More Good News and Bad News


Nani Kafe, located on the corner of Harvard and Sherman, has closed their doors. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a new cafe, CocoLibre, will be opening up in this spot on Wed. or Thursday. I spoke briefly with owner, Ongisa, who was super enthusiastic about the new spot. She told me that CocoLibre will feature fair trade items tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. There will also be pastries, sandwiches, and chocolate for sale. Ed. Note: Who gives a frack about an oxford comma?


They’ve begun painting the interior:


Can’t wait to check them out!

48 Comment

  • “…has closed THEIR doors.”

  • Vonstallin

    I look at that spot everyday going to work and i always wonedered if anyone go to there?

  • I wish them well, but Harvard and Sherman is quite a sketchy area!

  • sketchy/smetchy. when people trot out that excuse for a place not doing well, they sound like defeatist suburbanites to me. the reason that nani failed was because the product there wasn’t great. believe i went in there and was very very underwhelmed. hopefully, better product and better management can make the place work. believe me, there are enough people living in the area who will frequent a good cafĂ© here.

  • I believe Vampire Weekend also has another song entitled “I Stand Corrected.”

  • Nani cafe was not only badass, but run by the sweetest woman ever. I would go in there frequently, and while the paninis did get old pretty quickly, it was always a guaranteed good cup of coffee and friendly conversation with anybody in there. Chocolatier? Harvard and Sherman? best of luck…?

  • As a former resident of 11th and harvard. I would appreciate food over pastries, coffee, and chocolate. But I was very glad that a small business opened up when it did and I will still be a patron of the new spot. Best of luck to them!

  • The attention to the design, which looks very cool, is promising. But as always, the key is good product. There is nowhere in the area to get a really good sandwich or top-notch pastries. If they remedy that, I and many others will be there. If not, I vote (and would fund, if I could) for bringing a Witchcraft chain in to the area from NYC! But I’d much rather see a local place get it right.

  • In more good news, they already have a website. Sounds good:

  • Go to this page to see links to some of the sections of the site that are already up:

  • Anonymous, if you want to be picky about grammar the sentence should read, “.. has closed ITS doors.” The subject is the singular Nani Kafe. (I’m sorry I teach standardize test prep and subject/verb agreement error is quite common)

  • “Ed. Note: Who gives a frack about an oxford comma?”

    I do, darn it. The serial (aka Oxford) comma is just wrong; it just is.

  • “oxford comma” you say? Would that be the same as a serial comma? Aint that AP standard? The lack of such a comma binds the last two items in a list unfairly. I, for one, am a tireless champion of the serial comma. And I will gladly FIGHT and DIE on the field of honor for your right to wield that comma. For it is just. We will prevail.

  • I used to despise the serial comma. Lately, though, I’ve found how helpful it can be. Take the list of Kennedy Center Honorees from this past weekend, for example: Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, Twyla Tharp, and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Sure, you may wonder why the living members of The Who have to share an Honor rather than getting separate ones, but at least the serial comma lets you know that is the case. Long live the serial comma.

  • I’m a big fan of the Oxford comma… he’s a pretentious lil’ twerp but as far as the systematic eradication of ambiguity goes, lets face it, he’s earned it.

  • Loving the surprise Vampire Weekend reference!

  • re:>Who gives a frack about an oxford comma?
    Frack? As in 1977 “Battlestar Galactica” speak?

    Thrilled to have a fair trade coffee shop 1/2 a block away from home.

  • Joeon11th:
    Actually, even if you didn’t use a serial comma, that sentence would make sense in context. You would actually construct that sentence the same exact way, because you do use a serial comma when the last item on the list is two things. When using a style that does not use the serial comma, the “ands” actually serve to contextualize the broken out pair as well.

  • Sorry if that made little sense. I’m in no capacity to be debating grammar before 11am (around coffee number 5).

  • hahaha i love that song 🙂 …wait are we not speaking about.. who gives a …about an oxford comma? …cause i am 🙂

  • spring: But when you’re reading a sentence, you don’t know what’s coming after the last comma until you get to the end of the sentence. As such, the lack of a serial comma requires you to read the sentence twice in order to know the correct enunciation. Always using serial commas is just more efficient.

    Having said that, fair trade coffee at Harvard and Sherman is awesome. I hope they pull it off, and I’ll try to support them.

  • I’m not quite sure any more, but I don’t think I was arguing that it wouldn’t make sense… just that its presence would help readers understand what is meant.

  • There was (or hopefully, is) a plan to install median street trees on Sherman and New Hampshire Aves. If anyone knows about these initiatives (and where they stand with d-dot), I’d appreciate you sharing…

  • Geezer — last I heard they were supposed to finalize plans on the Sherman Ave. tree project by the end of last winter and start construction by summer or fall of 08. That clearly didn’t happen… I’m trying to see if I can dig up any more info on status. Will report back if I find anything.

