Filter Falls in Brookland but Good News – Little Red Fox is Coming!!

by Prince Of Petworth April 26, 2017 at 9:30 am 34 Comments

8th and Monroe Street, NE

Yesterday on the Brookland listserv a resident shared:

“The manager of Filter shared yesterday when I was there that they are closing their Monroe St. location on Sunday (4/30) due to insufficient business. The bike shop will remain, and his understanding is that they have plans to open something more food-centric in the space where the coffee shop has been.”

I spoke with the owner of the Bike Rack who tells me that Little Red Fox will be taking over the space!! You can expect:

“variety of healthy take out foods, breakfast burritos and coffee drinks.”

Stay tuned for lots more info next week.

  • kapitolhill

    Big Starbucks competition right there with their Reserve shop.

      • Truxton Thomas

        That blog post was pretty dope.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      The Reserve coffee in the Clover machine is definitely pricey, but it is damn good.

      • kwame

        agreed I was skeptical at first about Starbucks coming in but they are consistently on point and all of the reserve items I’ve had are great.

    • Justaphil

      Honestly, Starbucks is not the villain in this story, it’s the developer, Buzzoto. Whilst signing artists to take up studios in the Arts Walk four years ago, Bozzuto guaranteed that there would be a grocery store on the plot between 8th and 7th Streets across from Brookland Pint; “by January 2016,” they promised. Been by recently? It’s still an empty lot and they have no one lined up. For small businesses in a development like Monroe Street Market, foot traffic is crucial; without a grocery store on that plot, there is absolutely no draw for Brookland residents on the other side of the Monroe St. bridge to come over and wander. Not only that, but the executive at Buzotto who signed the Starbucks Reserva works at their national office in Chicago: doesn’t live in Brookland, never been to Brookland, and thus cares nothing about Brookland.

      • JoDa

        Perhaps these are part and parcel of the same thing, but the reason why I rarely patronized that Filter was that it closed at 6 PM. It’s not that I never went by there (I had reason to “pass by” at least once a week), it was just that it was almost always after 6 PM, and they were closed. Perhaps if there was a grocery store across the street they’d have more foot traffic, and stay open later, and then I’d pop by for a coffee on my way home from work or whatnot…

  • maxwell smart

    Wow… first taking over the Politics & Prose cafe and now this!? I’m excited for LRF success! I hope this doesn’t mean they will ever leave Forest Hills.

  • I wonder if the Starbucks really drew that many people away from Filter or just got new business. Filter’s lack of comfortable indoor seating space was a big minus IMO. On the other hand, coffee geeks probably wouldn’t dump Filter for Starbucks. I stopped buying my beans at Filter because they were always too old.

    • Rukasu

      Wha!? They get weekly deliveries

  • Anonynon

    I never made up to filter but been meaning to get my bike checked out at the rack…..any recommendations on that or the place down on the MBT near eckington?

    • lalaru

      Big fan of that particular location of the Bike Rack! Have visited probably 4-6 other bike shops in town and of all of them, like the Bike Rack the most (but particularly this location. Less impressed with the Logan Circle location’s staff)

    • MBT traveler

      The shop itself doesn’t have a huge selection, but their mechanic shop is great. Most places are hit and miss, but I’ve been very pleased each time I have to go to them. The place you’re referring to near Eckington is probably Gearin Up. They are a non-profit that teaches local kids how to work on bikes and trains them for future employment in the industry. They may not have the same resources as the Bike Rack, but they’re cheaper, and you’ld be supporting a good cause.

  • If they opened before 730 id be there everyday

  • bv1837

    Please oh please let LRF have their tasty baguettes at this location too!

  • B-lo

    I loved Filter’s coffee but they had horrible seating and no wifi. Brooklanders are eager to support local businesses but if you can’t meet someone for coffee at a coffee shop because there aren’t good spots to sit and have a conversation, what’s the point of the coffee shop? They also had no wifi, meaning few weekday midday customers or students from nearby Catholic University needing to get a bit of work done.

    • Justaphil

      Free WiFi is a gimmick that started in San Francisco in the early 2000s to make coffeeshops that served mediocre coffee look busy to people walking by. Offering free WiFi does not actually increase business, in fact it does the opposite: it encourages people who have no intention to buy more than a cup of coffee to post up and squat for hours, thus denying seating space to customers who want to sit, enjoy their beverage in ceramic, and leave after they’re done.

