see my Georgetown field report
updated 9/22/19: Corridor Coffee has closed permanently as of today’s close of business
Corridor Coffee sits behind an unassuming exterior, located up the hill from Georgetown’s retail center of gravity. The name is quite fitting, given it is sited in one of the neighborhood’s narrow old townhouses.
Formerly known as The Bean Counter, the shop was taken over by new management earlier this year. The only signage is a tasetful rendering of the name on the glass door. One vestige of the old business is a seemingly forgotten label of the word Coffee on the front widow in a green color and typeface that don’t fit the current aesthetic.
Given the lack of space, the shop has done probably the best in can in the set up. The space is light, warm, and tasteful. You enter a small front room with a couple tables, a bar with stools and a few small shelves. Behind that is the counter, along with another small shelf. There isn’t much room here, and you end up feeling a bit like you’re in someone’s kitchen as you wait for your order to be prepared. It’s fine when things are slow, though I imagine the space must be very awkward if there are more than a few customers showing up at once.
A staircase leads up to another small room with a couple tables, a slightly rickety slatted bench, and a tiny restroom. On my visits the upstairs tables were taken by students from Georgetown University who were studying and talking quietly. Hearing one young woman tell another, “I should probably take an Uber because I’ll be really drunk by the time I leave,” well, okay. Behind the coffee machine is a door to an outdoor patio with some tables and chairs that looks a lot more open than inside, so you’ve got an option if the weather is good and you worry about feeling claustrophobic in the shop.
The staff were very friendly, and seemed to enjoy chatting with their customers and people who popped in from neighboring businesses. Overall the vibe is pretty chill and welcoming, and in addition to the students there were some older people who looked to be from the neighborhood, looking just as comfortable as the youngsters (though I didn’t overhear any talk of plans for upcoming drunken exploits).
The beans are from Counter Culture, and drinks are made on a La Marzocco Linea. There’s a very small selection of attractive looking baked goods, and on the shelves are some interesting candies and bottled juices.
On both my visits the coffee was very good. The only thing keeping my drinks from being excellent were that they were made at a temperature that is a touch hotter than I prefer. Not scalding and not enough to kill the taste, as was the case on my visit to Dean & DeLuca, but it’s fair to say there was a bit of an impact on the flavor. Otherwise, expertly made. I also liked the ceramic coffee cups, nice touch vs standard white china.
So while not perfect, all in all a thumbs up for a relaxed, welcoming neighborhood place a little bit away from the crowds. You’d be happy to have Corridor Coffee in your neck of the woods and become a regular.
1665 Wisconsin Avenue, NW