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New deli set to replace Rappahannock Coffee on Columbia Pike

A ‘Coming Soon’ banner displayed at the site of future deli on Columbia Pike on Jan. 10, 2024 (staff photo by James Jarvis)

A new delicatessen is slated to take over the space formerly occupied by Rappahannock Coffee on Columbia Pike.

Gi Lee, the longstanding owner of the coffee shop, announced his retirement last month, marking the end of a two-decade run.

Previously, ARLnow reported that another café was expected to succeed Rappahannock, with the building’s landlord predicting a December opening.

But in a surprising twist, Jose Lopez, the new tenant, revealed that the former coffee shop, located at 2406 Columbia Pike, will instead be serving up deli fare, from Philly cheesesteaks to club sandwiches. There will still be coffee, however.

Barring any delays in receiving his permits from the county, Lopez, a Maryland resident and co-owner of the Honduran restaurant El Catrachito in Olney, says he plans to open the deli around the end of the month. Its official name will be “Columbia Pike Deli.”

The former Rappahannock Coffee signage has been taken down, and in its place, a “Coming Soon” banner now adorns the entrance. While the space will look largely the same as it had under Lee, Lopez said he plans to give the walls a fresh coat of paint and install new flooring.

When asked about his decision to open a deli, Lopez, who immigrated to the U.S. from Honduras in 1999, shared that he previously spent 16 years working at a deli in Maryland before opening his own restaurant.

“It’s my passion,” he said. “I enjoy working with the customers, working with a co-workers and I like to to cook.”

The new deli will join several other restaurants that have opened within a half-mile stretch of Columbia Pike over the last year, including Mpanadas, the Spanish tapas restaurant Sabores and Japanese restaurant Ryu Izakaya.

Another, 2910 Kitchen & Bar, is expected to open sometime this month.

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