      Filter did remove the high stool bar against the window a few months ago and put in tables and chairs (which were a huge hit with customers), but it was too late at that point. Also, Catholic University students already had a Starbucks on campus as well as a Starbucks cafe in their Barnes and Noble-run student bookstore one block away.

      • exit1a

        One of the things I loved about Filter was exactly this: No WiFi. Good coffee with baristas that actually know how to pull a shot, and a cafe that was intended to be a cafe, not some place I’d have to fight for a seat. Agree, however, on the not-open-early-enough complaints. Is DC such a late morning city that it really doesn’t make sense to open before 7? After 5 years here it still baffles me.

  • Admo_Anon

    And my morning has just been made a touch better. I love LRF, especially their honey cinnamon lattes.

  • brookland/edgewood boarder patrol

    when you have 0 seating and a sign on your door boasting “no wifi” in a storefront that borders a huge university… well, of course, the glorious Starbucks reserve will take all the business. Excited for LRF though!

  • northeazy

    I never been to LRF because it is so far away from me and not Metro accessible. This one however will be for me so looking forward to seeing what all the raves are about.

  • KMBkland

    Agree with comments about the lack of seating/wifi being a challenge. The folks at Filter were always so friendly and I will certainly miss them, but I’m very excited about the LRF news and would love to have more fast/healthy food options in the area. Hooray!

    • Anonymous

      This my same issue with Qualia in Petworth. No seating, no wifi. No thanks.

  • anon

    I will miss Filter’s coffee and those AMAZING STICKY BUNS

  • JB

    Sad to see Filter go, but overall see this as a win. I liked Filter a lot (and staff was great), but like others never found the location that inviting to sit or meet friends, etc. It was good for grabbing coffee before the Farmers Market, but my other local coffee squeeze, Zeke’s was always there too.

    A place that one can also hang out and grab a sandwich is a huge win (and a real good one at that). With more and more young kids in the neighborhood, there is increasing potential for the Arts Walk to be a hang-out place even on days where nothing special is going on. I think Little Red Fox with more food options better brings and serves that potential. I hope they look at these comments and try to rework the space to ensure it is a little more inviting to sit down and linger.

  • Anonymous

    Same owners different concept…(You also got a ‘shout out’ in the City Paper)

    Fox Loves Taco, coming to Brookland late summer. “We’re trying to make this a playful, family-friendly place,” he continues. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

    When it opens, Fox Loves Taco will offer breakfast tacos all day and coffee from Portland roaster Coava Coffee. Details on the menu are sparse, but they’ll make flour and corn tortillas in house and you can expect plenty of Little Red Fox hot sauce to be on hand to spice things up. There will be options for the vegan crowd. Carr says they plan to make their own soy chorizo.

    PoPville initially reported that Filter, the coffee shop that currently occupies the space, is closing due to insufficient business and that the team from Little Red Fox will take its place at 716 Monroe St. NE.

    • JB

      Curious others’ takes, but I probably would prefer a cafe with solid sandwiches over a taco place and thus am a little disappointed with the idea compared to them opening another Little Red Fox. I think Little Red Fox would be perfect for that space. But personally, not sure I would frequent a taco place there as often. I’m sure it will be better than Chipolte, but Chipolte is across the street to satisfy some of those cravings. And there currently is nowhere in the neighborhood to get a solid, hipster-approved sandwich that I can easily take to go or eat outside there. But their choice of course, and hope I’m wrong and I find myself going there all the time.

  • Hi all. Matt from LRF here. Thanks so much for the feedback. It’s super helpful. We want to make this place great and comments from folks in the neighborhood are an essential part of that process. We want it to be an anchor in the Brookland community for a long time. Looking forward to meeting you all soon!

    • Brooklander19

      As someone who works remotely and is up out of the house by 6 every day, I’m dying for a breakfast option that is not just pastries…and we definitely need quick, healthy options. I was a huge fan of Filter and loved the patio addition once they did that, but I’m also happy to see you guys come in. Really excited to come in once you’re open.

  • supportDCcoffee

    Coava coffee from Portland is freaking legit, and I hope it’s true that LRF carries it. I live in Hyattsville and had to bike down to CUA frequently to access the library as I worked on my master’s thesis, and Filter would be a mandatory stop every time. I will miss Filter and their quality offerings, but if LRF carries good beans, everything will be ok.

    Support good coffee in DC!!!

    • exit1a

      Right? Now if we could just get Heart and Roseline…


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