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For many people living in Arlington, coffee is an absolute lifesaver. Java can help perk you up for the traffic-filled commute in or out of Washington D.C., keep you alert through the early morning workflow, or just make your telework video call a bit more lively.
As one might expect for such a versatile bean, there are plenty of spots around Northern Virginia that serve up a fine cup of joe — and on this week’s edition of the Neighborhood Spotlight, we want to share some of the Keri Shull Team’s favorite coffee shops in Arlington! All three of these cafes are open and following appropriate COVID-19 regulations, so you can still enjoy their brews in-house or with takeout options.
Do you know of a cafe, restaurant, or other space for local leisure that you’d like us to highlight next? Make sure to let us know down in the comments — we’d love to check them out!
With 12 locations across D.C. and Northern Virginia, Compass Coffee is one of the swiftest-growing coffee companies on the east coast. Compass was originally founded as a single location in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C., but in the 6 years since, it has spread to a dozen cafes in the D.C. area — including a spot right next to the Rosslyn Metro Station!
The Rosslyn cafe, sitting at 1201 Wilson Boulevard, was Compass’s first foray across the Potomac. This warm, cozy coffee shop rests on the ground floor of the CEB tower, the same skyscraper where Arlington residents can enjoy the “View of DC” Observation Deck.
For those that prefer to enjoy a cup at home, Compass also sells their beans in pre-ground, 5 lb bags or as convenient single-serving K-cups for Keurig machines. You can find these for sale in their cafes or on their online store.
Whether you want to get your day started right or want to wind down with a glass of wine at the end of a long day, Northside Social has you covered!
There are two Northside Social locations, both of which are in Northern Virginia. The first is in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, at 3211 Wilson Boulevard. The second is in Falls Church at 205 Park Avenue.
If you want to read a more in-depth exploration of Northside Social’s offerings and atmosphere, make sure to check out the dedicated Northside Social Neighborhood Spotlight that we published early last year!
During the COVID-19 regulations in Virginia, Northside is offering dine-in and takeout options. By the way, here’s a pro tip for taking home food and drink from this stellar cafe: if you fall in love with one of the wines there, you can take a bottle home with you… and get it for $20 less than the listed bottle price at the same time!
East West Coffee Wine
Also in Rosslyn, just a few blocks away from Compass Coffee, is our last cafe for the day. East West Coffee Wine offers — as the name so subtly suggests — both java and vino, in addition to a full menu of savory and sweet foods.
The fine folks at East West focus on turning high-quality beans into high-quality drinks — so no matter whether you’re a NitroBrew newbie or an espresso expert, you’ll be able to appreciate the care and craft that go into your drink!
Like Northside, East West also offers a selection of fine wines. When it comes to both the uppers and the downers, East West Coffee Wine is dedicated to educating their customers. So make sure to come by one of their two Arlington locations and have the most delicious educational experience of your life!
If you just have to have your morning joe, Arlington certainly has you covered. These are just 3 of our favorite coffee shops in Arlington, but there are plenty more around that we haven’t even tried. So, what’s your favorite spot for a shot of espresso or pour over? Let us know down below in the comments!
Are you interested in buying or selling a home now in Arlington or anywhere else in the D.C. area? The Keri Shull Team — the top-selling real estate team in the D.C. area — is standing by to help you, so contact us today! All you need to do is click here to schedule a time for a free, no-pressure Real Estate Consultation with one of our local experts.
Eclairons, a new French pastry shop, opened in the former Bean Good space in Rosslyn earlier this month.
The restaurant, at 1737 Wilson Blvd in the Colonial Village Shopping Center, serves coffee and baked goods. Signs posted earlier this year, near the start of the pandemic, said it would also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A new sign above the front door says the business is now hiring.
Eclairons does not yet have a functioning website, but the business has started to post on social media.
“At Eclairons you can enjoy a fine selection of desserts, pastries, and coffee rarely found at other pastry shops,” says the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Eclairons is managed by Maurice Pastries — serving the D.C. area with the finest pastries for over 35 years.”
