Arlington, VA

The Java Shack, a beloved local coffee shop in the Lyon Village neighborhood near Courthouse, is planning to close.

Commonwealth Joe, which took over the cafe at 2507 N. Franklin Road from its original owner five years ago, made the announcement Friday morning after informing staff of its plans.

Java Shack will serve its final mugs of coffee on Nov. 24, unless Commonwealth Joe can find a buyer for the business “that understands and respects the rich heritage of the cafe and the important role it plays in the community.”

One frequent customer said the loss of Java Shack would be a detriment to the sense of community that unique local businesses like it help to build.

“I live down the street from Java Shack and it’s a huge loss for me to know that they’re closing,” Jacob Gersh told ARLnow, noting that he recently filled his fourth punch card at the shop, marking 40 cups of coffee. “It’s such a powerful feeling of connection to the community to be able to sit in their garden.”

Commonwealth Joe says it was not able to negotiate a new lease that would allow it to continue operating Java Shack. It will instead focus on its Pentagon City cafe, near Amazon’s future HQ2, and its growing coffee keg business.

Maintenance of the aging building on Franklin Road — which once housed the headquarters of the American Nazi Party but is now home to Java Shack, a barber and a pet store — has been a challenge for the cafe’s owners.

“The Java Shack holds a special place in our hearts,” said Commonwealth Joe co-founder and CEO Robert Peck. “However apart from the great memories and successes we had at the cafe, our building lease brought some hardships.”

The full press release is below, after the jump.

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A new cafe, restaurant and live music venue called “The Renegade” is hoping to open later this month in the former Mister Days space in Clarendon.

Renegade is “eyeing a late October opening” in the 5,500-square foot space that once housed the popular nightlife destination before it closed in April. The new business is run by chef Patrick Crump, who formerly worked at Clarendon Ballroom, Spider Kelly’s and the now-closed Clarendon Grill, and before that cooked at the famed Inn at Little Washington.

“A renegade is someone who rejects the conventional, and I think the neighborhood is ready for something new and different,” Crump said in a statement today (Friday) of his latest, ambitious venture.

The chef said today (Friday) that his new restaurant at 3100 Clarendon Blvd aims to offer “something different than you traditional wings and nachos” when it comes to the rest of the menu.

The menu itself is set to include an dizzying array of international “stackable bites, skewers, bowls, and housemate dips” from crispy Korean chicken with a moo shu pancake to fried yucca and jalapeño aioli. Other items will be developed from Vietnamese, Thai, Egyptian, and Malaysian cuisine.

Each small dish is expected to cost between $3-5 to encourage patrons to sample several.

“I want spicy, crunchy, bright, and tart. High heat, bold flavors, and something that really grabs you from the first bite,” Crump said.

Pairing with that will be “bright, crisp rosés, rieslings, and sauvignon blancs” on Renegade’s wine list. The bar will also have 12 local craft brews on tap.

Crump previously told ARLnow about his plans to offer Stumptown Coffee, with taps along the coffee bar to serve nitro cold brew coffee.

The Portland-based coffee may be rare in the D.C., but including a coffee bar also puts Renegade in competition with a Peet’s Coffee across the street, as well as Clarendon’s other coffee mainstays: Northside Social, Starbucks, Waterhouse CoffeeBakeshopOby LeeDetour CoffeeDunkin Donuts, Heritage Brewing, and the future East West Cafe and Kaldi’s Social House.

Renegade, which Crump originally called “The Grill on Highland,” also aims to book weekly bands for live music on its 20-foot stage. The chef said he hoped to fill the hole left by longtime music cafe IOTA’s closure two years ago.

Once open, the business will operate seven days a week from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 6 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday and Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

More from a press release, after the jump.

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

Stepping inside the industrial-style space, you see a swarm of white coffee cups artfully suspended from the ceiling above a community table. The smell of fresh coffee and the sound of frothing milk washes over you.

This is Detour Coffee, a hidden gem coffee shop and bistro in Clarendon.

Follow John Ma of The Keri Shull Team and Manager Manuel Olivera inside for a look at Detour’s locally-roasted coffee, handmade pastries, delicious food and more. Detour is a great spot to drink, eat, socialize and work.

All the coffee at Detour is locally sourced from Vigilante Coffee of Hyattsville, Maryland.

Standard drip coffee or pour-overs are available. And of course Detour’s skilled baristas are standing by to create traditional espresso drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, cortados and Americanos.

On Detour’s food menu you’ll find an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and South American influences. At the counter you can find beef empanadas, baba ghanoush, labneh, churros and more. In-house bakers make pastries from scratch.

