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High-Tech Eatsa Pulls the Plug on D.C.

The West Coast chain is no more

An automated Eatsa stand in D.C.
Photo by Joy Asico
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Eatsa, a computerized chain that can pop out automated meals in mere seconds, is ironically closing its two D.C. locations due to a too-quick expansion to the East Coast.

Here’s the official statement from the San Francisco-based enterprise, known for serving dishes including quinoa bowls and breakfast scrambles:

“In our eagerness to get the Eatsa experience in front of as many people as possible, we now realize that we expanded our retail footprint too quickly. In particular, operating in four different markets has made it difficult to quickly test and iterate our food product .”

Eatsa expanded to D.C. (1627 K Street NW) last fall, just a year after launching in the tech capital of the world. It added a second location in early 2017, occupying two floors at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. A New York City locale on Madison Avenue has also shuttered. The brand also pulled out of Berkeley.

The grab-and-go eatery's Financial District locations in San Francisco will remain open, and the company hinted at its behind-the-scenes patented meal prep technology appearing in other places: “You might see our technology and the experience you love in other restaurants in the near future,” reads the statement.

Each sleek locale houses a collection of glass door "cubbies" displaying personalized graphics, producing a customized meal within minutes (and as fast as 90 seconds). Customers order off of iPad-equipped kiosks, which means means servers and cashiers are cut out of the equation.

The fast turnaround helps keep prices low, around $6.95 for a quinoa bowl.


1627 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006 Visit Website