Oby Lee Winery and Coffee Shop Opens in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com June 27, 2012 at 11:00 am 9,577 36 Comments

The new Oby Lee Winery and Coffee Shop has opened at 3000 Washington Boulevard in Clarendon.

The restaurant is the inland version of the small chain of eponymous coffee shops owner Oby Lee once ran along the Delaware Shore. In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, the eatery also offers (via its flat screen TV menu displays) pastries, salads, fruit smoothies, wine, and tapas dishes. Seating is available both inside and outside the establishment.

Oby Lee is still in the “soft opening” stage, and is hoping to hire and train staff soon. While it was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday — its first day in business — Lee says he hasn’t set any definitive store hours yet. A more formal grand opening is expected later this summer.

  • Rachel

    Def not what the block needs, far from it. At least it’s
    Not Starbucks :/

    • ClarendonDweller

      What does the block need if not an independent business that serves two of the most popular beverages known to man? I’m thrilled that a dead block (aside from the cars whizzing by) is getting some life.

      • Clarendon

        I like it, and I think now we are full in the wine/coffee category and also the Mexican category with the new place at Market Tavern.

        Earlier, there was a question as to whether Oby roasted beans onsite. So they ? I think that would be a unique draw for them. I lived in Forida for a few months near a place that roasted beans it seemed like every day and the coffee was really good.

        • karzai

          Excellent comment, both on wine/coffee saturation and Mexican saturation. I had heard DC Coast group bought Market Tavern and was going to do seafood, but I guess my intelligence was wrong on that.

        • DCCHughes

          We ran into the owner the other night. At the other stores they do roast on site, but aren’t able to do that at this location yet. Apparently they need a special permit to do so, and they haven’t gotten it from Arlington yet. He indicated it would be a while before that part of the store is in place, between finishing the permit process and actually obtaining and installing the roaster.

  • 1RLI

    “Lee says he hasn’t set any definitive store hours yet.”

    What?!?! Scandal!!! It’s Sam’s all over again!!

    • drax

      It’s so rude of him.

      • karzai

        Except, with this store, we have photographic proof that it is open. Which is something we lack in the case of Sam’s Corner…. The issue of Sam’s hours came up because almost no one had ever seen it open. So, your analogy fails…

  • Karzai’s Mammy

    Lee says he hasn’t set any definitive store hours yet

    Don’t tell Karzai.

    • karzai

      Karzai is helping this new store set its hours. not to worry.

  • John

    Actually it’s a nice low-key, independent cafe that will make good use of that plaza that is most always empty. It’s just what that block needs.

    • karzai

      Definitely a major boost for that block and that little plaza, which was totally lifeless until now.

    • Jane-Dallas

      How much larger did that building get to be since they provided a windswept plaza as an “amenity”?

      • nom de guerre

        I thought the 7-11 was the “amenity.”

      • karzai

        This new coffee and wine store seems to be quite happy with the “windswept plaza” and seem to be doing a brisk business on it. Hopefully that building will get a decent tenant for the Hollywood Tan space that was vacated recently.

        • nom de guerre

          What happened to your bagel place?

          • karzai

            Lost the bagel recipe.

  • LP

    Walked by two days ago and saw a handful of people sitting outside…I hope this place does well and the new apartment complex across the street should only add to the foot traffic in that area which should help as well.

  • TJLinBallston

    It’s more than welcome. That was a dead block. Quizno’s indeed!

  • Doh!

    I don’t drink wine or coffee so I am clearly SOL

    • D'oh!

      Hey, what they hell?

      • D'oh!


        • Doh!

          apologies for the name rip, will kill it now.

    • SOL?

      = Sad Old Lady?

      • Tabs

        S*it outta luck.

      • drax

        Standards of Learning

      • nom de guerre

        A brand of beer/cerveza

      • Mack

        Soda Or Pop

  • Roycroft

    I used to go to Oby Lee at Rehoboth beach. It was a great coffee shop. I am glad to have one here in Arlington. I hope they do well.

  • Mary-Austin

    At least it’s not another wannabe-guido bar.

    • Guido


      • Frito Pie


  • Tabs

    Maybe they’ll deliver to the nail salon so customers can sip vino whilst having feet scrubbed.

    • lala

      Best idea ever.

  • Betsy LaSalle

    I have had Obys coffee and pastries. They are wonderful. At least give it a try.

  • $5 for a sip of wine, huge rip off. I’m not exaggerating at all, it’s literally a sip of wine, for $5! I thought the machine was broken, I recommend not going here.


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