Best Place to Shop When You Need Beer and a Bedpan

Rodman’s
5100 Wisconsin Ave., among other locations, (202) 363-3466
Website
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Located on Wisconsin Avenue just a block and a half from the Friendship Heights Metro stop, my favorite Rodman’s is like the shaded area in a Venn diagram of past and present. It’s like Oleson’s Mercantile (that’s a Little House on the Prairie reference, millennials) meets a rent-controlled Whole Foods. The Post once dubbed the store, family-owned and operated since 1955, “the weirdest little drugstore in Washington.” While it has one of the best beer selections in the city, it’s also a place where the pharmacist will help little old ladies figure out which shoe insert to buy. The wine section draws some of the snootiest oenophiles around, flush as it is with competitively priced choices, but hey, if you’re in the market for one of those ugly plastic tablecloths the likes of which your grandma always had, you can find that too. Imported cookies, smoked French cheeses, and expensive chocolates and soaps all share space with cigarettes, lotto tickets, and random medical supplies like walkers and bedpans. It’s small, offering personal and friendly service, but somehow it has just about everything, including regular wine tastings.
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