Work is nearly complete on the interior of the space at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, on the ground floor of the Origin apartment building that was built as part of the recent renovations to what is now Ballston Quarter mall.
The new cafe will offer the same drink selection as other Compass Coffee locations — including the Rosslyn location at 1201 Wilson Blvd that opened in 2018 — but its food menu will vary slightly depending on the needs of the Ballston neighborhood, Stephanie Junkin, the manager of the new location, said. Customer favorites such as cold brew coffee and croissants will be offered in Ballston.
The cafe will host a “Free Coffee Day” on or soon after the day of its opening. Customers will be able to receive a drink of their choice at no charge on this day, Junkin said.
Compass is currently in the process of hiring baristas for the Ballston location.
Yesterday we told you about a new Clarendon cafe called This is Fine Coffee, but more importantly we told you about one of their signature drinks: an espresso, orange juice and caramel concoction called the Bumble Coffee.
It’s apparently popular in Eastern Europe, and fairly rare here stateside.
The immediate reaction in our office was that of horror upon hearing about an espresso drink made with OJ. But reporter Vernon Miles now swears by it, so much so that as this post is being written he’s en route to the office with several Bumble Coffees for a tasting by now-intrigued colleagues.
We were wondering how other Arlingtonians felt about this. Would you try a Bumble?
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.
After over a year in development, the Compass Coffee and Union Kitchen locations in Ballston Quarter look to be opening soon.
Representatives from Compass Coffee declined to comment on when the store would be open but said the delay in opening was “due to the unpredictable nature of construction.” Most of the interior of the cafe looks to be near completion, with lights installed and the counter set up.
Compass Coffee specializes in craft coffee, offering drip coffee, cold brew, classic espresso drinks, tea, and other food and drink options. The beans are imported seasonally and roasted locally in D.C.
Ballston will be the Compass Coffee’s twelfth location, ten of which are currently in D.C. Its only other Virginia location is in Rosslyn at 1201 Wilson Blvd.
The retail food outlet will be the first Virginia location for the D.C.-area food business incubator. Union Kitchen features locally-sourced produce, meats, and to-go options such as sandwiches and a salad bar.
Both stores will be located at the corner of N. Randolph Street and Wilson Blvd.
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.
(Updated at 6:45 a.m.) The Java Shack near Courthouse is closing soon, but a new local coffee shop will be taking its place.
D.C.-based Sweet Science Coffee, which was called “the best coffee shop in Washington” by the Post’s Tim Carman in 2017, is expanding into Arlington and taking over the long-time cafe space at 2507 N. Franklin Road. It had an existing location in Adams Morgan and a new D.C. location is on the way.
Sweet Science Coffee announced the plans Thursday afternoon, saying that it hoped to open by March after some renovations.
“We were not actively looking for a second location at this time, but when the opportunity came along, our decision to go for it was unanimous,” said founder Sandra Wolter, in a press release. “We will change the look, and upgrade fixtures to reflect our concept, but it won’t be a total 180. It’s about making people feel welcome, and we really hope that the neighborhood will like what we do with the place.”
More from the press release:
Good news for local coffee lovers: The Java Shack on Franklin Road will continue to be a Coffee House after the current tenants leave.
D.C. based Specialty Coffee Shop Sweet Science has signed a ten year lease and will officially take over in January.
“We were not actively looking for a second location at this time, but when the opportunity came along, our decision to go for it was unanimous,” says founder Sandra Wolter. As both of her partners, Ricardo Iglesias and Jad Bouchebel, have roots in the local community, the group was quickly sold.
For those who have not heard about the concept, Sweet Science Coffee is best known for their meticulous manual brews, often made with traditional tools like German Karlsbad Brewers or Chemexes.
Another staple are their hands-on classes and events that aim to make specialty coffee fun and approachable.
But no one needs to fear long wait times as the brew bar is only one part of the shop. Espresso based drinks, quick drip coffees, teas and seasonal specials are made with just as much care, but faster.
The new owners will rename the space, but say they are respectful of the almost 25 year long tradition of the Java Shack. “We will change the look, and upgrade fixtures to reflect our concept,” says Wolter, “but it won’t be a total 180. It’s about making people feel welcome, and we really hope that the neighborhood will like what we do with the place.”
As for offers besides coffee and tea, the menu will feature pastries made from scratch by the groups’ pastry chef in DC, rotating soup and toast options for lunch, as well as snacks. Eventually, a small wine and craft beer selection is planned as well, for guests to enjoy in the evenings.
Sweet Science Coffee plans to open by March 2020.
The Coffee Project Group behind Sweet Science Coffee consists of Ricardo Iglesias, Entrepreneur, Realtor and Builder in Arlington for more than 30 years, Jad Bouchebel, Marketing Professional and serial Entrepreneur (Wilson Hardware, JBC Events, Provision no 14) and Sweet Science Founder Sandra Wolter, a fifth generation Coffee Professional, Coffee Business Consultant and former TV Journalist.
