Word on the Street is La Colombe is Opening Tomorrow in Blagden Alley! UPDATE: Opening Saturday 8am

924 N Street, NW (rear Blagden Alley)

UPDATE: @shawmainstreets tweets “It’s official: @LaColombeCoffee’s first DC location opens tomorrow, Sat., 02/01/14 at 8:00 AM in Blagden Alley, 924 N Street, NW (Rear)!”

Not sure exactly what time but two separate tipsters (one with very good bona fides) sent word yesterday that the eagerly anticipated La Colombe coffee spot is opening tomorrow (Friday.)

Their website says:

“In our cafes, first and foremost, the COFFEE and the CUSTOMER are the primary focus.

Enter any La Colombe cafe and one immediately notices what is missing – the merchandising and clutter of CDs, coffee mugs, home coffee machines and lunch foods; all items that distract from the coffee experience and slow quality service.”

photo 3
Rear from N Street looking toward M Street

photo 1

47 Comment

  • I’ve been to one of their locations in NY (it’s a chain) and it’s basically Hipster Starbucks. That said, the coffee is pretty good.

    • Their spaces in NY are beautiful, and really well designed for the customer. Most importantly, the coffee is excellent. You seem to be using chain as a pejorative. They are a small independent chain that has 12 shops in 5 cities. Is a “hipster Starbucks” your phrase for an “coffee shop that delivers great coffee in a great environment”?

  • lovefifteen

    Looks great. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • My only issue is that this place is pretty much out of the way for everyone. It’s not a convenient location for too many people. I’ll check it out on the weekends, but it’s really just a destination requiring a “special” visit.
    I guess the “work from home” crowd will flock there for the day and take it over.

    • You could say the same thing about Sundevich, and that is always packed. There are lot of dense apartment and condo buildings in a 3-4 block radius from this spot.

    • justinbc

      Assuming that your statement was correct (even though I disagree with it), would you really want lots of people to be in line or in your way when you go in to get your coffee? It sounds like you’re replacing “not convenient for me” with “everyone”.

      • If a place like this isn’t busy, and thus profitable, it won’t last. Unlike Regular Starbucks, it’s not likely that Hipster Starbucks is going to subsidize one location with the profits from another. It’s pretty simple.

    • lovefifteen

      There are tons of large apartment/condo buildings within a three-block radius of this place. I don’t see how that makes it “pretty much out of the way for everyone”.

    • You know that there are people in the world other than you, right? It is a block from my condo (and thousands of other condos) and will be directly on my walk to my child’s school next year. Not the slightest bit out of the way.

    • Their other locations don’t have wifi. Any reason to think this one will be different?

  • Looks great. Sidamo and Chinatown Coffee have always been my “go to” but I’m excited to try this.

  • I peeked in through the glass garage door over the weekend and it looks great. I can’t wait to see the $15k steampunk machine in action.

  • I was at the one in Philly over New Year’s…pretty reasonable price for that genre of place; bonus points for also owning that it’s upscale via minimalism and open space, instead of trying to be upscale through aggressively twee styling and attitude.

    Also have to add: I love that they hate pour-over. http://www.philly.com/philly/food/restaurants/20110316_coffee_as_a_craft.html

    • Thanks for posting that link. I didn’t know much about LC and as a neighbor who lives one block away from this new shop and loves coffee, I have been looking forward to their opening. However, the information I learned in that article and then the rabbit hole of reading I did after reading it has unfortunately changed my mind. Mr. Carmichael’s rants in his Esquire pieces makes me want to not even bother checking LC out. Like anything, you can take coffee too far to a pretentious, inauthentic place of bullshit and nonsensical ramblings. But to write off an entire generation who appreciates and is willing to pay extra for something better than the Folgers their parents drank growing up just reeks of the old generational finger-wagging that has become such a trope (Carmichael writes, “everything choreographed by a 22-year-old faux-junkie explaining why he’s morally opposed to making your espresso the way you ordered it.”) Maybe he’s right, what could a 22-year old possibly have to offer the world? You should wait until you’re at least 30 to be a barista, or a barman as Carmichael prefers we call them.

      It appears to me that Carmichael is the guy in the room who doesn’t like that things are changing and doesn’t like the young people coming in who want to do things differently than he is doing them. So instead of improving and changing with the times, he is writing hit pieces in Esquire. Turns out that maybe LC is just another one of many national chains who took a look at DC, squealed with delight about a burgeoning and underserved market, and moved in to get his piece of the money pie. If this city is going to make a name for itself and be destination-worthy for its food and drink, it’s not going to do it by importing mediocrity from other cities. We have to do it by producing homegrown success stories that define DC in its own right.

      I’ll continue making good coffee at home and patronizing coffeeshops that are locally-grown and don’t care if their baristas have tats or look like bike messengers. If the person making my coffee is good at their craft and they provide pleasant customer service, that’s what matters. DC doesn’t need some geriatric from Philly admonishing us for ordering a pour-over.

      • Well said. I’ve never associated LC with some of the other coffee roasters that are moving the industry and craft forward like Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, Stumptown, etc… And even though Intelly and Stumptown both have multiple retail locations in multiple cities, I don’t think anyone will confuse them with being a place that has watered down their brands with expansion.

      • I wonder if Carmichael realizes that he is a superdouche exactly like the people he’s ranting about.

      • Maybe he’s tired of the kind of members-only posturing and hipster costuming that comes with many independent coffee shops that exist because Howard Schultz deliberately rushed to bring European-style coffee culture to much of the United States in about a decade.

  • Is this where that old boxing gym was?

  • I love La Colombe! I practically lived at their shop off of Rittenhouse in Philly 16 years ago when I lived in the area. Their coffee is the best. Seriously.

    • Child Please!! I understand the fond memories, but 16 years ago is like, years ago. 14th street had hookers 16 years ago. The coffee is well above average, but the best, not even close.

  • Heard they won’t open tomorrow. Apparently, they are still waiting on the health inspector.

  • It’s the best coffee in North America. End of story. The Rittenhouse shop is the best coffee shoppe in all the land. End of story.

Comments are closed.