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The Wydown Coffee Bar applies for Liquor License at 14th and U St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth December 8, 2015 at 10:22 pm 21 Comments

1924 14th Street, NW

The Wydown opened up their permanent location back in June 2014. The placard says:

“New restaurant /specialty coffee bar with drip coffee, tea, espresso, fresh juices and house-made baked goods. Also selling coffee equipment. Total Occupancy Load of 35. Sidewalk Café with seating for 4 and standing room for 8.”

So I’ve always been meaning to ask this – does anyone here ever drink a beer, wine or whatever at a coffee bar?


  • S

    Not sure if this qualifies as a coffee bar, but I’ll occasionally drink a glass of wine or a beer at Tryst.

  • G-Way Down

    I loved this place for the longest. Went almost daily. They seem to have a high turnaround rate, as all food places do, at it really effected the quality of the coffee beverages. It could be a 50/50 chance I walked out with a decent cup that cost a lot of money.

    BUT, the scratch bakery is ALWAYS amazing and perfect. Try the blueberry muffins. They are amazing when still a little warm. You want to roll up into it and take a nap.

    • “Coffee beverages” or espresso? I’m a huge fan of the pour overs at the Wydown, but it’s never been my top pick in the neighborhood for espresso (with or without milk). For that, try TCB or Peregrine. You just won’t get the killer pastries. On the other hand, the Bluebird croissants at Peregrine are some of the best in the city.

      I don’t think staff turnover at the Wydown has really been that much of an issue. At least one of the McCracken brothers are there pretty much every day, and a lot of the staff seems quite stable.

      • AG

        Ugh, I hate the espresso at Peregrine (at least the Eastern Market one). Tastes like I’m drinking medicine even after putting a boat load of sugar in it.

      • G-Way Down

        I am referring to the espresso beverages, it is pretty hard to screw up pour over coffee. I agree there are the same handful of faces there and they all seem to work the cash register. I am sad that it is not as good as it was when it first opened. I thought this was the best place in DC for cappuccino or a latte, it was once my favorite and I told everyone about it. But after many (and I mean many) re-attempts of going back in and trying this place it was never as good and as the prices went up, my wallet couldn’t justify a $5.50 latte.

    • sproc

      Stopped by the other day, decided I’d try one of their hand-poured drip coffees. Not having tasted any of the varieties listed, I asked for a simple recommendation, something I’d ask anywhere, but especially for a $5 cup. The attitude I received in reply felt like I’d asked them for a Slurpee. It was really off putting, and the kicker was the coffee wasn’t all that good anyway.

      • FridayGirl

        Yeah, I liked their iced coffee and the cups I’ve had have always been good but have heard mixed things about hot coffee and I find the staff relatively unfriendly. I do LOVE the bakery items though. The scones and biscuits are especially good. Would consider coming here for a beer and a pastry someday.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    I don’t think that drinking a beer at a coffee shop would likely ever cross my mind, but I suppose having a liquor license would be useful for those who like an Irish coffee or some Kahlua in it.

    • The OP Anon

      Put some Bailey’s in hot cocoa or Jameson in that coffee on a cold afternoon. You’ll warm right up!

      • sproc

        Coffee cocktails rock. It’s just that I so rarely want them at night after a full dinner. Having somewhere to go for really interesting ones on winter afternoons would be very appealing.

    • FridayGirl

      Other coffee shops in DC offer beer/wine as well. Along with Tryst, isn’t Chinatown Coffee (?) like this, or at least it used to be… haven’t been in a long time….

    • rob

      lots of cafes do that to accommodate things like open mics, etc in the evenings, especially when people are more likely to do beers than caffeine. unfortunately, art scene + coffee shops aren’t very intertwined in DC.

  • wpk_dc

    I love Wydown and go often. I’m a tea and pastry guy — their scones and muffins are among the best I’ve ever had! But I’m not sure about the addition of liquor, seems like it’ll change the vibe.

  • wondering how this would work with seating. They have very little seating, so would you get your alcoholic coffee and go? does that violate container laws?
    That said, 2nd best coffee shop pastries in the District – Room 11 is the first, Hands down. But Wydown fresh muffins are SO damn good.

    • Anon Spock

      You definitely can’t take booze to go in DC.

      • I have no idea, so if you’re serious it seems like a weird spot to allow to have alcohol given the severe lack of seating

      • jcm

        True, except for an unfinished bottle of wine. (Maybe you know this, but I just recently learned it, and I feel like I should spread the word.)

  • CN

    The fact that there’s a coffee shop called ‘The Wydown’ in the middle of DC gives this ‘went-to-college-in-St. Louis’ girl so much joy.

    I still have yet to hit it up, though! The comments about the pastries here are pushing me to commit to going this weekend.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    Yes, I did/do while at Colony Club in the evenings. That is kind of different though because it’s definitely a bar in the evening.

  • Timmy

    I will occasionally go to a coffee shop to read a book or have a conversation with a friend. Both of these activities could be improved by a good beer/cocktail (and might be tough to do at other local bars).

    I love the Wydown. I always get a pour over, love their varied offerings, and despite what others have said, have always had great interactions with the staff/owners. They’re friendly/informative/etc in my opinion.

  • AnonV2

    Big Bear actually has a good happy hour. Lots of folks switching over to beer and wine especially when the weather is nice on the patio, but then again they lean more heavily on the food side of things with an actual kitchen. so the transition from coffee bar to bar bar make sense I think the concept of having alcohol at coffee shops works better for “third place” types of establishments with ample seating and a bigger menu than just pastries.


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