New Coffee Option for Georgia Ave – Mani’s Cafe and Market

2013-07-24 16.07.52
5320 Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoPville,

There is a new local coffeehouse that just opened on the 5300 block of Georgia Ave. NW (bet. Ingraham and Jefferson).

The owner, Mani, who herself is from Ethiopia, serves only Ethiopian coffees plus a variety of baked goods. It’s one of the very few pleasant, low-noise, sit-down eating places in this area. She told us today that the cafe is open 7-7. They offer free wifi too!”

2013-07-24 16.22.10
Manahalush “Mani” Tesema (right) and Dawit Zewdie

14 Comment

  • This is great! Nice to see another place coming in close to home! The wife and I will try and get in here. Happy to find an option for coffee on the way to work that isn’t 711! Hooray local businesses!

  • This is great news for the residents of Brightwood.

    I know Starbucks is coming to Petworth when the new Safeway opens, but the neighborhood could really use another option than Qualia. I love Qualia, but its too small. Maybe with all the development Qualia will expand!

  • I am a little bit sad over yet another mom& pop coffee shop opening on GA Ave when Starbucks and Dunkin have overlooked us for so long… Sure Dunkin and Starbucks are evil corporations, but they have a much better price point and convenience factor, and they contribute to long-term value for DC neighborhoods because they’re consistent. starbucks offers wi-fi and (usually) a pleasant seating/work environment that many of these mom&pop coffee shops don’t. I kind of feel that a lot of businesses that are starting aren’t really paying attention to what’s made shops like Starbucks and Tryst succeed in DC for so long.

    I have been patronizing Harrar, another GA Ave. Ethiopian coffee shop for a little while but got a bit bored by the generic idea of a simple coffee shop with generic pastries. I think new businesses need to have more of an edge before launching. I am also not encouraged to support businesses that don’t practice reasonable and clear pricing that is competitive with other coffee shops to encourage return visits, it seems like prices aren’t clearly listed on pastries and goods in some shops, and this allows a cashier to make up a daily price for everything, which always changes…

    I think the main thing that new coffee shops have to realize is that they have to go out of the way to provide things that we don’t already have in our own homes, and then add fast service at a low (market rate) cost.. ESPECIALLY if they’re a mom&pop shop (They should charge less than Starbucks).

    I love coffee. In my experience, coffee shops on GA Ave either tend to fall into the pit of “doing things normally” or being too arrogant, they buy their pastries form local stores, the same ones we shop at and then put it on a shelf at a (often high) markup. This is not a winning business strategy. I have a TV and a coffee maker at home already, and Entemanns cookies and all sorts of snacks I could buy form the supermarket just like they do. If they want to beat my home options and make me crave their product, they need to make home baked (fresh) cookies and pastries that I can’t get anywhere else, they need to have coffee, fresh sweeteners, and not run out of cream, they need to stay open later than other shops, they need to be quick, well lit, and clean to really win… They need to focus on beating their competition price-wise and in quality to survive the long haul… Otherwise, it’s just another generic coffee shack.

    Sorry for ranting about this but it has been on my mind for a while now, and of course – no bearing on this particular shop, I have not been there yet.

    • gotryit

      You can buy the whole beans (or ground if that’s your thing) from Harrar and they’ve probably been roasted within the last few days. Any idea when starbucks beans were roasted?

      Also, starbucks coffee is consistent… consistently mediocre. And Dunkin Donuts is way worse. I’ll take Harrar over that any day. And I’ll be happy to try Mani’s too.

      Have you tried the baklavah at Harrar? Not bad, and I haven’t seen that at giant. Or samosas.

      • Sure the Baklava is an interesting touch, but the other pastries are store bought… I like Harrar, but Starbucks isn’t the #1 Coffee maker in the US because they’re “mediocre”. We can’t simply overlook the idea of being better than the competition in making a successful business. It’s constructive criticism, not hate, I hope it’s taken in that way.

        • Starbucks certainly can be the “#1 coffee maker in the US” and still be mediocre. Need I list the top restaurant chains in the US?

          • It’s not a coffeehouse, but for grabbing a great cup of coffee on the go, I love Chocolate Crust on Georgia between Missouri Ave and Madison Street. It’s just regular coffee, no lattes, etc., but it’s excellent coffee and the house-made pastries are fantastic. Large coffee is two bucks.

            I agree with the previous posters who said Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are mediocre. It’s just fine with me if they continue to ignore us.

          • You’re latching onto a small part of the bigger picture that I painted. It’s not about Starbucks as much as creating better coffee shops.

          • Anonymous 2:30

            I’m not following your big picture. It sounds like you’re saying that these small coffee shops aren’t competitive with Starbucks / DD, and a few people are saying that they are competitive for other reasons. Is your point that you want lower prices? Something “unique”? I don’t get it.

    • Re: price point – a little thing called volume buying power is what enables Starbucks and DD to charge less for a cup of coffee than local shops… they buy their beans in bulk at a lower cost and don’t have to charge as much to turn a profit, so they’re able to compete on price. This is how it works in general for local businesses vs. large corporate chains… it’s just economics. The local shops would be out of business if they charged the same as Starbucks.

      What local shops can do to compete is to create a better product that the huge logistical, supply chain hurdles faced by the big corps can’t overcome – fresh roasted beans, a variety of single origin coffees, a unique ambiance, etc. To your point, the little guys should be on their game in these areas if they want to compete on something other than price, but it’s unrealistic to walk into a local coffee shop and expect to pay the same for your coffee as you would at a Starbucks.

  • thank you for posting! very excited to try this place; there isn’t much like it in the brightwood area without just going all the way down to petworth. yay!

  • Good luck to them!

  • Mane’s caffe is fantastic hause
    Last taim I tiesting coffe latie and cucies so I am happy
    And your cestemer service i lovit thnkyou
    Have a nays business day I wish a good thim
    From lideta Ksise

  • CONGRA {~!~} MANI. I. Love It

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