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Lot 38 Espresso Bar, Near Southeast - Independent Coffee House on 2nd and L SE

Near Southeast Navy Yard Coffee Independent Coffee House Sandwiches WiFi Open Early

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#1 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:41 AM

I happened upon Lot 38 Espresso Bar yesterday as I looked to kill a little time before a meeting. They weren't open but opened the doors and invited me in for a free coffee drink. They are scheduled to open today but were doing a dry run yesterday afternoon with free drinks to give the neighbors a sense of what they are doing.

It is a slick space--lots of black and chrome. They use Illy products. I asked for a decaf Americano. I thought it was quite nice and especially not too bitter which is my usual complaint about Americanos. The owners were friendly and excited to be starting their new venture. I forgot to ask if they were offering Wi-Fi. It would be welcome as the Starbucks two blocks away does not,

It is at L and Second SE. I'm not sure how much foot traffic they expect to get with the massive construction going on across the street.

I would certainly go back to try it again the next time I'm in the area.

#2 darkstar965

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:56 PM

Very cool. We can't have enough independent coffee houses IMO. All the moreso in SE. Bring. 'em. On.

Any sense for whether they plan to venture beyond Illy and bring in some local/national roasters? Maybe not in SE--either way, hope they do well.

#3 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:14 AM

I've been back a few times since my last post. They have decided to never offer decaf coffee but to make decaf Americanos as needed. They claim there just isn't the demand for decaf. I suspect that is probably because people who want decaf have given up coming in. They are slow with the Americanos and they have a bitterness that wasn't there the first time. They offer the option of getting a fresh pour over but not if you want decaf. It has never been busy but even with just a handful of people it is overwhelmingly loud.

It's too bad because I want to like it but I need to find less bitter decaf coffee more.

#4 darkstar965

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:16 AM

Brief update on Lot 38.

 

First, they do offer wifi.  Speed is good and a 6-hour limit is way more than they'll probably want to offer if/when business picks up as development of SW continues.  This and the venue are the best things about Lot38.  Seating for about 35-40 upstairs and all new construction so very modern, clean and good light.

 

Second, picking up on something blb shared:

 

...The owners were friendly and excited to be starting their new venture. ...

 

It's now more than a year later and the owners are still very friendly and super excited. Along with the venue, another great reason to visit Lot38. The owners, Yung Park and his wife, hail from Seoul and get their above-average pastries and baked goods from Hawthorne Bakery in Severna Park.

 

Finally, the coffee. They use Illy simply because they wanted to one-up the nearby Starbucks (mission accomplished!) and because they believe it's the "best coffee in the world."  While I'm not a big Illy fan, I couldn't bring myself to question too much that since the enthusiasm is wonderful and the coffee good enough for the neighborhood with Lot38 the only ICH.  If you work in SW or find yourself by DOT or Nats Park, Lot 38 is a great choice.



#5 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:28 PM

It is SE not SW. They never, ever, ever have decaf brewed and I have yet to find anyone who makes a drinkable Americano.

The Courtyeard next door also offers free wifi and I end up there now when I'm in the area. The Starbucks does not have wifi.

#6 darkstar965

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:28 PM

It is SE not SW. They never, ever, ever have decaf brewed and I have yet to find anyone who makes a drinkable Americano.

The Courtyeard next door also offers free wifi and I end up there now when I'm in the area. The Starbucks does not have wifi.

 

Darn--I should have asked about/encouraged the decaf, blb. Would have been happy to do that since the more that ask the more likely they might be to do it. I'll ask next time there; maybe Opening Day (Nats) next week. Then again, as nice and as enthusiastic as they are, they may be hard minds to change.  They seem very proud to be offering Illy as a "best" product.  That'll be fine with just Starbucks as local competition until another one or two serious ICH's come into the area with serious, freshly roasted coffee.

 

I meant southwest more generally.  The address is 2nd St SE but it's closer to SW Washington than to much of the southeast quadrant in which it technically sits.  Easy walk from Nats Park, etc.



#7 Kev29

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

I meant southwest more generally.  The address is 2nd St SE but it's closer to SW Washington than to much of the southeast quadrant in which it technically sits.  Easy walk from Nats Park, etc.

