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“Why is the cafe literally connected to this free community resource a credit-card-only establishment?”

23rd and L Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I’m hoping I can find some feedback and direction with an issue that has been eating at me.

I was really excited that a Bluestone Lane was coming to DC (I always make a pit stop at one when I’m in NYC). The DC location is attached to the West End library. I have gone a few times. It’s delicious.

My general understanding of public libraries is that they provide a critical free resource to the community, namely a safe *free* learning environment. In the times I’ve spent in DC libraries, I’ve also noticed that people experiencing homelessness can find a little reprieve in these buildings. So here’s my issue:

Why is the cafe literally connected to this free community resource a credit-card-only establishment? The fact that some people visiting the library (in part or primarily) because it is a free resource, but may not be able to get a warm cup of coffee feels…gross? I’d love to see a sliding scale coffee offering (shout out to Potter’s House), the option to pay for someone else’s cup, and/or the option to pay in cash. I know cash boxes can increase the risk of being robbed (this was an issue at a yoga studio I worked at), but there’s gotta be some sort of compromise…right?”

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