DC might as well as be the coffee capital of the country. With the ever growing number of coffee shops including new chains, coffee has become a mainstay. DC has quite a selection of indie coffee shops such as Coffee Bar as well as the introduction of new chains such as Joe & the Juice. Of course, at one point coffee shops were about coffee…that is no longer the case! Coffee shops have become event spaces, social centers, work spaces, and more!
Caffeinenation will ascertain if a coffee shop is a good event space, a good place to meet, and a good place to get coffee! Each review is based on 5 criteria…atmosphere, staffing, as an event space, as an meeting space, and of course a library rating. Library rating? It is a rating of how crowded a coffee shop gets with those who occupy tables doing work that could be done at a library. So enjoy!
When you walk into Joe & The Juice you feel like you walked into a trendy bar with pumping music and all. The furniture feels more like you should order table service than coffee. The floor plan is open and provides space to move and socialize. The open floor plan also allows for a reception where the back portion of the establishment could easily be used as a “stage” or “VIP” area. You could easily have a reception with at least a hundred people. The staff on-hand were congenial, attentive, and efficient which was refreshing. The library rating was extremely low with ample seating available. Joe & The Juice is more cafe than coffee shop where people come and go then to set up and camp out. It is an establishment I would recommend for a bite to eat or to grab a cup of joe and talk with some friends or even to plan a social event!
When I walk into the Wydown Coffee Bar, I feel like I’m in someone’s backyard. Their 14th street location is quite small with someone outdoor seating. The floor plan at best is crowded with not much room to move let alone have some kind of event. It is an ideal location for a quick cup of joe or meeting between two people…but be aware their library rating is rather high…you can see the Apple laptops for a mile. The availability of seating is hit or miss…since people camp out making it impossible to sit and enjoy your coffee. Of course, the peppiness of the staff makes taking the chance worthwhile!
When you walk into Velo Cafe, you feel like your in a Bike Shop…because…well…the cafe is in a bike shop. The cafe is small, but great for a meeting. While those using the cafe as a library easily outnumber those who are there just for coffee, there is still ample seating available. Velo Cafe is what I call a hybrid coffee shop…half coffee and half beer/wine. Many of these places have crept up all around town. So the coffee selection is small. The staff is pretty chilled and cordial. So if you are looking for a place to duck into before you figure out where you are going on the Wharf…then Velo Cafe is the place to be.
PS. The Watermelon and Peach is probably great with Vodka, but as a pie…not so much….
When I walked into the Bay Shore Bean, I felt like I was walking into a cabin in the woods. The wood interior is reminisce of an old cabin that you would camp out in Upstate New York. Bay Shore Bean, a respite in a town of commercialized options, is like the Cheers of Coffee Shops. The staff was congenial, a realness that you don’t normally see in most coffee shops. While there is ample seating, the open floor plan is better suited for individual meetings than as an event space. And to boot…they were giving out candy for Halloween!