For a detour before work, try a classic breakfast sandwich like The Norwegian, a lox-and-croissant situation, or get adventurous and try the Elvis: Peanut butter and jelly on banana bread with bacon.

When the day’s work is done, you can shut your laptop lid and enjoy Happy Hour specials from 4-7 p.m. every weekday.

Detour also offers brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., complete with breakfast cocktails — so bring friends!

Want to live in Clarendon, surrounded by amazing places like Detour Coffee? Check out our Clarendon Neighborhood Guide. Contact The Keri Shull Team at (703) 952-7653 or [email protected] and we’ll help you find your next new home!

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Renegade Coffee and Kitchen is coming to the former Mister Days space at 3100 Clarendon Blvd.

“What we’ve got is full-service espresso with Stumptown Coffee,” said Patrick Crump, executive chef and owner of Renegade Coffee and Kitchen.

The Portland-based Stumptown Coffee is widely lauded, but a rare sight in the D.C. region. Taps are are being set up along the new coffee bar to serve nitro cold brew coffee. The unique offerings could help Renegade stand out, and steady daytime business could help the business afford the high Clarendon rent, but the restaurant faces plenty of competition, including a Peet’s Coffee across the street.

Other coffee competition in Clarendon competition includes Northside SocialWaterhouse CoffeeHeritage BrewingOby LeeDetour CoffeeBakeshopDunkin Donuts, Starbucks and the future East West Cafe and Kaldi’s Social House.

Crump is no stranger to Clarendon. He’s executive chef at Clarendon Ballroom, Spider Kelly’s and formerly Clarendon Grill — which closed in October after 22 years. Crump’s vision for Renegade is a full-service restaurant with an international menu — including cuisine from Morocco to Vietnam. The menu will mostly be small bites from around $3 to $5, he said.

Another part of the restaurant’s aim is helping to revive the local live music scene. The coffee bar only takes up one corner of the restaurant, so the rest is filled with seating, with plans to use some of it as a music venue — taking up the crown left unclaimed in the wake of Clarendon Grill and Iota Club and Cafe’s closures.

“We want to replace Iota for live music,” said Eric Anderson, general manager and partner. “We want to bring that back.”

In the evenings, Crump plans to turn the area into a nightclub to help carry on the Mister Days legacy.

The coffee shop is still working through some permit approvals, but the owners said they expect Renegade to open within five or six weeks. In the meantime, the company is currently hiring full and part-time baristas, servers and bartenders.

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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.

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Clarendon could be getting a new coffee shop by the end of the year.

A staff member at Kaldi’s Social Club told ARLnow in a social media message that the business is hoping to open an Arlington location by December.

Wrapping outside a ground floor retail space at Ten at Clarendon building at 3110 10th Street announces Kaldi’s is “coming this winter” and features an image of people sharing dishes with cups of coffee interspersed between the plates.

Kaldi’s flagship location in Silver Spring first opened in 2013.

In addition to coffee, the Maryland cafe offers American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves cocktails and beer. Staff did not immediately respond when asked if the Clarendon menu will be the same.

“The name Kaldi comes from an Ethiopian legend about a goat herder named Kaldi who first discovered the power of the coffee bean,” owner Tsega Haile wrote on the business’s website, noting that the D.C. area is home to the largest group of Ethiopian people outside the continent of Africa.

A year after opening, the Silver Spring shop added a rooftop lounge. Since then, it’s upgraded furniture and recently bought the nearby Pacci’s Pizzeria.

The new cafe in Clarendon will have plenty of coffee competition, including Northside Social, Peet’s, Waterhouse Coffee, Heritage Brewing, Oby Lee, Detour Coffee, Bakeshop, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and the future East West Cafe.

Image 1 via Facebook/Kaldi’s Social Club, Image 2 courtesy of Alex Koma.

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The Freshman is, both figuratively and literally, a little underground.

The restaurant comes from Nick Freshman, who’s also behind Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon. The Freshman is not planned to fully launch in its permanent home at 2011 Crystal Drive until 2020, but in the meantime the eatery has had a quiet “soft launch” across the street in Crystal City Shops.

The pop-up officially opened this morning (Thursday), at the north end of the shops at 2102 Crystal Plaza, in the former Au Bon Pain space

“We’re in plans and permitting across the street,” said Freshman, “but that process… it takes a long time, even opening in a place that used to be a restaurant. You plan and design and it could take a year.”

The plans to open The Freshman got pushed further back as the building underwent both interior and exterior renovations. Freshman said he had the equipment and a team ready to go but nowhere to set them up.

