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Sova Espresso & Wine, Owner Frank Hankins on 14th & H Streets NE in Trinidad - Closed


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I've only been to Sova to grab coffee/espresso, but apparently they are introducing a serious wine and cocktails program with help from Derek Brown and Dan Searing. Portland-import & Oregon Bartenders Guild alum, Jamie MacBain is the new Bar Manager and will oversee a cocktail menu that features on grape-based spirits. This sounds like a potentially huge addition to the neighborhood! http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/2009/04/...-from-sova.html

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SOVA is a great spot for cocktails if you are looking for a chill night out. Derek has designed a very diverse menu in keeping with the grape theme. The lists runs from the crowd-friendly Red Lion (G'Vine Gin, Grand Marnier, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, kinda like a lemondrop) to the serious Coffee Cocktail (Ramos Pinto Ruby Port, St. Remy XO Brandy, Sugar, and a raw egg).

Jamie shakes harder than any other craft bartender I've seen in DC, creating the silkiest of foamy textures. Not unlike a properly made microfroth on a latte. He's very knowledgeable about his product, features daily specials of his own (the Campfire Margarita is nice, featuring mezcal and ginger liqueur), and is a good guy to chat up.

Check it out. I've definitely learned alot about grappa and pisco here, which I understand aren't readily available elsewhere in the District.

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Thanks to an astute member, I just now found out that Sova closed (on February 17th), and has been replaced by H Street Coffeehouse.

This thoughtful letter from the owner was reprinted on Yelp:

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Dear customers, friends & neighbors,

After 5 plus years in business, SOVA will cease operations after close of business next Sunday, the 17th. There will be an ownership change, and I'm certain other changes with be forthcoming. Between me and the new ownership, we'll try to make the transition as seamless as possible. Customers will still see the same faces behind the coffee bar, and the bar upstairs will be closed for a short time while licensing issues get resolved. 

We had some great times, but there were also some very difficult times over the last 6 plus years since I moved into the space. In a nutshell, we opened when H St wasn't hip at all. Running a business 7 days a week, morning, noon, and night took its toll financially and otherwise until we could grow a sustainable customer base, and it's still developing. I wish the new ownership well, and I hope the neighborhood gets what they want. I was very proud to be one of the first newer businesses to open on H St, but I paid the price for getting here early. Especially having to deal with the 3 plus years of construction on the street.

Most importantly, I'm going to miss all the great people that became good friends. Thank you for your support over the years. 

You stay classy, H St. I'm out!

Happy trails,
Frank Hankins

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Always sad to see something like this.  To the former owner's point, SOVA was really a harbinger of what is now a positively booming (some might say close to oversaturated--though I wouldn't be one of them) independent coffeehouse scene.

I was just at the new Wydown Coffee today and heard a second-hand rumor that H Street Coffeehouse may be the first in the city to offer (or will be offering?) a vac pot brewing option. For coffee hounds like me, that'd be some serious news.  Not sure if there's an H Street Coffeehouse topic yet but maybe this can be moved there or to start one?

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