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Independent Coffee Houses: The New Map

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On 5/19/2016 at 1:28 PM, Kev29 said:

Dear indy coffee shop owners and roasters who read this fine thread,

I beg of you to consider filling in the coffee desert you see in the graphic below. Cool full service shop, small counter operation, cart, rickshaw, grinder monkey on the street who grinds beans with an organ like device, what have you. Please help. Thank you for your consideration

- Under caffeinated Lower Swampoodle Worker Drone. 

coffee.gif

Long ago I leased commercial space and sold some commercial buildings in that area.  For a small retailer or coffee provider its really multiple areas.  Most retailers haven't seen it but on the House Side going East on PA ave. SE...the 3 house office buildings and other govt offices there probably have 4-6000 employees who have no commercial entities.  They migrate to the PA Ave stores for eating and drinking.  Those first 2 commercial blocks on PA ave SE suck up a ton of eating and drinking traffic.  Tons.  The amount of workers is probably equivalent to 1-2 million feet of office space ....just on the house side.  That is very worthwhile for any coffee roaster.  Its finding a way to service it or leasing space that is hard.   There are less people on the Senate side but still enough to create viable retail food opportunities.  

The foot traffic on the West Side of the Hill is different and, while its a while (decades) since I've worked it....there are different walking/working/customer opportunities for retailers.  I'd say that the area between N Capitol and 395 is different than the area on the West side of 395.   

But that area (outside of your boundries on the East side of PA ave.)   Oh man...lots of food and drinking dollars spent there.  All those House office building workers trudging up that hill to PA ave. to spend their money. ;)

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18 hours ago, DaRiv18 said:

Shake Shack serves Stumptown during breakfast.  That's all I can think of.

Thank you -- I didn't know that!

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I've not rented commercial real estate, but this situation looks quite unlikely to change. By area, a huge part of this boundary is non-commercial and non-inhabited: The Mall, grounds of The Capitol, The Capitol and other federal offices, Union Station and area, parks, parking lots, etc. This is nothing like the residential and office areas where we see more indie coffeehouses. So not only is much of this area off-limits to a possible coffeehouse, but there aren't people in much of the area. Even people who are there -- in The Capitol and related buildings, would have to schlep a long way for a coffee. Longer than would make for reliable customers. Your boundaries carefully exclude Chinatown and Ebenezers. They're only "just across the street" from offices inside your boundary. I think there are probably coffee-deserts more wanting for a coffeehouse than this area. Food cart or truck is probably the best option, and I'll be that's not allowed anywhere were it would make good sense.

The lack of 3rd wave or other good coffee is always lamentable, however!

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4 hours ago, jondagle said:

Food cart or truck is probably the best option, and I'll be that's not allowed anywhere were it would make good sense.

There are always tons of food trucks just west of North Capitol on Mass Ave. An independent coffee truck would make a killing, I'd think, but it would still be a hike for people in the House and Senate office buildings.

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I highly recommend adding Colony Club to the list.  Pablo, who was formerly at P&P joined Colony Club in January 2017.  In my opinion, he is one of the top baristas/coffee consultant in DC and possibly the US.  http://www.colonyclubdc.com/  Espresso coffee beans for Espresso drinks from Ceremony Coffee Roasters.  Pour-over single source coffee beans from various roasters to include Lofted Coffee and George Howell Coffee.

Cappuccino made by Pablo, his last dinner service at P&P, December 31, 2016.  He calls this his inverted swan.  Coffee beans from Lofted Coffee.

You can find him on instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/barista.pablo/

15727264_10210261776372656_6333664250892353226_n.jpg

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Map Updates: Sad to say 202 Donuts & Coffee and their sibling restaurants all closed last month, according to Eater. And Habit is also closed in April 2016. 

https://dc.eater.com/2018/8/13/17683426/202-donuts-roche-brothers-closing-bethesda

https://www.popville.com/2016/04/habit-cafe-closed-in-mount-pleasant-april-3rd/

@porcupine Are you still updating the map? I'd be happy to help out.   

PS: I see 202 closing was posted in separate thread....

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14 hours ago, jondagle said:

 

@porcupine Are you still updating the map? I'd be happy to help out.   

 

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is more complicated. Basically, I don't have time to keep on top of everything. There are so many places now that I don't feel compelled to visit every new one. Did you see that I changed the stars to pin colors? Also I've reverted the map to my original: Really Good Coffee, rather than Independent Houses. I'd be happy to have help, especially if there's a way to clone the map. Message me and we can discuss further.