  • Nathaniel, don’t you mean “standarized” test prep?

  • First, if you are going to engage in a lengthy debate about grammar, establish a separate dedicated thread on that topic, PLEASE, for the love of God.

    Second, DDOT’s Gabrielle Vega provided the following update (brace yourself, folks, it’s ugly) on the timing of Sherman Ave. project at a recent NCHCA meeting:

    Sherman Ave Project:

    Part of Great Streets

    Scope includes:

    adding median with trees

    reconfigure traffic lanes (one lane each direction)

    bike lanes

    widen sidewalks

    curb extensions at corners

    left turn lanes


    Design – November 2008-2009 (there will be opportunities for community input during this process)

    Construction – January 2010-2011 (phased to minimize impact on traffic, pedestrians)

  • I love the oxford comma… really

  • By ugly, I meant the timing, not the plans, which sound sweet.

  • By ugly, I meant the timing, not the plans, which sound sweet.

  • New2CH –

    Thanks for the info. This project has been “on the table” since 2007. I remember reading that it got folded into the Lower GA Ave plan, but it is still galling that good ideas must wait year after year before reaching fruition, if ever

  • Ugh. So 2011 at the earliest for the Sherman Ave. trees. They’d better not half-ass it when they finally do it.

    Anyway thanks for the update New2CH, much appreciated.

    As a side note, do these DDOT people ever offer an excuse for constantly misleading the public about the timing of every single project they commit to?

  • The standard DDOT excuse is budgetary reasons in my experience, they get a massive budget then get it raided as needed. So, a few years ago delays were due to the need for baseball. This past year delays are due to the overrun in the summer jobs program, etc. And salary for our favorite AG from Virginia, Peter Nickles.

  • Geezer and others,
    The 700 block of Lamont St NW had a gigantic truck full of trees when I left home this morning at 8:15…. let’s stay optimistic about Sherman Ave trees! My contact has also told me the DDOT arborists respond to polite reminders/phone calls from the community.

    Back to the original subject, I will look forward to visiting the place. They should post their hours on the website. It sounds terrific. Is this in any way connected with DC Direwolf?

  • Anonymous, that is in fact what I mean. Luckily pure spelling is not tested. (things like affect versus effect are)

  • Blake’s got a new face.

    for real.

    what kinda comma is dat?

  • the apostrophe kind!

  • The sentence before is way worse.

  • Hey folks! We are hoping to open Thursday. The Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is a beast, so bear with us. Thanks for all the good vibes and well-wishes. I graduated from Howard and lived near here. I really want to see this community bloom. Kidest, the owner of Nani Kafe, is such a great person. Now she is pursuing her dream of becoming a chef. Note: I can’t function without music, so if you don’t mind some light tunes (80’s pop/jazz/lite rock/neo-soul) and friendly chatter, stop by and have tea.

  • Hey CocoLibre — just wanted to say best of luck with the new shop. We live right up the street and will definitely stop by soon.

  • Sherman Ave plans from the community have been here since 2005, mostly concerned with safety.

  • Huzzah Huzzah Huzzah!

  • Coco, please post the hours of business! I’d like to walk down there this weekend

  • Hours posted here:

    Hours: 7am-7pm Monday-Friday
    9am-5pm Saturday & Sunday

    786 Harvard St. NW , Washington, DC 20001
    (at the corner of Harvard St. and Sherman Ave.)

  • This place is great. Everyone should check it out and spend all your extra money there. They’re even going to try to do outdoor seating in the warm months, which will be an incredible positive addition to Sherman Ave.

  • mmm…I went and it was delicious cocoa! Will be back again soon… let’s hear it for a few good small businesses on or around Sherman.

  • Went and the owner is incredibly nice and friendly and seems truly devoted to making this business work. The inventory was not fully stocked yet, but she has put a lot of effort into design and concept which is great. Definitely a business worth supporting. Coca was tasty. She also seemed very open to suggestions, so let her know what she should stock.

    Did a nice job with paninis — definitely need to get a few more interesting ingredients, more variety of cheese, maybe a little more bread variety, definitely more interesting accoutraments, as there aren’t really many good sandwich places around and it would be great to be able to get a really tasty panini. I also hope she stocks some nice cold beverages to compliment the whole fair trade / organic vibe, like Purity organic juices for example.

    Just wish the city would do its part soon and embark asap without more delays on the badly needed Sherman reconstruction, so that the strip is more pedestrian friendly and perhaps a few more businesses like this one can arrive!

  • Okay. The Wifi is up now. Some come all ye free internet users. And be sure to buy something, too!

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