Arlington County Police are looking for a man who allegedly stole money from a tip jar and then bit a would-be Good Samaritan who tried to stop him.
The incident happened this past Thursday at Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters in Pentagon City, according to scanner traffic at the time.
“At approximately 1:47 p.m. on November 7, police were dispatched to the report of a fight,” an ACPD crime report says. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered a business in the 500 block of 12th Street S. and stole money from a tip jar before fleeing the scene on foot.”
The suspect was “tackled” by a bystander after running out of the business, according to police radio traffic, but after a brief struggle was able to get free and flee the scene.
More from the crime report: “Two employees of the business began following the suspect and called for help. Two bystanders caught up to the suspect and became engaged in a struggle with him. The suspect bit one of the bystanders, broke free and fled on foot prior to police arrival. The bystander sustained minor injuries.”
Because the bite reportedly drew blood, the suspect is now wanted on a charge of malicious wounding.
“The suspect is described as a black male, 25-29 years old, with facial hair and dreadlocks, wearing a gray sweatshirt with a black hood, gray sweatpants and red headphones,” the crime report said. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Renegade Opening Today — “The Renegade, the new two-story coffee shop, restaurant, and live music venue from chef Patrick Crump is opening this Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. in Arlington.” [Press Release]
Hoskins Questions Amazon’s Arlington Location — “[Fairfax County Economic Development Authority CEO Victor] Hoskins helped land corporate giant Amazon for Arlington, but now says the company probably should have located in Fairfax County, with its larger, more diverse, pro-business environment. The county’s 120 million-square-foot office market is three times larger than Arlington’s, he noted.” [InsideNova]
ACFD Collects Supplies for Shelters — “More than 1600 pounds of supplies for shelter animals have been collected by Arlington County firefighters in the past four years in what has been dubbed ‘Operation Firepaws,’ with the donations going to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.” [WJLA]
Nats Rally at Long Branch ES on TV — “The students and teachers at Long Branch Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia [were] showing off their Natitude” during a rally on Wednesday. The Nats won big last night, by the way. [Fox 5]
Century-Old Sentinel Gets Big Welcome at DCA — “This morning we welcomed Jack, the oldest living retired Sentinel at 100 years young, on a special trip to DC to see his name posted on a plaque of the Wall of Honor in the barracks. Jack danced his way off the flight and into everyone’s hearts.” [Twitter, CBS News]
GMU to Expand Va. Square Campus — “George Mason University wants to transform its Arlington campus into an ‘innovation district’ as it kicks off an Amazon-inspired overhaul… Mason expects to use the expansion to add 3,000 to 4,000 graduate students to the campus by 2024.” [Washington Business Journal]
Man Arrested For Assaulting Police in Ballston — “At approximately 8:32 p.m. on September 11, police were dispatched the report of a disorderly subject inside a restaurant who had allegedly been throwing items and threatening staff. Upon police arrival, the business staff requested the subject be banned from the property. While speaking with the subject, he threatened an officer and took a defensive stance. While placing him under arrest, the subject became combative, kicked and spit at the officers.” [Arlington County]
Home Inventory Tight in Arlington — “New listings in Arlington declined 16.5% in August compared with last year, said Chris Finnegan, vice president at Bright MLS. The median sale price for all home types in the 22202 ZIP code, where Amazon is building and staffing up HQ2, was $749,000 in August. It’s a 23% jump since the company made its HQ2 announcement in November 2018.” [Washington Business Journal, InsideNova]
Tech Company Picks Arlington for U.S. HQ — ” Varjo, the technology leader in industrial-grade VR/XR headsets, today announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters… in Arlington, Virginia, located just outside of Washington D.C.” [Varjo via Potomac Tech Wire]
Potomac Kempo Now Open — Martial arts studio Potomac Kempo yesterday held a grand opening ceremony for its fifth location, at 3650 S. Glebe Road, in the Potomac Yard area. The studio started holding classes on Aug. 31, we’re told. [Facebook]
Video: USS Arlington Crew Welcomed at Fire Station — “Crew members from the USS Arlington were welcomed at Arlington’s Fire Station 5 before running in the The Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial Race. The USS Arlington honors the 184 victims and the thousands of emergency, fire and rescue personnel of Arlington County and localities in the National Capital Region who provided critical emergency assistance after the attack on 9/11.” [YouTube]
A fresh new cafe and Asian eatery called Open Kitchen is now open in Rosslyn.
The cafe is tucked away on the ground floor of Arlington Tower (1300 17th Street N.) but seemed relatively busy this morning (Monday), with several customers ordering their coffee and heading upstairs. In addition to Lavazza coffee and espresso drinks, the cafe serves tea and fruit smoothies.
Open Kitchen is open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast offerings include oatmeal, omelettes and egg sandwiches. Lunch items include bibimbap and Japanese bento boxes for around $10.
The little cafe opened last Monday (Aug. 5) and is still working out some of the kinks; staff said wifi for guests is still in the works.