Less than a year after it opened in Ballston, the Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar has rebranded.
Now known as the Republik Coffee Bar, the spot at 4401 Wilson Blvd made the switch “a few days ago,” according to an employee Wednesday morning. There are still various references to its former name — right down to the “Rock ‘n’ Joe” cup sleeves still in use and the murals still on the wall.
Republik still serves coffee, tea and food, including sandwiches and salads. The interior appears unchanged from its previous iteration.
The original plan had been for Rock ‘n’ Joe to open five stores in the D.C. metro area under franchise owner Talha Sarac, with the potential to expand beyond the region.
According to paperwork filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the new coffee bar is registered under Sarac’s name. Rock ‘n’ Joe no longer lists the Ballston location on its website; only its locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sarac did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokeswoman for the county’s department of community, planning, housing and development confirmed an application was submitted last month for a change of tenant for the business.
Hat-tip to Richie F.
The former KFC on N. Glebe Road in Buckingham has a new tenant: coffee and doughnut shop Dunkin’ Donuts.
KFC closed last year for what was described at the time as “maintenance,” but the new occupier has now opened its doors.
Dunkin’ Donuts serves a variety of doughnuts and coffee, as well as other offerings like teas, sandwiches and soft drinks.
This location, the 10th in the county, has space for 29 seats inside and a drive-through option. No major alterations appear to have been made to the exterior of the building.
There’s a new coffee shop and eatery in the former Mother’s Macaroons space, but it might not open in time for your early morning caffeine dose.
Chill Zone serves bubble tea, Vietnamese coffee and a signature “Volcano Mango Frap,” among other beverages, but not until it opens at 10 a.m. each day, according to its Yelp page. The cafe also serves snacks such as pan-fried rice cakes and chicken wings.
The coffee shop wasn’t open when an ARLnow reporter visited the spot just before 9 a.m. this morning, but a peek through the window revealed an interior bedecked with modern decor and colorful furniture.
Reached via Facebook messenger, a representative for Chill Zone declined to comment on the opening.
A Nespresso boutique is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The store is located adjacent to the mall’s main entrance off of S. Hayes Street, in the former Belmont Jewelers space. Demolition of the store’s interior started last month.
Belmont is relocating to a different storefront on the first level of the mall and is expected to reopen March 1.
The Nespresso store is scheduled to open at some point this spring, offering “a world of unique coffee experiences.” There are four existing Nespresso boutiques in the Washington area, according to the brand’s website: two in Tysons, one at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and another in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of D.C.
Before it was Belmont Jewelers, the storefront was home to the Tourneau high-end watch store, which was robbed by four hammer-wielding men in 2013.
Coffee With a Cop Today — The Arlington County Police Department’s district teams are holding “Coffee With a Cop” events today. The event “has no agenda or speeches” and “is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers and neighbors in your district.” [Arlington County]
Washington Blvd Closure Tonight — Expect lane closures and a 30-minute full closure of Washington Blvd (Route 27) over Route 110 overnight tonight. VDOT is replacing an aging bridge over Route 110; the project is expected to wrap up in 2018. [Twitter]
Boulevard Woodgrill Staff to Marble and Rye — Marble and Rye on Columbia Pike has hired “the entire executive staff” from the former Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon, a restaurant rep says. The hires include longtime Boulevard executive chef Paul Murad and longtime general manager Kent Lawson. The hires, we’re told, “will provide a significant upgrade in service and menu options” and will help Marble and Rye “compete with other popular destinations in Clarendon, Ballston and Shirlington.”
Neighborhood College Applications Being Accepted — “Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County’s free Neighborhood College program, which will meet on eight consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 16, 2017.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
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 presentations.
College students fall asleep in class. It’s an age-old issue. But a new solution to the problem is what prompted the launch of Sunniva, an Arlington-based “super coffee” beverage business.
