DC Diner Shuts Down Over Crime Surge

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
February 14, 2024

Another Washington, D.C., business will close its doors at the end of the month due to crime in the district, the latest to shut down amid a surge in violence that has affected residents' safety.

"D.C. is getting a bad rap right now," Doron Petersan, who owns the popular vegan spot Sticky Fingers Diner, told Fox 5. "There's crime, for sure, and it makes it extremely difficult to operate."

Petersan added that she herself was the victim of a carjacking while making deliveries for her business, which specializes in vegan sweets. She lambasted the district's government for not doing more to stop crime.

"D.C. has not done enough to make sure that our infrastructure is set up so that everyone can operate in a safe manner, and this is really on the council and the mayor," she said. She added that she "just can't take a risk staying open or investing any more money into an area and a business that D.C. is not going to provide for."

As the diner closes, the company will shift its focus to its bakery in Takoma, a neighborhood in the northern part of D.C. near its border with Maryland, the business posted on Instagram. Its final day of operation will be Feb. 25.

The district's city council last week unanimously passed a crime bill that would create new felonies related to guns and shoplifting, increase pretrial detention, and allow police to crack down on drugs.

Sticky Fingers is not the first Washington, D.C., business to close due to crime. Brine, a popular seafood chain, closed both of its locations in November, with the owner of one—which was not far from Sticky Fingers Diner—citing crime as a serious motivating factor.

Crime in D.C. rose significantly in 2023, with violent crime climbing 39 percent compared with 2022. Homicides increased 35 percent that year while other large cities saw a drop in that particular offense.

The first month and a half of 2024 has been calmer than 2023, statistically. Nevertheless, this year has seen its share of high-profile incidents. Earlier this month, an official who worked in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under former president Donald Trump died after he was shot in a carjacking. A suspect on Wednesday allegedly shot three police officers in the southeastern part of D.C., giving them non-life-threatening injuries.