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Quincy Liquor adding Coffee and Outdoor Seating on 14th Street

by Prince Of Petworth May 9, 2017 at 11:00 am 29 Comments

quincy liquor
3712 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

The owner of quincy liquor is the nicest man and last weekend when we went in he explained he’s going to start selling coffee.

Long story short the plan is for him to start selling Ethiopian coffee, as well as aged barrel coffee from Colorado. he seems really passionate about this venture- also mentioned they’d be doing some outdoor seating as well.

Would love to hear from readers if they would sit outside or even buy inside to go coffee at a liquor store, and in general what they’d like to see from local coffee in the area. he’s the nicest man and would love to support him and the improvement of this block!”

Ed. Note: Plans remind me a bit of Cafe Kaza in Logan, though they were more of a bodega originally. So would you buy coffee at a liquor store? If the coffee, and prices are good, I say why not?!?!??

  • PetworthGuy

    A bit unusual, but I agree if the price is reasonable and the coffee is good, why not?? I would say Qualia could be a competitor, but I think they’re far enough apart to conduct business harmoniously.

  • Nathan

    Maybe if they initially set up a coffee stand outside during peak hours. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t buy coffee from a liquor store unless the coffee was great and the price was cheap. 14th Street in Columbia Heights has quite a few mediocre to below-average coffee options. I wouldn’t go out of my way for any of them, so maybe it could work.

    • samanda_bynes

      yeah between 7-11 coffee and liquor store coffee, I’d go with the latter every time.

    • MCR

      I would absolutely come by every morning with my dog if there were an outdoor coffee stand (assuming the coffee is even halfway decent).

  • andy

    Irish coffee?

  • theharleyquinn

    The area could definitely use 1-2 more sit-down coffee shop options.

  • Aonymous

    To answer the question, a coffee shoppe is desperately needed, but Id be naturally skeptical of a liquor store selling coffee. The owner has obviously heard from residents who desperately want a coffee shop/bakery along this stretch, but he might be better off improving the liquor store. When businesses try to be too many things, it confuses people and can lead them to not patronize.

    • AN

      I’ll be interested to try the coffee once they get set up. As a neighbor and patron, I know that the owner has dramatically increased craft beer and wine selection over the past 4 months, purchased new coolers, and took down the bullet proof glass around the counter. He’s making a concerted effort to improve the liquor store.

      • Michael Pierce

        I remember going in there for a pack of smokes about ten years ago. Talk about a shit show. To say things have changed in the neighborhood would be a gross understatement.

      • MCR

        I can attest that there is a very above-average craft beer selection now.

  • Guillermo Brown

    Owner is definitely a nice guy, along with all the business owners on this stretch.
    Here’s a tip to the owner, though: spend some time looking at what the other popular coffee shops around town are doing decor-wise, because I don’t think adding coffee in response to neighborhood demand for it, alone, is going to be successful. Seconding the comment above, doing too many things is going to confuse people.
    This is wishful thinking, and I know it’s hard when you need income from operating the business, but I really wish a full-blown renovation could be done here, not just tearing down bullet proof glass and other odds and ends. Has the owner applied for a Great Streets grant? I hear business owners can fetch upwards of $50,000 for renovations (maybe more) with this program. I sincerely think a place like Colony Club or a mini version of La Colombe, would do great business here.

    • jonah

      Town and Country Market on Upshur did a full store renovation as the block started changing. They are more of a corner store with a good alcohol selection, than a full liquor store. I imagine they might see some more foot traffic now as a result.

      • Anonyous

        Agree. I never went to Town & Country until the renovation. Never felt that inviting before the renovation…. The owner of this liquor store should take advantage of the DC Great Street grant to do the same.

  • northeazy

    I think this is a great idea. I cannot speak about this store in particular, but there are a few liquor stores i can think of in DC (I’m talking to you Rose’S Queen Liquor on Bladensburg) that could really use a shot in the arm to bring in a different crowd then the one that currently congregates there. Wishful thinking for Rose’s but I hope this is a trend.

  • W

    Yeah I would absolutely patronize this – maybe also consider wifi to encourage the telework crowd? I would also second the other comments that some minor refreshing to look a little more coffee-house-y would help (or even just some nice-ish outdoor seating). Finally, I’d also suggest offering some cold brew/iced options given the (eventual) change in season.

  • anon

    if a liquor store/coffee shop combo was in like bangkok or costa rica, it would be considered quirky and interesting. seems like a cool idea.

  • I’m sure the owner’s a nice guy. And if his store isn’t one of those in the neighborhood that sell rot-gut to the habitual inebriates who pass out in my alley, I’d support the hell out of his coffee/liquor concept.

