PoPville Preview: Compass Rose Hoping to Open April 12th at 14th and T St, NW

1346 T Street, NW next to St. Ex

We’ve been waiting a long time to see how Compass Rose turned out in the former Collage Cafe space on T Street next door to St. Ex and though I feel like I say this a lot – this one was definitely worth the wait.  At least from the looks.  This is one of the nicest transformations of a space I’ve seen since Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row.  Though not affiliated there’s gotta be something to having Rose in the name… This one’s a bit smaller but equally as sweet.


You can see some background and what Rose’s Compass used to look like here.  This was the spot that had a vision to give the space the feel of an outdoor market place.  Stay tuned for an April 12th (5pm) opening – and here’s a boatload of photos to whet your whistle:


Tons more photos after the jump.

front seating




opposite the bar



backroom compass mural

Backroom second mural

backroom looking front

mural on wall leading to downstairs kitchen

kitchen with an outdoor/street feel

mural opposite kitchen

awesome details

T Street looking west toward 14th Street

20 Comment

  • justinbc

    I really like all the different textures of wood. Hopefully they keep music to a minimum because otherwise all those hard surfaces are going to make for one loud experience in such a confined space.

    • Agree. The backroom pictures look great; but either everyone will hear what you’re talking about or nobody will be able to hear what you’re saying.

  • I don’t love the fake distressed walls (isn’t that a Martha Stewart techinique from the 90s?) but overall it looks like a great space. But wasn’t this the space that was going to have a Georgian inspired menu? I’ll put up with those walls to have some khachapuri!!

    • I’m with you. The faux-distressed patchwork look is trying too hard and missing by a mile. Double for the attempt at the vintage “market” signage on the wall. Otherwise, it looks terrific.

      • I dislike the back room, but I think everything else looks great.

      • Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think the faux-distressed look could work. Imagine that the lower half (or so) is patch-worked green to resemble foliage, while the upper half is blue/white to resemble the sky. That would really add to the “outdoor” feel PoP mentioned in the write-up.

    • Georgian as in fried chicken? Or Georgian as in khachapuri? (Actually, khachapuri and fried chicken together would be awesome, albeit heart attack inducing)

    • I think that’s dialed back a bit, but the owner has said there “will be some Georgian” https://twitter.com/CompassroseDC/status/442655024351821824

  • Do you think they’ll have a problem with the step up from the street?

    I think that was a major problem with Cafe Collage. You couldn’t see in and just drift in from the street if you were annoyed at the wait times at St. Ex.

    I really wish them success!

    • justinbc

      It’s worked for Granville Moore’s for almost a decade in a much less heavily trafficked area. Given the affinity for new restaurants in this neighborhood I’m sure it will do fine as long as the food is decent.

  • Wow – looks like mostly comfortable seating! I’d eat unsalted gruel just to sit my ass down in comfort! Add some cushions to the bench seating and I’ll even eat watery unsalted gruel.

  • I love it already! I will love it more if there is khachapuri!

  • It looks great. Don’t be a hater!

  • Yes, bring on the khachapuri and I am there!

  • I think some places don’t quite know when the whole exposed brick wall thing becomes overkill. In this case I think we’re way over that threshold. Chairs look comfy though.

  • Looking forward to it!

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