Shoppers wait outside Nordstrom Rack at 18th and L streets NW in downtown D.C. on the morning of its grand opening on April 18, 2013. (Megan A. Garvey/Courtesy of Nordstrom)

Nearly 300 people waited in rainy weather for the opening of the Nordstrom Rack on 18th and L Streets NW on Thursday morning.

By the time the store opened at 9 a.m., the crowd snaked along 18th Street and onto K Street.

At the front of the line was Charlene Dillard, who had arrived at 5:30 a.m. from her home in Mt. Rainier.

“I’d heard that the first 30 people would get $100 gift cards,” she said.

That turned out to be untrue (there was a drawing instead), but no matter.

By 9:10, Dillard was leaving the store, with a new silk blouse. She’d also received an umbrella, a tote bag and a cookie (her breakfast, she said) while waiting in line.

“I don’t normally stop at Nordstrom Rack, but I was so excited for this,” she said as she headed to her job on K Street.


The line of shoppers snaked down 18th Street and onto K Street. (Jenna Cevasco/Courtesy of Golden Triangle BID)

“It shows an amazing potential for retail here in the Golden Triangle,” Agouridis said. “People want to shop.”

It’s been a rough few years for the Golden Triangle — the neighborhood nestled between Farragut Square, Washington Circle and Dupont Circle — with the departure of retailers like Filene’s Basement and Talbots. Both of those sites along Connecticut Avenue remain vacant.

The 35,000-square-foot store, located at the former Borders site, is the 10th Nordstrom Rack in the Washington area. There are also nearby locations in Pentagon City and Friendship Heights.