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Murky Coffee - Founder Nick Cho's Terrific, Light-Roasted Coffee Originally on Capitol Hill and in Clarendon - Closed

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I wonder, at what point, is there a culinary version of the never-ending debate about valuing art in spite of the artist (see, e.g., Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, etc)?  Without answering that question, I will say this: the guy really knows how to make a cup of coffee.

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The coffee at Murky was great, and it introduced me to the next level of coffee. I have never looked back.

But his business practices are inexcusable, and in my mind, there is no level of "valuing the artist" that forgives it. It is cheating. If you don't pay your taxes, you create a playing field that is not level, and your success is bogus. Spider Kelly's is two blocks away, and I have never missed a tax payment despite the fact that I think they are exorbitant. I was happy when karma, in the form of the government, caught up to him. Unfortunately in this business, there are many that never see that comeuppance.

I think it would be hard not to learn and be humbled by the experience, and I hope that it has made him a better businessman and person--instead of just an exceptional artist.

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To piggyback off Mr. Freshman's comments the other side that often is forgotten is the additional strain and cost of doing business when business owners don't play by the rules. Court costs, time management in Arlington County and for a municipality that is already stretched the waste of time tracking down fraudulent tax payers. If everyone just played by the rules and paid taxes per annum then the county could utilize resources in other directions like how to address such high vacancy rates in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

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