 

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Updated map is here.  jondagle is now an editor, so we should see more frequent updates. Please continue to post new finds, changes, etc. in this thread. Thanks.

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Hello all. I'd like to announce some updates to the Really Good Coffee Map. View the map here: Really Good Coffee - The Map

I'm helping @porcupine update the map and we're rolling out some new "features."

First, the Map description now references this thread as a place to discuss the Map. Discuss.

Second, the Map now has three layers: "Really Good Coffee" with green, blue, and red markers for consistently good coffee or espresso experiences; "The Watch List" with places (yellow) under consideration for RCG or places where we're still evaluating consistency, etc; and "Closed" will feature places (gray) removed from the RGC list when no longer in operation. 

Please discuss the list here. Looking for new places to visit and information about places on the list -- both good and bad. We'll try to keep the Map up to date. 

As a reminder, the metric here is "good coffee quality" and not necessarily "a good business" or "a good place to hang out."

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11 minutes ago, jondagle said:

Please discuss the list here. Looking for new places to visit and information about places on the list -- both good and bad. We'll try to keep the Map up to date. 

As a reminder, the metric here is "good coffee quality" and not necessarily "a good business" or "a good place to hang out."

I saw a Compass Coffee at-or-near where the old Caffe Aficionado space was in Rosslyn.

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

I saw a Compass Coffee at-or-near where the old Caffe Aficionado space was in Rosslyn.

You're right. But the Compass is in the new CEB Building across from Metro, not the old CEB/Deloitte building on Ft Myer Drive. 

They do alright. Not as good as CA was but then I guess they aren't skimming cards, so there's that!

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I’m not a coffee maven per se but I will give a shout-out to Cafe Kindred in Falls Church for both their drip and fancy espresso drinks from Vigilante. It’s also a great place to hang out, but I’m not supposed to mention that here. :)

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On 11/28/2018 at 10:02 AM, Bob Wells said:

I keep getting a "too many redirects" error message  when I try to view the map.

I’ve tried a number of ways and have not problem: logged in/out,  private browsing, Firefox, Safari, mobile... no other reports of problems.  🤷‍♂️ 

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6 hours ago, jondagle said:

I’ve tried a number of ways and have not problem: logged in/out,  private browsing, Firefox, Safari, mobile... no other reports of problems.  🤷‍♂️ 

Got it to work on IE.

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Little Beast uses Vigilante beans and made some nice espresso-based beverages the other day; however, I understand that business has not been good, so they are closing the cafe operation in about two weeks and going to restaurant-only status, offering three meals a day. What they'll do for coffee at that point, I don't know. I'm going to put it on the map for the time being.

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4 hours ago, porcupine said:

Little Beast uses Vigilante beans and made some nice espresso-based beverages the other day; however, I understand that business has not been good, so they are closing the cafe operation in about two weeks and going to restaurant-only status, offering three meals a day. What they'll do for coffee at that point, I don't know. I'm going to put it on the map for the time being.

You may want to confirm.  According to the web site:   "Today, Sunday, December 2, will be the last of the Little Beast Cafe"..."As of Monday, December 3, Little Beast will open at 5PM daily."  And the only day service looks like:  "Starting January 4, 2019, Little Beast will be offering BRUNCH Friday - Sunday...you will still find your favorite pastries and Vigilante coffee for brunch every weekend. (Mimosas, buttercake, cruffins, breakfast sandwiches and pizza…)"

little-beast.jpeg.73342a5678b7ff0d4ea6e2d2d1bcc21c.jpeg

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19 hours ago, dslee said:

You may want to confirm.  According to the web site:   "Today, Sunday, December 2, will be the last of the Little Beast Cafe"..."As of Monday, December 3, Little Beast will open at 5PM daily."  And the only day service looks like:  "Starting January 4, 2019, Little Beast will be offering BRUNCH Friday - Sunday...you will still find your favorite pastries and Vigilante coffee for brunch every weekend. (Mimosas, buttercake, cruffins, breakfast sandwiches and pizza…)"

little-beast.jpeg.73342a5678b7ff0d4ea6e2d2d1bcc21c.jpeg

My info was several days old; I'm sure what you posted is more current. Thanks.

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