Mayorga Lounge Sporting New Everything

DSCN0257, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

My cohort Intangible Arts wrote a great post last week about Mayorga’s new menu. You should check it out if you haven’t read it yet. And as I was walking by I also saw that they are celebrating a new salad bar and fresh juice bar. Do you think Mayorga will become more of a restaurant rather than a lounge now. I also saw that they will stop offering Wifi after 4pm. That kind of sucks, no?

13 Comment

  • These moves are the sign of a dying animal. Anytime a restaurant or cafe starts scrambling to expand the product line or change up the menu, something is clearly wrong. This place has had a HUGE identity complex since it opened. It has a terrible layout and it’s not well suited as a cafe, restaurant or bar. Starbucks likely put a dent in the coffee business and they clearly want to try to get more of a dinner crowd after 4:00 with the WiFi curfew. I think it’s over the hill by now and these are the last gasps.

    If you want to be a coffee shop, look to Tryst and follow their lead.

    If you want to be a restaurant, look to the Heights, just across the street.

    I just never understood what kind of business plan these guys are using.

  • Same here Park Road. I never thought much of their first restaurant in SS. So it is no surprise that this one is no different. Every time I am in there, I notice how threadbare the shelves are. It has a hell of a location though.

  • Indeed. Sporting everything except anything regularly. This place is such a huge disappointment. It was a great coffee place I thought – until the beer ads went up everywhere, the windows were tinted, the wifi was limited and that aimless bar was added downstairs. And, I hope their Korean food is good and all, but they open up a spendy Korean line-up just a few blocks away from one of the most awesome and affordable Korean places in DC – Adam’s Express on MtP St. I just dont get it Mayorga… ,

  • Mayorga sells Korean food now?

  • I just wish they wouldn’t use xerox paper and scotch tape in their marketing efforts. Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t really “get” what’s going on there. I do like the bar upstairs and that little side room is great for groups.

  • I liked the way it was when it first opened, as purely a coffee bar. It started to go downhill when they put the frosting on the windows so you couldn’t see out, and they didn’t do a very good job of cleaning up from the late-night lounge crowd. As someone else pointed out, they put up beer ads where the community bulletin board used to be, and rearranged the seating a zillion times.

    If only they stuck with that business model, it could have become like Tryst in better architecture. Anyway, the coffee is still good!

  • I feel a little pang of guilt about that place every time I go past it, ever since I abandoned them for Columbia Heights Coffee.

  • I think, perhaps, they are finally realizing they need to figure out their identity once and for all. The owners are extremely nice and recognize they made some mistakes. They are backing away from the hip hop parties and whatnot now. I’m willing to give them another chance. I hope other neighborhood folks are as well.

  • I’ve been really amazed at all the negative noise I’ve been hearing about Mayorga and other local places (Wonderland, Red Rocks, Looking Temperance Glass Hall Lounge, etc)…

    I’ve been to Mayorga thirty million times since it opened, and I’ve never experienced anything but honest good vibes and a desire to do well for themselves and the neighborhood. The menu was pretty un-inspired before, I’ll admit. Much better now. Trying new things isn’t the death-rattle of a business — if something isn’t working, you refine the strategy and invest in it. The true “death-rattle” would be if they refused to change anything even though it’s completely dead in there during the week.

    As with all these places, we should either support ’em with our filthy dollars, or offer ’em constructive advice; bitchin’ on blogs doesn’t do much to improve a community.

    I dunno….. Seems like we’re LUCKY to have small businesses around here to whine about, versus national chain, corporate turn-key franchise crap. THAT stuff is all very safe and familiar. But it has no soul.

  • I agree with Intangible Arts – does anyone have any constructive advice for Mayorga? How would you make improvements given where they are today? It would be a shame to have another empty storefront. Let’s support them.

  • My constructive advice: Don’t tape xerox paper signs to your beautiful windows. Clean the bathrooms every couple of hours. Stock toilet paper in the ladies room. Market the food available downstairs better- visuals work, put out plates of sandwiches in the windows or something. Its hard to tell that you even have food for sale. Do something to make the area behind the counter look less like bare shelves. Keep the sitting area downstairs clean, especially when the store is empty and the barista isn’t busy. Keep being nice and serving good coffee. Expand the menu upstairs at night (seems like a waste of money to have facilities and staff to have real food, but have it be so limited.)

  • The problem with the constructive advice idea is that people (including their own staff members) would give them advice, but it always seemed to be dismissed with a wave of the hand and a “well, we can’t do that.” Maybe they will listen now. In addition, while the owners are indeed basically very nice people, in the past, they often seemed to do more drinking than actual working and interacting with customers. One night I observed one of the owners getting drunk and hitting on all (and I mean every one of) the women in the bar. Right in front of all the rest of the customers. This isn’t meant to be mean, but I really don’t want to patronize a business where the owners don’t get basic professionalism. I mean, come on! But, for the sake of the business and the neighborhood, I sincerely hope they are waking up and trying to get their act together because the place really does have a lot of potential.

  • In the spirit of my earlier suggestion, I went to Mayorga last night for dinner. I was curious to see how the new “Korean” menu is working out. The staff was a mixture of the regular staff and what I assume are Koreans or Korean Americans. I spoke to the Korean waitress and she said the new chef (a female, kudos) has 30 years experience in Asian cuisine. She explained that the menu was not just Korean but also Chinese and Japanese style dishes. I had the salmon, topped with crab and roe – she said it’s a Japanese style dish. It was delicious! It was a huge chunk of very moist salmon in a sumptuos sauce over a bed of sprouts and other vegetables. It came with a bowl of rice and 4 mini plates of vegetables, kim chee (sp), stir fried potatoes and veg, a green leafy vegetable, and anchovies. All for $18.95. For the amount of food and how good it ended up being, it was totally worth it. The two waitresses I had, the Korean lady and another lady who I assume is part of the regular staff, were very nice and prompt. I would recommend that folks try it out for dinner now that they have the revised menu. My boyfriend is skeptical but we’re definitely going back for the salmon again this weekend.

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