A couple of years ago Jordan DeCicco was that guy who kept falling asleep in his classes at Philadelphia University. The freshman tried to stay awake using the energy drinks or pre-made coffee beverages available at convenience stores, but he didn’t like all the sugar, fat, caffeine, and calories that accompanied the beverages.
He learned about Bulletproof Coffee — a blended mixture of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil — and found that it definitely gave the energy boost he needed to stay awake through class. He tried making it in his dorm room but that wasn’t really practical for a few reasons. First, making it ahead of time and trying to chill it resulted in the butter going back to its solid form. Second, it was loaded with fat from the butter. Finally, Jordan just wasn’t a fan of the taste.
That’s when he started making his own coffee drink and it seemed to be a winner. So much so that other students took notice and DeCicco began selling the drink out of his dorm room. He felt like he was onto something and enlisted help from older brother Jake, who at the time was in business school at Georgetown University.
“We’re very much accidental entrepreneurs,” Jake says. “We were just tired college students who needed an energy boost.”
Sunniva’s combination of Colombian coffee, coconut oil, and a lactose-free milk protein is a low-fat, low-cal beverage that, according to Jake, offers a longer-term energy boost compared to other products that often provide an energy spike and a crash later. Each bottle has 90mg of caffeine, which is pretty standard for an 8 oz. cup of coffee.
Sunniva is now about a year old and based out of the WeWork space in Crystal City. Oldest brother Jim is now the CEO and joins middle brother Jake in running the business, while youngest brother Jordan has gone back to school after taking a year off following his freshman year.
The business is coming full circle and targeting the very audience from which the original idea sprouted: Sunniva has found a substantial niche market on college campuses. It therefore relies heavily on digital marketing channels that younger audiences use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and vlogs, to name a few.
“Being started by tired college kids for tired college kids, we really take advantage of this digital age,” Jake says.
The brothers often are featured in the various social media posts. “We definitely have a personality behind the brand,” Jake says. He laughs as he points out how they often go by “oldest brother, middle brother, and youngest brother” instead of by formal titles like CEO, COO, or founder.
In addition to a growing market on college campuses, Sunniva also has found a home in the cold beverage section of 32 Whole Foods stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as on Amazon.
The product is processed at an aseptic facility in Buffalo, New York. The business tried out different manufacturers and different modes of pasteurization before landing at the current facility. “We had to scale our business appropriately to get there,” Jake says.
Sunniva currently processes about 200,000 bottles per batch. The product now is made in such a way that it doesn’t require refrigeration before opening; it’s shelf-stable for nine months.
Sunniva’s business plan involves further expansion into other Mid-Atlantic and northern East Coast markets up to Boston, with a longer-term goal of becoming a national brand. But the goal for early 2017 is to work on more local market penetration. The brothers want Sunniva to be the “premier bottled coffee in the Washington, D.C. area.”
“Reaching profitability is not a metric we use right now,” Jake says. “Right now we’re really focused on our philosophy of ‘win where you live’ and being hyperlocal.”
A Manassas-based brewery is hoping to open a location in Clarendon.
Heritage Brewing Co. has started a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising $30,000 in startup costs to open a brewpub and coffee roastery on Fillmore Street, between Wilson and Clarendon Blvds.
So far, the company — which launched in 2013 with the help of another Kickstarter campaign — has raised just over $2,200.
Says the Kickstarter page:
We’ve found a vacant restaurant space in Clarendon, Arlington with the vision of making it into a fully functioning nano-brewery, coffee roastery, and small plate restaurant.
The Market Common location will be open 7 days a week with snacks in the morning and small plate meals throughout the afternoon and evening, paired with our barrel series and flagship craft beers.
In partnership with our sister company Veritas Coffee we will run a full fledged coffee bar every morning and afternoon featuring our patented cold press coffee as well as pour over and packaged varieties.
Our award-winning barrel series beers have long needed a space to call their own. In the new location, we envision giving them a chance to shine. We’ll offer barrel releases monthly, and limited edition beers aged on-site in both a variety of barrels and a seven bbl foder for unique flavor additions.
