Join Club

Business at Independent Pike Coffee Shop Steady Despite New Starbucks

Business is reportedly robust at Rappahannock Coffee (2406 Columbia Pike) despite a new Starbucks moving across the street.

The independent coffee shop, which once was the only cafe serving the portion of the Pike around Penrose Square, is so far not seeing negative effects from its newfound competition with the Seattle-based chain, according to owner Gi Lee.

“Our customers are loyal customers,” Lee said.

The new Starbucks opened at 2413 Columbia Pike in the middle of August, worrying some Pike residents that it would hurt Rappahannock and cause it to close. The local coffee shop had faced previous threats of demolition back in 2013 when a developer proposed building apartments on the strip of land where Rappahannock is located.

ARLnow.com observed 17 customers in Rappahannock this morning over a half hour period. At Starbucks across the street, we counted 27 customers over the course of 15 minutes.

Although the chain store sees more customers in the morning, it might not be due to customers defecting from Rappahannock. Lee said most regular customers are still coming in for their morning cup of joe, the beans for which are roasted in-house.

“Everybody likes our coffee,” he said. “It’s very fresh here.”

Rappahannock customer and vocal fan Jason Gooljar said the chain may have attracted new customers from the neighborhoods around the Pike while the local coffee shop kept its old customers. He professed his reverence for the small shop in a Facebook post, which he posted from Starbucks.

“So yes, I’m here at the Starbucks,” he wrote last Wednesday evening. “[Rappahannock] closes early.”

(Starbucks is also open three hours later than Rappahannock, which operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Starbucks is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is slow in the evening and Lee said he does not anticipate increasing the hours.)

Starbucks and Rappahannock offer two different environments, Gooljar said, and the two stores attract different types of customers.

Rappahannock has a more neighborhood feel, where customers interact with each other and the baristas, Gooljar said. Signs next to tables at the coffee shop encourage people to sit with their neighbors and meet new people.

“This store, people have made some really good friendships here,” he said.

On the other hand, Gooljar said, Starbucks is more individual — people typing away quietly on laptops or grabbing an espresso drink to go while on their commute.

One of the new Starbucks customers is South Arlington resident Kevin Keaty. He was already a loyal Starbucks customer and went to one of the chain’s stores in Pentagon City before the Columbia Pike location opened, he said.

“I really do like their products,” he said.

Horst Lummert, a new Arlington resident, visits both coffee stores and said he has noticed people in the Starbucks at night after Rappahannock has closed. On the other hand, Lummert said he sees about 20 customers in Rappahannock when he stops by in the morning. He has been a loyal Starbucks customer for many years, but he said there is something nice about visiting a local coffee shop.

“I come here because of the wonderful service,” he said. “And the coffee is pretty good.”

The manager of the Columbia Pike Starbucks referred ARLnow.com to the company’s corporate media relations department for comment.

Recent Stories

A well-regarded corner market in Rosslyn appears to be closed. When ARLnow stopped by Gallery Market & Cafe at 1800 N. Oak Street earlier this week, the lights were off,…

Local residents can now weigh in on the “future of pickleball” at the Walter Reed Community Center. A survey was sent out earlier this week by the Arlington Dept. of…

ARLnow has been hearing for some time that readers are interested in reviews of local restaurants. Just one problem: we’re far from being food critics. And we don’t have the…

Morning Notes

Pike Raid Leads to Child Porn Charges — “Federal prosecutors in Virginia have charged a former national security journalist for ABC News with a child pornography offense. James Gordon Meek,…

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list