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Central Coffee Bar (1901 N. Moore Street) in Rosslyn is officially open. Owner Mehmet Osman Coskun was thrilled that as of 8:30 a.m. on its opening day, staff already had served 200 customers.
This is his team’s first business in Arlington and they credit the county and the Rosslyn BID for helping them get through first-time business owner snags during the process of opening. “When you have a new business, you don’t know a lot of stuff… and you need support,” Coskun said. “You made your investment and you’re hoping people will help you out.”
The venue isn’t just going to be for coffee and pastries. Owners have applied for a liquor license so they can transition Central Coffee Bar into a bar in the evening. Coskun believes that the establishment’s later service hours will set it apart from others in the neighborhood.
“A lot of places in Rosslyn close by 8 p.m., so people feel like they don’t want to go somewhere at night because it’s going to close soon,” Coskun said. “But we extended our hours to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday because we do feel like people want to hang out after work and socialize and get something to drink. And we really want to appeal to the locals.”
This morning Coskun reiterated what he previously told ARLnow, that he’s interested in expanding in the county and eventually opening a coffee shop/bar in Clarendon.
Central Coffee Bar will hold a grand opening next Thursday, October 12. From 2-4 p.m. all guests will get a free coffee.
A new coffee bar in Rosslyn is set to open “very soon,” according to the cafe’s owner.
Construction is almost complete on the Central Coffee Bar in the first floor of the soon-to-redevelop RCA building at 1901 N. Moore Street, with workers starting to move furniture in. Owner Mehmet Coskun declined to give an exact timeframe, but said it should be open “very soon.”
Coskun said the spot will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, serving coffee, pastries and the like in the morning and then hosting happy hour from 5-7 p.m. He said the coffee, provided in partnership with a roastery in Annapolis, will be from the best beans available.
“We will have very fresh coffee from Ethiopia, Central America, Colombia, Mexico and we will have seasonal beans, so whatever the country harvests, we’ll make sure we’re getting the best beans,” he said. “I’m doing a lot of tastings, so we will give something different than just Starbucks for people to at least try.”
Inside, Central Coffee will have leather sofas and a 60-inch electrical fireplace to make the space of just over 2,000 square feet feel intimate. Coskun said they had initially planned on having a smaller, 1,500-square-foot space, but expanded the plans after conversations with representatives from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
“We have a very cozy space where you walk in and you already feel like you want to sit down and do work or pick up your laptop and enjoy,” Coskun said. “It has that cozy environment with leather couches and with that fireplace built in and that open space. The whole thing is an open space.”
Coskun, a Pentagon City resident, said he wanted to open the coffee shop to give Arlington a locally-run option beyond international giant Starbucks. He added that the company could look to expand in the county too, depending on the success of its first location.
“We do want to be Arlington County’s coffee shop,” Coskun said. “We’re looking for a second location somewhere in Clarendon, and we want to continue to grow in Arlington before we grow anywhere else. We are going to be the local guys.”
(Updated at 8:35 a.m.) The line wrapped around the church, dozens of people deep. One woman waited 45 minutes and still hadn’t reached the front of the building while a volunteer lapped the church, passing out water to those waiting in the sticky heat.
On Wednesday morning in the Green Valley neighborhood, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church (2700 19th Street S.) again teamed up with D.C.-based celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen to serve meals to those in need. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the church has seen the number of families it helps grow.
In the past, families would gather inside Father Ray Hall for treats and coffee. There were around 200 families that would participate, and the gatherings created a close community feel. Since then the number of families has increased to an average of 630, and the indoor gatherings have moved outside in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
On Wednesday, World Central Kitchen served more than 3,580 meals to those in need at the church.
This is the second time the nonprofit and the church has worked together. The first time was on May 22 when 3,200 meals were served.
“I heard that it was very good. They really enjoyed having something… it’s like having a restaurant come to them,” said Sally Diaz-Wells, the church’s social justice and outreach minister.
The church normally holds weekly food drives on Wednesdays, gathering groceries and commonly needed food items such as bread, meat, and cheese, as well as shelf-stable items like pasta, beans and mac and cheese for the kids.