We imagine the space built out to fit our proud industrial American aesthetic. Plenty of wood barrels actively aging our beers for your enjoyment, and accents of their likeness spread throughout to adorn the space.
Your help and donations will go to outfitting the bar, purchasing glassware, barware, merchandise, fridges, menus, and paying for initial salaries of new hires. This is no small undertaking and the support we asked for during our initial start up was instrumental in the making of our success.
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Blumen Cafe, a new independent coffee, tea and pastry shop in the Clarendon-Courthouse area, has opened for business in the former CD Cellar space (2607 Wilson Blvd).
The cafe has quietly opened this week — customers are discovering it by walking by — ahead of a planned grand opening event on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Blumen Cafe reflects European and Mediterranean influences. It serves Illy coffee and espresso, from Italy, and offers 27 different types of teas, imported from Germany. Half of its pastries — cakes, baklava, etc. — are homemade from scratch, we’re told.
Owner Andira Jabbari says she started the first Blumen Cafe in Germany, after graduating from a university there, before selling it and moving to Doha, Qatar, where she started a tea shop. Jabbari moved here last year and lives in Courthouse.
The cafe is a family affair — staffed by Jabbari and her daughters. Jabbari’s brother was in the cafe this afternoon, helping out.
Asked about competition from Starbucks, Jabbari brushed it off and said the quality of her offerings will stand out. The relaxed, airy atmosphere — including a large accordion-style door up front that remains open during nice weather — will also provide a welcome alternative to the green-logoed coffee giant, she said.
Blumen Cafe is currently open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Located at 520 12th Street S., near the new Whole Foods, Commonwealth Joe offers hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks, plus baked goods and bags of their own signature roasted coffees. The star of the menu, however, is the five varieties of Commonwealth Joe’s smooth, creamy nitro cold brew coffee which are available on tap.
Commonwealth Joe offers a homey, airy space for the usual legion of laptop tappers to camp out in while sipping their coffee. Wifi is available.
Over the next week Commonwealth Joe will be operating under reduced hours — opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends. The hours will be expanded after employee training wraps up.
This is Commonwealth Joe’s first branded cafe, although the company — founded by four friends in 2012 — also operates the Java Shack in Courthouse. On 12th Street S. Commonwealth Joe will face competition from a familiar foe: Starbucks, which opened a block away earlier this summer.
Robbie Peck has the kind of founding story for his company that reinforces the artisanal cred that is fueling its growth.
Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters, which owns Java Shack in Courthouse and is opening a new flagship cafe in Pentagon City, started as a mom-and-son operation in Culpeper, Va., a coffee shop where Peck was the barista and his mother was the chief coffee roaster.
From those beginnings Peck founded Commonwealth Joe with one coffee roasting machine and three friends from college. A few years later, and now he’s just a week or two away the culmination of a lot of hard work and investment: the opening of the first Commonwealth Joe-branded coffee shop.
Located next to a new Whole Foods on 12th Street S., just two blocks from the Pentagon City Metro, the cafe will feature the company’s most popular product: nitro cold brew coffee, which is smooth, dark and served out of a keg — the Guinness beer of coffees.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we learned that Commonwealth Joe’s nitro cold brew was the result of keeping a close eye on coffee culture in New York and other trend-setting coffee cities, in addition to a lot of experimentation.
We also learned:
- It takes quite a bit of effort to pedal a tricycle outfitted with a coffee keg up a hill
- Though Peck is competing with Starbucks, he credits the company for paving the way for smaller coffee companies like his
- Contrary to the experience of other small businesses, Peck says he hasn’t encountered much trouble from Arlington County on regulatory and permitting issues so far
Our podcast sponsor is Crystal City, which is hosting its annual Pups and Pilsners beer tasting event this Sunday from 2-6 p.m.
