Arlington, VA

A new high-end coffee shop is open in Arlington.

For Five Coffee Roasters opened yesterday in Courthouse, at 2311 Wilson Blvd. With every order, the cafe will serve a Nutella-stuffed cookie at no charge for the next three months, according to the owner.

“[Giving the cookies out] is us saying thank you, and we’re happy to serve you,” the owner, Stefanos Vouvoudakis said. “And giving back to the customer.”

The menu includes sandwiches and breakfast items, but Vouvoudakis is especially proud of the pastry selection at For Five, calling it “second to none.” The cafe serves a variety of cookies, including a “fruity pebbles” cookie with cream cheese frosting, plus red velvet, triple chocolate chip, and apple crumb pie filling cookies.

The coffee menu includes pour-over and cold brew options, and an espresso bar. Vouvoudakis’ favorite drink is the latte, for its “perfect balance between the milk and espresso.”

This is the second D.C. area location for the small, New York City-based chain. It has an existing location in Alexandria and others in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Vouvoudakis says For Five is also planning to open a location in Tysons within the next three to four months.

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Like its sister location in Alexandria, the Arlington branch of Sugar Shack Donuts is leaving the chain, rebranding and adding an expanded menu.

In a sign posted in the window of the donut shop at 1014 S. Glebe Road, the shop’s owners said the new restaurant will be a bakery, cafe and coffee shop called Elizabeth’s Counter. It will specialize in “delicious, sustainable and plant-based foods.”

Elizabeth’s Counter will continue to serve donuts but will add more to the menu, like plant-based burgers and bowls.

The new cafe is named after Elizabeth Gregory, reputed to be the first person to make a donut. Gregory made the donut for her son Captain Hanson Gregory, for whom the Captain Gregory’s speakeasy at the Old Town Alexandria Elizabeth’s Table (formerly Sugar Shack) is named.

“To honor that culinary event and the other food she packed for her son’s sea voyages, we have chosen her as the namesake for our new venture,” the sign said.

The Alexandria location is already in transition, and staff at the Columbia Pike location said they expect to start seeing changes gradually over the next couple weeks, with new items and updated decor. The sign said the first items will likely be the new bakery offerings, moving up to things like roasted brussels sprouts later.

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The former Starbucks space at Pentagon Row will soon be serving coffee once again.

The shopping center’s owner announced today that Origin Coffee Lab and Kitchen will be coming to the 2,000 square foot space between Basic Burger and Lebanese Taverna. It’s expected to open this summer.

The new cafe will roast its own coffee in-house.

“Origin will have a glass enclosed roastery inside the restaurant to fully display the entire roasting process to customers,” a press release explained. “The store will have 10 different origins of coffee to choose from, as well as five to six methods of brewing the beans with an Origin’s skilled baristas explaining the entire process while making a customer’s cup of coffee.”

The cafe will also serve food. The initial menu includes breakfast foods like eggs, pancakes, benedicts and avocado toasts, and “noon and night” foods like salads, sandwiches, sliders and dinner entrees.

It appears to be the cafe’s first location.

More from a press release:

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) announced today that a new full service coffee roasting house, Origin Coffee Lab & Kitchen (Origin), will join Pentagon Row in the summer 2020. Origin will feature an in-house coffee roasting experience along with a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu featuring healthy options. Located at 1101 S Joyce Street, the 2,000-square-foot eatery will be located between Basic Burger and Lebanese Taverna.

“Our concept is to offer a freshly roasted, excellent cup of coffee and amazing food all in one place,” said Andy Mekonnen, Owner. “More often than not, places with excellent food don’t have good coffee and vice versa so our goal from the on-set was to break that cycle.”

To achieve this unique concept, Origin will have a glass enclosed roastery inside the restaurant to fully display the entire roasting process to customers. The store will have 10 different origins of coffee to choose from, as well as five to six methods of brewing the beans with an Origin’s skilled baristas explaining the entire process while making a customer’s cup of coffee.

Furthermore, the beans will be directly sourced from farms to help empower farmers and eliminate middlemen. The engagement between customers, baristas, the store and farmers will help maintain the qualities that Origin Coffee Lab & Kitchen strives to achieve in their specialty shop as well as help to improve the infrastructure in and around the farms.

“Federal Realty is always on the search for exclusive brands to complement our merchant mix at Pentagon Row. We’re excited to have Origin open its first DC-area shop with us, joining the many other unique retail and restaurant concepts in the neighborhood,” said Emily Gagliardi, Director of Leasing at Federal Realty. “We are confident Origin will be right at home in Pentagon Row, providing the Arlington community with a new coffee house and dining destination.”

In addition to the coffee and dining options, Origin will also be hosting in house cupping events to allow customers to explore the coffee roasting process more in depth as well as barista trainings with various courses offered.

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Compass Coffee has opened in Ballston.

The cafe at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street opened over the weekend, an employee told us, after more than a year of anticipation. It’s located at 4100 Wilson Blvd, 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.

To celebrate the opening, Compass will be offering a “free coffee day” tomorrow, from 6 a.m.-7 p.m., according to a mall spokesman. Customers will be able to receive a drink of their choice during that time.

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, ARLnow previously reported. Beyond standard coffee shop staples, drink offerings include nitro cold brew coffee (also available in a growler), apple cider, matcha latte, maple latte, and nutella mocha.

Ashley Hopko contributed to this report

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Compass Coffee’s new Ballston location will be opening in mid-February, a company rep tells ARLnow.

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.

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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?

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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.

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(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.

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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.

Union Kitchen did not respond to several requests for comment, however, the location is now hiring, with several job listings posted online.

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.

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A new cafe and bar opening soon in Clarendon will feature a 34-seat outdoor cafe.

East West Coffee and Wine is currently under construction at 3101 Wilson Blvd, in the former American Tap Room space.

“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.

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(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.

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