 

Don't want to steer this into a tangent, but South Capitol Street might as well be Hadrian's Wall these days with the amount of seperation between the Near SE/Navy Yard neighborhood and Southwest. Near SE with the two parks, Nats Park, Metro, new housing, DOT, Justin's, etc is pretty much its own little world for residents, workers and Nats fans. Very few cross S Capitol into SW, if anything they migrate to Barracks Row in SE for restaurants, bars and shopping. bookluvingbabe alluded to the resident/worker "SW" pet peeve - even major media outlets make the mistake of labelling Nats Park as "Southwest".

 

Tangental rant over, maybe I'll hit Lot 38 tomorrow on a chilly morning before the Nats exhibition :rolleyes:


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#8 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:55 AM

Don't want to steer this into a tangent, but South Capitol Street might as well be Hadrian's Wall these days with the amount of seperation between the Near SE/Navy Yard neighborhood and Southwest. Near SE with the two parks, Nats Park, Metro, new housing, DOT, Justin's, etc is pretty much its own little world for residents, workers and Nats fans. Very few cross S Capitol into SW, if anything they migrate to Barracks Row in SE for restaurants, bars and shopping. bookluvingbabe alluded to the resident/worker "SW" pet peeve - even major media outlets make the mistake of labelling Nats Park as "Southwest".

 

Tangental rant over, maybe I'll hit Lot 38 tomorrow on a chilly morning before the Nats exhibition :rolleyes:

 

Exactly.  Mr. BLB works at Fed Center SW.  He will hop on the Metro and go to lunch at Eastern Market.  But he would never dream of going over to Navy Yard (SE) for lunch.  It isn't walkable in an hour--not to mention who'd want to walk along South Cap with all those cars whizzing by--and you'd have to take two trains to go by Metro.  (I've spent a lot of time researching lunch options for him.)

 

Back on tangent:

 

Lot 38 does a good lunchtime business.  I've never seen it crowded in the am.  I don't eat the baked goods unless they look worthy of a break from my mostly paleo eating and those never look like they are worth the break.  



#9 darkstar965

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

Don't want to steer this into a tangent, but South Capitol Street might as well be Hadrian's Wall these days with the amount of seperation between the Near SE/Navy Yard neighborhood and Southwest. Near SE with the two parks, Nats Park, Metro, new housing, DOT, Justin's, etc is pretty much its own little world for residents, workers and Nats fans. Very few cross S Capitol into SW, if anything they migrate to Barracks Row in SE for restaurants, bars and shopping. bookluvingbabe alluded to the resident/worker "SW" pet peeve - even major media outlets make the mistake of labelling Nats Park as "Southwest".

 

Tangental rant over, maybe I'll hit Lot 38 tomorrow on a chilly morning before the Nats exhibition :rolleyes:

 

Exactly.  Mr. BLB works at Fed Center SW.  He will hop on the Metro and go to lunch at Eastern Market.  But he would never dream of going over to Navy Yard (SE) for lunch.  It isn't walkable in an hour--not to mention who'd want to walk along South Cap with all those cars whizzing by--and you'd have to take two trains to go by Metro.  (I've spent a lot of time researching lunch options for him.)

 

Back on tangent:

 

Lot 38 does a good lunchtime business.  I've never seen it crowded in the am.  I don't eat the baked goods unless they look worthy of a break from my mostly paleo eating and those never look like they are worth the break.  

 

Thanks for the above, Kev and blb.  One of the things I most love about dr.com is how much I learn here.  Definitely better appreciate the SE/SW thinking thanks to both of you. Interestingly, Don has Lot38 and a few other nearby spots listed under "Near Southeast (Navy Yard, Potomac Avenue Metro)" in the Dining Guide, which I guess is okay differentiating the 'hood as "near SE" versus SE (and definitely not SW to your point).

 

BLB, I thought the baked goods at Lot38 were better than coffee-shop-average but definitely not worth a break from a paleo diet imho since that average is pretty low.  Some of the best baked goods I've seen at any coffee shop were at Kafe Bohem in Ledroit Park but even those probably don't rise to paleo cheat level like....oh, I don't know...spots like Leonora, Randolph, Poupon or Praline. :)



#10 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:07 PM

Sweet Lobby is worth the cheat. (And then you're only cheating with sugar if you get the macarons.)







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