More via social media:
This just in – Pumpkin is here! Enjoy a specialty pumpkin milkshake, pumpkin latte, or pumpkin chai latte as part of our seasonal menu :)See you soon!
Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery has reopened after its storefront was remodeled with COVID-19 precautions in mind.
During the restaurant’s nearly five month closure, its kitchen was remodeled to allow for physical distancing between employees and to minimize the amount of germs in the air. With the changes in place, Bayou opened its doors on Monday for takeout and patio dining.
Shelves now hang 10 feet above the floors, a new ventilation system whirs between the walls and an industrial fan maintains air flow throughout the space. A touch-free faucet was also added to the store’s bathroom, and a hands-free mechanism was installed to open its door.
The restaurant’s landlord provided funding in recent lease negotiations to make the remodel possible. Owner and chef David Guas said these changes were a must for Bayou Bakery to operate amid the pandemic.
“I feel it would have been negligent to not have put these measures into place before reopening our doors,” Guas said. “These newly adopted practices are going to be necessary moving forward — our industry now carries a very important responsibility when it comes to safety.”
Bayou Bakery originally closed its in-person dining on March 16, following a statewide order from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. According to Guas, sales dropped by 70% between March 16-31 and the restaurant cut its 2o person staff to 10.
While Bayou Bakery still offered takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery during this time, Guas said staying open became unsustainable. On April 1, the restaurant fully closed.
Despite not serving customers, Guas used his facilities to support Chefs Feeding Families. He co-founded the project, which provides free grab-and-go meals to local school children and their families impacted by the pandemic, with McLean-based group Real Food for Kids in March as schools began to close.
“Key Elementary Schools is near my restaurant — there were about 300 kids on the meal plan when the school shut down,” Guas said. “I looked at my employees in the kitchen and thought of their children who went to that school. I asked myself how would they and so many others be fed? How many more would be affected?”
Guas said the project allowed him to keep four employees working, and Bayou Bakery has served about 400-500 meals a day to families impacted by school closures and job losses.
Since March 17, six other restaurants including Silver Diner, Rasa Grill and Pizzeria Paradiso have joined the effort. According to Bayou Bakery, Chefs Feeding Families has served over 90,000 meals at its 21 D.C. region pickup locations as of August 25.
All meals are vegetarian and no ID or proof of need is required to pick one up.
“It was important to us that we were presenting healthy and inclusive options that would appeal to as many people as possible,” Guas said. “I have faith in people and those who came out of their way to get a meal, so the honor system is the way we approached [giving out meals]. By not requiring ID, it opened the doors for us to reach so many more families in need.”
Now, while continuing to support Chefs Feeding Families, Bayou Bakery is open for “Grab N’ Geaux” takeout, delivery and socially distant dining on its patio. Meals like buttermilk biscuit sandwiches and chicken and smoked gumbo are available on an abbreviated menu.
Photos courtesy Bayou Bakery
“We’re opening — a soft opening — on Saturday,” Haile said. “We’ll have free espresso drinks and free juice. That’s for Saturday and Sunday.”
Haile said the location will be selling fresh croissants and such this weekend, but full service starts in earnest on Tuesday with food, beer and wine being offered. Kaldi’s has a Virginia ABC license and will have beer at 16 of its 20 taps — the other four are for nitro cold brew coffee.
Haile said the menu will be substantially different from his popular Silver Spring coffee house by the same name. Breakfast will focus on smoothies, toast, waffles and sandwiches, while afternoon meals will be more soup and salad focused. The one item carrying over from the other location is the restaurant’s vegan Italian toast — a local favorite.
The interior will have social distancing, Haile said, with signs around the restaurant and on the floor telling customers where to stand. Tables will be assigned with over six feet of distancing between seats, according to Haile.
“It’s mixed feelings,” Haile said. “With the COVID situation, we weren’t expecting to open, but we are now. We wanted to make it big, but with the pandemic, we couldn’t do that. But we’re happy being in Arlington. We are so excited.”