“We try to have low-sugar foods and high-protein foods in each of our bags,” said Diaz-Wells.
To provide a safe experience on Wednesday, the church placed 6-foot markers on the sidewalk in front of the building to guide people with social distancing. Organizers also ensured contactless pickup by placing the bags on chairs 6 feet away from both the entrance to the building and the rest of the line, and calling recipients forward when it was their turn. They also offered masks and required 100 percent mask-wearing.
Those interested in donating food to the church find a list of items on its website. Financial donations are also accepted.
Diaz-Wells emphasized the importance of the staff’s health to keep the food drives running each week.
“We’ve been blessed. We’ve been healthy and safe since the beginning,” she said.
Photo by Jay Westcott
Okay, hear me out: orange juice, espresso and a dash of caramel over ice.
Reactions in the ARLnow office were mostly negative, but the reporter who actually tasted it at the new This is Fine Coffee in Clarendon now swears by it.
The small coffee shop — which replaced Blümen Cafe at 2607 Wilson Blvd. — had its soft opening today, but co-owners Jason Blevins and Anna Tsybko said they’ve already started seeing more customers than they were expecting.
Blevins chalks some of that up to his Java Shack background: he worked at Java Shack from 2012 to 2014, before the local coffee shop was taken over by Commonwealth Joe and ultimately closed last year. Blevins said he wanted This is Fine Coffee to have a laid-back vibe similar to Java Shack and to serve as a local gathering place and an exhibition space for artists, some of whom already have art on display in the cafe.
Many of the customers at This is Fine Coffee are former Java Shack regulars, Blevins said, at which point two of the customers nodded in confirmation.
The signature drink at This is Fine Coffee is bumble coffee, the aforementioned orange juice/espresso/caramel mix. This is Fine Coffee’s owners said it’s a popular drink in Russia and Ukraine, where Tsybko is from and where Blevins spent time working on a documentary.
The contents can sound off-putting, so Tsybko says she sometimes makes it for friends and gets them to try it before saying what’s in it. But Tsybko and Blevins fell in love with the drink there and decided to bring it back home to Arlington.
While it sometimes feels like you can’t shake a stick along Wilson Blvd without hitting a dozen coffee shops, Tsybko and Blevins said the intensely personal feeling of This is Fine Coffee sets it apart.
“Many of the decorations here are from our apartment,” Tsybko said.
“We’re not a chain, or aspiring to be a chain,” Blevins said.
The pair said the name is an allusion to the decidedly unpretentious atmosphere of the cafe. Tsybko said it was sort of a self-aware reflection of the way people talk about where they want to meet and get coffee.
While a lot of new coffee shops are very into the science and classification of coffee and the idea of coffee mixing as an art form, Blevins said the name is a throwback to coffee shops as a community-oriented place where people can pull up a laptop and work or meet up with friends.
(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A new cafe and bar is now open in Clarendon.
“East West Coffee and Wine” opened last week at 3101 Wilson Blvd, serving tapas, coffee, wine, and more. It joins a bevy of other coffee shops — including chain locations and indie cafes — in the Clarendon area.
According to permits, East West has a seating capacity of up to 65 inside. In warmer months, the restaurant will have seating for up to 34 guests outside.
“I’m excited to see returning customers already, and some people who showed up on Monday and Tuesday were already back on Wednesday,” owner Mehmet Coskun tells ARLnow.
Coffee selections include nitro cold brews, espresso drinks including cortados, and more. Its food menu features small-plate tapas, include muhammara, which Coskun describes as hot pepper dip made from “feta cheese, walnuts, red peppers, and garlic.” The cafe also offers a brunch menu available only on weekend mornings.
It’s the second location for East West. The first location, formerly known as Central Coffee Bar, opened two years ago in Rosslyn (1901 N. Moore Street). It rebranded recently as “East West Coffee and Wine” to match the new location.
Plans are already in the works for a third East West location, which is listed as “Coming Soon” to Tysons.
