From the Forum – Good places to relax and read on weeknights

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Good places to relax and read on weeknights:

“I live in Noma/not too far from H Street and I get stir crazy at home. I’m looking for a good place to go to in the evenings to do work/read. Comfy seating, coffee – and late hours would be great. I haven’t found any place nearby that fits this bill. Can anyone offer insight?”

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26 Comment

  • andy

    Union Station basement floor?

  • there are very few coffee shops with truly late hours.. (i.e. closing at midnight). I think Ebenezer’s might have the latest hours… pretty close to H St/Union Station.

  • Head over to the Carving Room, Wiseguys pizza. both on Mass. Wiseguys is open late and have outdoor seating as well as cocktails.

  • Busboys and Poets is not too far from there. That should fit the OP’s requirements.

  • Big Bear isn’t all that far from NOMA. Just up the street in fact.

  • Good question! I think DC is lacking in such spots – weekdays or weekends – and I’m curious to hear what people all around the city do. It’s also hard to find a good “pub” type of bar – a quiet place where you can relax at a booth/table – not packed, without the bizarrely loud music that infects most DC bars.

    • I’ve been here 8 years and the best place I’ve found for reading is at home. The alternatives are dark noisy pubs, Starbucks, or local coffee shops that close at 7. I guess businesses can’t sustain themselves with the late night coffee-and-a-book crowd. Back in my college town there were lots of cool coffee shops open past midnight (some even until 5am) but rent was a lot cheaper there.

    • We do have very few of those kind of places, which is why when we do, they get crazy packed.

    • I’ve been looking for the same thing in the Adams Morgan/Mt. Pleasant/western-ish Columbia Heights area, although it doesn’t need to be a late-night place. In my old neighborhood (in another city), there were several neighborhood coffee shops where I’d sit with a book and my coffee, not for inordinately long, but maybe an hour or so. Even the Starbucks there was nice for that, as they had a number of big, comfy chairs–and I think it helped that they had a back outdoor patio AND the coffee counter was kind of partitioned into a separate room from the indoor seating area (made the seating area feel calmer and quieter). The Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights Starbucks always seem too noisy, crowded and chaotic for reading. Haven’t tried The Coupe yet, and I thought Tryst might fit the bill, but every time I’ve stopped by, it’s been insane–not a single free seat. (OK, I think there was one free seat once, but it was right in the window and during the height of summer so 97 degrees plus the greenhouse effect wasn’t going to be pleasant.)

  • Sova coffe and wine bar on H??

  • we do lack in these kinds of places. big bear isn’t bad and when they don’t have bands is pretty quiet.
    rustik can be pretty quiet too, mostly anyways.
    argonaut patio is pretty chill and comfy
    union market is open till 8 and has wifi.

    nothing really fits the bill to well.

  • Per the earlier post today, neighborhood libraries are open until 9 starting October 1–doesn’t exactly fit “late hours” for you, but it’s a decent option.

  • They’re not open very late, but Sidamo and Battery Bowl Bakery are decent options.

  • Honestly, it’s best to have a early to bed/ early to rise schedule in DC. Pretty much everything except bars and fancy restaurants are closed by early evening, but you can get some time in at a coffee shop if you go to work at 7, get home at 4, and go to sleep at 9.

  • Teaism in Dupont.

  • Caribou Coffee on 14th St is open until 10. You might also check out a hotel lobby. Many are spacious and comfy, like either one of the Marriott Renaissances or something from the Kimpton chain.

  • Essentially you want to rent 8 or more square feet of space for $1-2.00 an hour?

  • Not sure how late they are open but Catholic University (especially the student center and library) are GREAT places to relax and read during the day. The campus is a great oasis from crowded parts of the city.

    • Cathilic is open till11:00pm, unless your a student its open 24/7. They are really great about letting non-students in as long as you are really respectful.

  • Any hotels? During graduate school I had a rotation of hotels I’d frequent. With a laptop and dressing halfway decent, nobody knows you’re not a guest. Vary the location so you’re not at the same place all the time. If you are looking for peace and quiet, some of the best places are out-of-the way spots near conference areas. Nice cushy chairs, power plugs nearby. I deliberately did not use Wi-fi (or try) because I wanted to focus on reading and writing.

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