    • AN

      I’ve seen him turn down the guys who can’t talk or stand up straight (as is the law) on several occasions, and have no reason to believe that he isn’t acting in good faith. If your alley is adjacent, you may also be interested in reminding the developer of 3700 14th Street, Michael Watson (Taja Investments) and funder, John Capetanakis, to clean up the blight of a property where many vagrants and inebriates pass out on a daily basis.

      • Anonymous

        The two corner stores that routinely sell alcohol to the “day drunks” are on the same block as Little Coco’s. They both allegedly seen synthetic marijuana to local dealers to sell in the neighborhood. Both also sell “two-packs” of beer which lead to the public intoxication problem. The cans (and sometimes the people!) end up on the ground in my alley.

        • For all of us raising small children in the neighborhood, it’d sure be something if we could somehow organize a boycott of any convenience/liquor store that facilitates public intoxication. Tell the proprietors that they can sell as many 2-packs as they want, but that will be all they sell.

          • Anonymous

            Or MPD could… you know… enforce the law. MPD continuously refuses to enforce quality of life statues. Some of it is because the don’t want to do paperwork. Some of it is the pressure they are under to reduce violent crime stats. Either way, if they would actually make arrests on this block, the behavior would cease. As it is now, the day drunks know MPD will do nothing.

      • JS

        Oh god, I didn’t realize Taja was developing 3700 14th. It looks like some of the bland (to put it mildly) new conversions further south on 14th are going to have some stiff competition in the ‘ugliest new condo’ category.

  • lrds

    Liquor stores don’t qualify for grants like Great Streets, unfortunately, and while I’d love a coffee joint on this strip, Little Coco served coffee in the AMs (with wifi and baked goods) and couldn’t make it work. Not enough people stopped in. I’m hopeful they’ll give it another shot at some point, but before anyone has big dreams about coffee shops, consider whether the market will really work.

    • Anonymous

      Little Coco’s didnt work because (as mentioned above) when a restaurant tries to do too many things, people get confused. When people think Little Coco’s, they think Italian. They don’t think coffee. I didnt even know they served coffee until someone told me they discontinued it. If there was a full-time coffee/bakery on the block it’d do very well. You can’t half-a** it though.

  • mrbdc

    I welcome this idea and hope it works. If the coffee is good and the seating area is nice, people will go. There is an obvious dearth of decent coffee options on this corner, which gets a lot of foot traffic.

    If you haven’t been lately, this store is making gradual renovations and upgrading its offering…the wine and beer selection got a major upgrade recently. They’re investing dollars into the store and improving the streetscape, so I wish them the best.

  • stink eye

    I stopped by the other day to buy some beer and the clerk started talking to me about the whiskey coffee. The people at this store are super nice. I’m glad they have improved their beer selection and taken down the bulletproof glass. If they add outside seating, I would definitely buy a cup of joe and enjoy it outside. Otherwise, I’d have to pass.

  • redraeven

    I’d totally support this.

  • Quincy1

    Thanks you Prince of Petworth for brining this idea for negiborhood discussion.
    Thankyou all the neighbors who express your encouragement, constructive comments and ideas to explore for my venture and pieces of advice to focus on things that can be attainable.

    I’m the new owner for the old “Herman’s liquor ” and since I start this business , I did all I can to make improvement to this place. Unfortunately Liquor store is very competitive and capital intensive business and the fight I fight is not an easy one to survive.( let’s keep this one for another time and just let me focus on the discussion,)

    My concept is Speciality coffee!! Not coffee from a warmer:) Don’t you think we all deserve to start our day with a nice cup of coffee???

    you can imagine my single origin premium speciality coffee concept comes from the below two points:
    1- I love coffe and I drink a lot of coffee throughout the day. unfortunately there is no really good coffee close to my store (at least a coffee I love as someone who come from the birth place of coffee:))and
    2- our Liquor business is on the average above 90% is after 5pm to mid night and we are underutilizing our resources in the day time and I’m exploring opportunities which can complement my business and Coffee & beer growlers( Just FYI- wine growlers also allowed just last week) are the two options under consideration. From this two the time window for coffee is from morning till 2pm and it seems it can work with my store. am asking why not?

    So I’m open for your comments and let me know what I can do to make this concept a reality and successful in a way that will be good for all of usand build a nice neighborhood morning discussion spot and also some thing that help me to pay my bills.

    Thank you all and look forward to hear your perspectives.
    “No one is RICH enough to do without a Neighbor ” G. G. Marquez

    • PetlessInPetworth

      Thank you for this post and being such a great business owner in the neighborhood! I love your store (in a non-alcoholic way) and LOVE the idea of coffee. I promise to stop by :) Especially if you can set up the front of the store with coffee and maybe some muffins and pastries and keep the alcohol toward the back (as it is now) since it’s nice to have them a little separated


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