Local coffeehouses winning the java wars

Despite the sluggish economy (and the recently-announced store closings from Starbucks), I opened my Post today to discover that local coffee shops don’t seem to be affected by whatever’s ailing the corporate behemoth. Post reporter Michael Rosenwald even writes that Arlington’s Java Shack seems to be flourishing:

In fact, [Java Shack owner Dale Roberts] is more than fine. His first-quarter sales were up 23 percent. The second quarter: up 12.5 percent. His foot traffic is up. His business is energized. Not only has Roberts survived an onslaught of Starbucks shops — there are several within a couple of miles — now he feels he is doing to them what everyone thought they would do to him: beating ’em.

I haven’t been by that particular store, but the smaller java suppliers I’ve tried seem to be doing a superb job at feeding the DC area’s coffee addiction. My new roommate is a fervent devotee of Murky Coffee‘s Clarendon location, and I loved patronizing their DC store until it closed down. I’ve been known to conduct college interviews at Misha’s in Alexandria and I can’t wait for Peregrine Espresso to open at Murky’s old DC location.

600 Starbucks stores closing down or not, there are still three outposts within a couple of blocks of my office in DC. I can’t imagine it’s a losing proposition to supply our fair city’s caffeine addicts (thousands of lawyers, lobbyists, government workers and staffers can’t go without!) Any favorite local coffee shops you, our readers, would recommend?

4 Comments so far

  1. ajw93 on July 14th, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

    Dude, if anyone is located near the intersection of 15th & Vermont (McPherson Sq

  2. ajw93 on July 14th, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

    OK — this time WITHOUT clicking "Submit" prematurely…

    Dude, if anyone is located near the intersection of 15th & Vermont (McPherson Square station), I cannot recommend the MoJoe coffee cart highly enough. It’s run by 2 transplants from Florida, Marcus and Moses. They’re cheerful, talkative guys who work hard to make your coffee just the way you want it. It took them all of 4 days to get to notice me coming out of the metro and they had my coffee ready for me before I even got across the street to their cart. It is basically the only thing I miss about being a government contractor.

    At my current job, we’re in a PITA location and there aren’t any coffee shops around that I have found so far. Sigh.

  3. whiskeyboarder on July 18th, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    My sister lives in the District, on Capitol Hill in fact, and I visit from Florida often. Walking to the Eastern Market Metro during my last trip to D.C. invoked the greatest feeling of disappointment because of the loss of Murky Coffee!!

    I am a slave to Starbucks here in Tampa (home of everything franchised) and really loved the convenience of such an extraordinary javahouse so conveniently located to my sister’s place in D.C.

    Whoever is replacing Murky has large shoes to fill by my estimation. But I look forward to seeing if they are up to the task.


  4. donna on July 25th, 2008 @ 12:55 am

    Rappahannock Coffee (2406 Columbia Pike, a few blocks east of Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse) is a cozy joint that roasts their beans on site, which makes the neighborhood smell great. And they’ve made a coffee drinker out of me. ‘Nuff said.

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