Their main location and the former Au Bon Pain are both owned by JBG Smith, so when Freshman approached the company about the idea of opening a pop-up in the empty space, the property owner was on board.

The pop-up does not offer The Freshman’s full menu. Freshman estimated it was about 40 percent of what’s to come, with dinner and cocktails planned for the main site, but the pop-up currently serves up coffee and breakfast and lunch options that Freshman said the area seemed in desperate need of.

“There’s no point in doing it if we don’t do it well,” Freshman said. “The challenge is worth it because the community is dying for a viable alternative to [existing] breakfast and lunch options.”

The breakfast and lunch offerings include a tofu scramble with vegan cheese, plus sandwiches or salads for lunch. Prices range from $6 for an egg and cheese sandwich to $14 for a Reuben sandwich.

An unofficial “soft opening ” for the restaurant started on Monday, the same day that Arlington was hit with heavy storms from which the county is still struggling to recover.

“We’re underground, so for a while it looked like we might be underwater, but we stayed totally dry,” Freshman said. “We saw more of a surge [of customers] than expected. But even in dry weather, people use this corridor. If you don’t work or live here, you don’t know about it, but if you do it’s a critical part of your movement.”

Currently, Freshman says the pop-up is planned to stay open through the end of the year, but the stay is largely dependent on how fast or slow progress is across the street.

“Right now, we’re meeting people and listening,” Freshman said. “Every night, we’ve been making tweaks to the menu, but that’s normal opening stuff.”

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Coffee Beanery, a coffee chain with locations across the northeast, is coming to Virginia Square sometime over the next few months.

“The store in Arlington is currently scheduled to open in either late July or mid-August,” a representative of the company said on Facebook.

Coffee Beanery will replace Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar, which closed in November.

Coffee Beanery “originals” include caramel, fudge, and mocha-flavored coffees. The chain offers a variety of coffees and teas, as well as sandwiches, wraps and salads. Locals missing the fruit smoothie joint may be happy to hear the chain offers assorted fruit smoothie flavors.

The representative said the store will be open from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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On Sunday, June 30 at 4 p.m., the Starbucks at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street) will close permanently.

“We would like to thank you for being part of our store community, you are the heart of who we are at Starbucks,” a letter posted on the door said, the wording identical to a letter posted at Pentagon Centre Starbucks in March.

The cafe did not meet its sales requirements for months and was therefore one of 150 Starbucks slated for permanent closure in 2019, individuals familiar with the situation but not authorized to talk to the media told ARLnow.

The letter directed Starbucks customers to the Pentagon City mall location in the food court and the Starbucks in The Arcadia at 1201 S. Fern Street, a block east of the mall.

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(Updated 2:45 p.m.) Courthouse coffee drinkers rejoice: another coffee shop is planning to move into the neighborhood.

For Five Coffee Roasters is planning to open a new cafe in the 8-story office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd, which replaced three restaurants back in 2012. On its website, For Five says the Courthouse location will open this fall.

The New York City-based coffee company roasts its own blends of dark, medium, and light coffee in its Queens headquarters and says beans are sustainability sourced from between 15 and 30 growers.

The company runs several locations in the city, as well as in D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. A planned Alexandria location is also listed on their website as opening in the fall.

For Five applied for a building permit yesterday (Thursday) to begin construction in the Courthouse office building, according to county records.

The new coffee shop will have plenty of competition. A Dunkin Donuts location is a block away while the independent Blumen Cafe is a few blocks up the street.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo via For Five Coffee Roasters.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentation

(Update 1:25 p.m.) Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters (CWJ) has a shop in Pentagon City, but the company has its eyes set on bringing cold brew to vending machines nationwide.

The company recently closed on $1.2 million in funding aimed at continuing deployment of Kegerator Vending Machines (KVM), on-tap vending machines that operate as a pay-by-the-ounce self-service kiosk. The company plans aims to raise $4 million.

The coffee shop opened in 2012, but the company pivoted toward delivering office coffee in 2017. The company currently operates the portable machines in D.C., New York, and Philadelphia.

“The $4 million raised in this round will be used to fuel CWJ’s continued growth in vending, as the tech-enabled coffee brand develops closer ties with [KVM] and continues to take a vending-first approach with its coffee program sales strategy,” the company said in a press release. “The KVM is the only one-of-its-kind in the commercial coffee market, essentially acting as a gas pump and only charging the end-user for the amount of liquid dispensed.”

The machines also allow CWJ to track statistics like consumption habits and inventory depletion. The press release noted that some of the funding is planned to go toward including new features like digital payments, automatic reordering, maintenance issue identification and service ticket creation.

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