Washington, DC

1658 Columbia Road, NW

From The Potter’s House:

“On Wednesday, May 20, The Potter’s House will reopen its doors after going dark for more than two months during the coronavirus pandemic.

This nonprofit neighborhood institution, much-beloved in its Adams Morgan community, celebrated its 60th anniversary in April. It’s one of the longest-running enterprises in the city and one that has survived many hardships in the past.

But it’s much more than a cafe and bookstore — The Potter’s House is a hub of connection, a safe and welcoming gathering place for a deeply diverse community. Its reopening offers a ray of much-needed sunshine to the city. It’s a reassurance that The Potter’s House will continue to be here to offer hospitality, welcome, and comfort — even in the midst of a global pandemic.

“We could never have imagined that we’d be marking our 60th anniversary year like this,” said Leigh Tivol, Executive Director, “but keeping going through adversity actually exemplifies what The Potter’s House stands for. This is a place that is all about hospitality and connection for everyone. And though we aren’t able right now to physically welcome our community inside our doors, we’re determined to keep bringing warmth and human kindness to Columbia Road, in all the ways we can. A cup of coffee, some comfort food made with love, and a good book can go a long way to keeping spirits up — and we all need that right now. The Potter’s House makes people feel cared for, and we want to keep doing that for our community.”

The Potter’s House is well-known in the neighborhood for offering free food to anyone in need, no questions asked. Its longstanding, donation-supported “Pay It Forward” program serves thousands of free meals and cups of coffee each year. Even while the cafe has been closed, The Potter’s House has continued to serve hundreds of gratis meals with the food left in its kitchen after its shutdown.

“It’s been an important way for us to stay connected to our neighbors,” Tivol said. “And for an organization that has always been a community gathering place at its heart, this time of separation has been especially painful. We miss seeing people connect at our open mics, our book talks, and across our tables. We’re working hard to figure out how we continue to be that place of connection, even in this moment where everything has to be contactless. We can’t wait to see our customers and neighbors again — even if it’s through plexiglass for now.”

The Potter’s House reopens for carryout food, coffee & tea, books & gifts at 9:00 am on Wednesday, May 20. It is located at 1658 Columbia Road NW. Operating hours will be 9 am – 2 pm, Wednesday – Sunday. Details and online ordering here.”


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