Photos courtesy Kaldi’s Social House
Despite everything, Sandra Wolter is hoping to have a coffee shop up and running in the former Java Shack space by Labor Day (Sept. 7).
It’s been a long few months for Sweet Science Coffee, which Wolter co-owns. The local coffee brand launched its own location in D.C. after years in shared spaces just months before the pandemic hit the region. The hopes were to get the location up and running by March, but even the hoped-for September opening is tentative.
“It’s hard to say with everything going on,” Wolter said. “Ideally shooting for Labor Day weekend, roughly two months from now. The groundwork is laid so I carefully say COVID-willing, if nothing happens, we should be able to make that timeline.”
The permitting has taken about 4.5 months, Wolter said, though she’s unsure how much of that is due to COVID-19 and how much of that is the process.
“We’ve applied for permits to upgrade the space,” Wolter said. “We just got those permits last week, so we can move forward with plumbing and electrical work. It’s an old building, so there’s a lot to be done.”
Sweet Science Coffee has also applied for a license to serve wine. The location, at 2507 Franklin Road near Courthouse, has an outdoor area that Wolter is hopeful can be turned into an outdoor patio. The cafe could also potentially focus more on home delivery of items and pre-orders for popular pastries, if in-person business is light.
Wolter said she is lucky that the former Java Shack space won’t have to undergo too many adjustments, with takeout coffee already planned before the pandemic.
“Coffee is a grab-and-go thing early in the mornings, so that works in everyone’s favor,” Wolter said.
What will be put on the back burner, Wolter said, are plans to offer classes for home coffee brewing and other coffee-related events. Those sorts of classes often require close contact and sharing of objects that just don’t work amid a pandemic.
“It’s a weird mixture between excitement and fear,” Wolter said of the opening. “With everything that’s happened… we’re excited to be moving forward. A lot of people in Arlington really like the space and would like it to be a coffee shop again. We’re happy to be able to get back to that and do something. But as a business owner you always crunch the numbers — like what we’re able to do.”
Photo via Sweet Science Coffee/Facebook
Don’t Ride Metro Unless You Must, Says Metro — “Effective… Wednesday, March 18 — and continuing until further notice — Metro service will operate as follows: Rail system hours and service levels are further reduced to support essential travel only. DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Follow guidance from your state and local authorities. New hours: Weekdays 5AM-11PM, Sat/Sun 8AM-11PM. Trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times.” [WMATA, Twitter]
Utility Disconnections, Evictions Suspended — Arlington County has suspended water disconnections, Dominion has suspended power disconnections, and courts in Virginia has suspended evictions, giving those who are unable to pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak a chance to stay in their homes. [Twitter, Dominion, Press Release, Twitter]
Police Can Now Enforce State Crowd Ban — “I just issued an emergency order with @VDHCommissioner to enforce Virginia’s statewide ban of more than 10 patrons in restaurants, theaters, and fitness centers. Please use common sense. If you were considering ignoring this limit — don’t.” [Twitter, Gov. Ralph Northam]
Compass Coffee Lays Off Most Employees — “”Compass Coffee, a DC based company just laid off 180 of their 200 employees abruptly.” [PoPville]
Vintage Restaurant Group Shutters Locations — The operator of iconic local restaurants Ragtime, Rhodeside Grill and William Jeffrey’s Tavern is closing its locations until further notice. [Twitter]
Four Courts Donates Extra Food to AFAC — “We just dropped off fresh produce @AFACfeeds… their need is still great.” [Twitter]
Marymount Extends Online-Only Classes — “In order to continue ensuring the health and safety of the campus community, Marymount University will extend its online-only class period to Tuesday, April 14 (previously March 30), as the greater Washington region sees increased cases of COVID-19.” [Press Release]
Macy’s Closes Stores Nationwide — “Macy’s is closing all of its stores nationwide, effective at the end of business Tuesday through March 31, to try to help curb the spread of COVID-19.” [CNBC]
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.
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.
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
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?