behind his business. I told him how creepy it was to ask a total stranger to come behind a building in the dark at midnight with two random people. He's like "so you won't help me move something?" like his request for free nighttime labor is unusual. This is the second time he's done that to me, guy is just either lazy or too cheap to hire teenagers to do labor for him. Something isn't right with George.

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  4. I can confirm this was at one time TEDDYs Auto Parts. Tear the dump down and revitalize.

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  5. You forgot to mention the apparent protitution going on there as well. The idea of "iconic" is a laughable. This place could be an amazing business and I love the idea of an ice cream shop or deli but first you have to get rid of the junk yard in the back and the extra businesses in the building. I bet if the place looked more enticing less creepy people may actually go to the Advance Electronics which sounds like a legit business.

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  6. I have always wondered how the tenant pays the rent, since I never see a person or car on the premises.
    What we do not need is another vitamin shop (there is one around the corner) beauty shop (too many already); food store (Bloom's couldn't make it; Magruders couldn't make it) What would it sell minute size cans of soup and travel sizes of everything else? There's not enough room for a grocery store.

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  7. I have lived a mile away for 8 and a half years and walk by multiple times each day. Never witnessed anybody go in either. I think that there is an upstairs apartment that somebody lives in so that might explain why it's still there.

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  8. Jorge A. Gabriel owner/operator of Anna N Dales newsstand died May 31, 2013, of respiratory heart failure at age 76.--- RIP --- FACTUAL TRUTH: he boarded various small businesses (truly a small business incubator). For those who know him: we will miss his politically incorrect, irreverent jokes. RIP Jorge

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    1. He will be missed. My husband and I have great memories as teenagers going to see Jorge. His jokes were always so funny.He sold me my first pager :) We would visit often as adults and he always remembered us until a couple of months ago.

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