A new independent coffee shop is slated to open at some point in the near future in the Clarendon area.
The shop, called Blumen Cafe, is coming to the space that formerly held CD Cellar at 2607 Wilson Blvd, which is about halfway between the Courthouse and Clarendon Metro stations. Signs for the forthcoming cafe state that the business is “coming soon.”
Though we were unable to contact the proprietor behind the cafe, Andira Jabbari, for comment, real estate agent Kenneth Matzkin — who helped lease the property to Jabbari — was able to provide some insight.
The cafe will bring “high-end teas and coffee” and snacks to the space as early as some time this month, Matzkin said.
“They’re putting in a boatload of money to make it look nice,” Matzkin said. “They’re also going to open it up in the front so you could walk directly to the sidewalk from the space.”
But Matzkin cautioned that the end result is still subject to change.
A Rock ‘n’ Joe coffee shop is coming to Ballston, across from Ballston Common Mall.
With existing stores in Pittsburgh and New Jersey, Rock ‘n’ Joe describes itself as “a new third-wave coffee bar design, with artisan drinks focused on quality and craft with music brewing in the décor and air.”
“At Rock ‘n’ Joe the guest will be treated to an environment that is committed to the craft of making the perfect beverage, from our drip coffee of the day, to a special single origin coffee made in a pour-over method,” the company’s website says. “Our beverage artists are committed to making the perfectly balanced delicious espresso beverages; from a shot of espresso to a vanilla latte and our signature beverages and everything in between, our goal is to ROCK you with every cup of Rock ‘n’ Joe.”
So far there’s no word as to when Rock ‘n’ Joe expects to open. A company representative has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Rock ‘n’ Joe will benefit, at least temporarily, from the impending renovations at Ballston Common Mall. The mall’s Starbucks store has closed ahead of the two-year renovation process, although there are others nearby, including two blocks away at 801 N. Glebe Road.
— Guus Bosman (@guusbosman) April 4, 2016
Hat tip to @sfuss
Arlington-based coffee startup Commonwealth Joe says its planned coffee shop in Pentagon City will be the company’s flagship location — and will offer something beyond just a morning pick-me-up.
“Arlington deserves great coffee,” Commonwealth Joe co-founder and CEO Robert Peck said Monday. “We aim to deliver powerful experiences built around that cup of coffee, and also to provide an environment that makes you feel at home and gives you a sense of place — somewhere where you want to bring your friends and family and can also have chance encounters with others in the community.”
The new Commonwealth Joe store will be located on the ground floor of The Bartlett, a new 22-story luxury apartment building that’s currently wrapping up construction at the corner of S. Eads and 12th Streets, two blocks from the Metro station.
An experience and a sense of community is a key goal for the building and developer Vornado. Thus the reason the coffee shop is planning to make “experience” a cornerstone of its offerings and is working with a top-shelf local design firm for its build-out.
From a press release: “Although they are not revealing details just yet, they say that the new space will be the first of its kind in the entire D.C. metro area, and will offer some exciting amenities for Bartlett residents and customers, including coffee cuppings and brewing classes.”
The shop’s coffee offerings include single-origin coffees, pour-overs and nitro cold brew coffee.
Commonwealth Joe is planning to open on an unspecified date “this summer,” as is the next-door Whole Foods Market. Some residents have been told that the Whole Foods is eyeing a late June opening.
The press release, after the jump.
Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.
Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.
Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.
According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.
License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.
A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.
“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”
The event is being held tomorrow (Sept. 17) at the new Bob & Edith’s Diner at 539 23rd Street S., from 4-7 p.m.
“Coffee with a Cop has no agenda or speeches,” says a flyer for the event. “The event is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your District.”
One possible topic of concern for neighbors: the as-yet unsolved murder of Bonnie Delgado Black in nearby Aurora Highlands. Black’s ex-husband’s house, also in Aurora Highlands, was searched by investigators two weeks ago but so far no arrests have been made in the case.