A new cafe and bar opening soon in Clarendon will feature a 34-seat outdoor cafe.
“We’re hoping to be open by the end of the month,” said owner Mehmet Coskun.
East West Coffee and Wine will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, per a staff report to the Arlington County Board regarding the outdoor cafe reque. The cafe, which recently applied for a beer and wine license, plans on serving both coffee and alcohol.
“Plus, we’ll have a full kitchen that’ll be able to serve tapas-style dishes to pair with wine, and brunch on the weekends,” Coskun said.
Coskun previously told ARLnow he likes having late hours because “people want to hang out after work and socialize and get something to drink, and we really want to appeal to the locals.”
Coskun opened coffee-and-alcohol joint Central Coffee Bar in Rosslyn (1901 N. Moore Street) two years ago; two weeks ago the cafe rebranded to “East West Coffee and Wine” to match its upcoming location.
The County Board is set to consider the outdoor cafe use permit at its meeting this Saturday, November 16.
A coffee bar is moving into the RCA building in Rosslyn, in place of an English language school.
Permitting applications indicate that Central Coffee Bar — also known as Cities Coffee and Bar in county filings — will replace part of the Inlingua English Center in the first floor of the building at 1901 N. Moore Street.
Workers will convert the 2,212 square feet of office space back to its original retail use. As of Friday morning, work is underway to tear up the floors and ceilings.
Inlingua will remain in the building, but with a reduced footprint.
The building is set for demolition in the next few years, to be replaced by a residential tower. The Washington Business Journal reported last month that a 407-apartment building with 12,709 square feet of ground-floor retail space has been proposed in its place.
No word yet on an opening date for the new coffee bar.
Hat-tip to Chris H.
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) It’s now possible to live in Rosslyn’s long-awaited Central Place development.
JBG announced today the opening of the residential portion of its Central Place project in Rosslyn, which is one of the tallest apartment buildings in the region. Prospective tenants can now rent studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, and tours will be available starting next week.
The 31-story mixed-use building, which is located on N. Lynn Street across from the Rosslyn Metro station, features 377 apartments with access to amenities such as a swimming pool, private cabanas and grilling areas, an outdoor fire pit and lounge, a fitness center and massage rooms. The building also has billiard tables, a library, a dog washing station and direct access to the Metro.
“The magnificent residences feature open floor plans with epicurean kitchens, fine cabinetry and expansive windows that welcome abundant light and spectacular views,” a press release for Central Place reads. “Built for entertaining, relaxation and comfort, the residences at Central Place set a new standard for sophisticated living.”
Restaurants coming to the ground floor of the apartment building include Sweetgreen, The Little Beet and Nando’s Peri-Peri. Those eateries have not yet announced their opening dates.
The residential tower is just one half of the Central Place development. Construction crews are also busy putting the finishing touches on the CEB Tower, a 350,000 square foot office building that is slated to open next to Central Place Residences early next year. The building’s main tenant and namesake is CEB, a publicly-traded company that’s currently based out of a building down the street.
When it opens, the new office building will include a public observation deck once hyped as a possible “game-changer” for Rosslyn. Cava Grill and Compass Coffee also have both signed leases to open in the office tower. It’s not clear whether those businesses will open at the same time as the office building or at a later date.
Workers first broke ground on the massive construction project a little over two years ago.
“The development of Central Place is one of Rosslyn’s most important milestones since the Metro came to town. It’s an embodiment of our community’s transformation from a commercial district into an active, mixed-use center,” said Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick in a statement. “The observation deck and public plaza, key components of the Central Place development, are set to immediately become important community gathering places and iconic features in our neighborhood.”
Read the full press release from JBG, after the jump.
A new non-Starbucks coffee shop has opened in Ballston.
Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning at 4401 Wilson Blvd, Ste. 103, its first Arlington location and the first of six planned for the D.C. area.
Nearly two dozen people were at the opening, taking advantage of a mug giveaway for the first 250 customers and free coffee all day today (Wednesday). In keeping with the cafe’s rock ‘n’ roll theme, there was also live music.
Prices range from $1.95 to $3.75 for coffee, $3.50 to 4.95 for a latte and are as high as $5.50 for “artisan” drinks like a Raspberry Cookie Crumble coffee. Tea, sandwiches, wraps, breakfast foods, salads and pastries are also offered.
More about Rock ‘N’ Joe and its opening, from a press release:
After the New Jersey-based Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar franchise was bought by Pittsburgh-based franchisor Ablak Holdings last year, the ‘third-wave’ coffee bar which boasts award-winning coffee and artisan coffee drinks in a relaxed, hip environment, will mark its national expansion Wednesday in Ballston’s busy Wilson Boulevard strip. Five more stores are to open in the D.C. metro area within the next few years.
“People’s desire for that perfect cup of coffee, shot of espresso, or specialty drink isn’t slowing down. What’s been missing is the third-wave coffee-making experience, where baristas showcase the art form of artisan beverage-making,” said Varol Ablak, president and CEO of Ablak Holdings. “Rock ‘N’ Joe’s provides entrepreneurship opportunities for baristas who want to do what they love – work with one of the best roasters in the world, and achieve the financial success that is the hallmark of all of our franchisees.”
From bean to roast and brew, Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar offers signature blends of coffee with smooth taste, providing an alternative to specialty chains known for the powerful, burnt taste of their brews. This quality has earned Rock ‘N’ Joe accolades from customers and recognition from industry experts including the Specialty Coffee Association of America “Golden Cup” Award, and New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s “Best Coffeehouses North.” The roaster, Dillanos, has received accolades including “Best Roaster in North America,” Roast Magazine.
Franchise owner Talha Sarac, the CEO of Ideal Development, invested in a multi-unit agreement to open five stores in the D.C. metro area, with potential to expand beyond that in the market. The first stores, to be managed by Operating Partner Alex Andrade, will be developed within the next two or three years.
“I’m a coffee snob,” Sarac said. “The coffee is really the best I’ve tasted. And I like the concept of a high-quality coffee shop that offers people a decent alternative to the other big coffee shop companies. Rock ‘N’ Joe is different and there’s a huge demand for such an alternative in this market. I see what people are looking for and I know the neighborhood coffee shop atmosphere with really good coffee will appeal to them.”
Rock ‘N’ Joe’s award-winning, Seattle-based roaster sources coffees from East Africa, Central and South America, and the South Pacific. Dillanos has established strong relationships with partners at origin to ensure the consistency of its supply chain. The “cupping” team spends countless hours verifying quality and profile to ensure that each cup meets a rigorous standard. A “marriage” of age-old roasting techniques combines with modern drum roasters to fully develop each bean.
“Much like the art form of the music playing in the backdrop of each Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar, the craft of beverage-making is an art form performed by every barista,” said Sarac.
ABOUT ROCK ‘N’ JOE:
Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar is all about creative excellence. Taste the award-winning and proprietary coffee masterfully blended by one of North America’s premier coffee roasters. Savor the chef-select tastes of our pastries and food while enjoying rock ‘n’ roll music. For people with a passion for great proprietary coffee blends, food, specialty drinks and rock ‘n’ roll music, Rock ‘N’ Joe Coffee Bar is the hippest hangout in town.
Photos by Samantha Moore
The fast food chain is offering its customers either a free small hot coffee or a medium iced coffee with their meal to promote its “new specialty-grade THRIVE Farmers Coffee,” and for International Coffee Day today (Monday).
Other establishments around the area are participating in giveaways for the “holiday,” with McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts both offering free coffee today (McDonald’s is giving away a small and Dunkin Donuts a medium). Peet’s Coffee’s new Shirlington location (4115 Campbell Ave.) is also offering a buy one, get one free deal for a coffee or espresso drink.
Chick-Fil-A’s weeklong promotion goes until Saturday, Oct. 4, and is intended to raise awareness for their “farmer-direct” coffee, which is bought from farms in Central America. The company says its coffee farmers are paid directly, up to 10 times more than farmers are paid via standard trade models.
Photo via Facebook