changes in a time of constant change

Many of us are finding our favorite coffee shops closed, sometimes with some notice, sometimes with none, as retail as a whole continues to suffer from the intense shocks of our COVID age. A couple recent moves:

Dolcezza, the DC area gelato and coffee purveyor, has decided to close all its shops over the next month, except for the coffee bar at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum (which is temporarily closed), and two outlets in Fairfax, VA. The company’s focus seems to be shifting to wholesale sales of its gelato. A big loss.

Another DC chain, Peregrine, closed its outlet on 14th Street NW in late June, saying it was due to increasing rents. This strip of retail and restaurants has been one of the hottest stretches of commercial retail in the area over the past 5 years, with rising rents crowding out many independent and local businesses in favor of high end chains. They continue to operate two other outlets in DC and a pop-up in The Pug, a bar along the H Street NE corridor.

In moves not related to COVID pressures, Milwaukee’s Kickapoo Coffee has completed its name change. Say hello to Wonderstate Coffee. And DC cafe and bar Colony Club has changed its name to Doubles. The name change reflects a move away from negative associations with colonialism, particularly given the gentrification in its Park View neighborhood, and ties to their in-house ping pong table.

mini-review: Colony Club

I ran out of beans for making coffee at home over the Thanksgiving holiday. The last batch I went through was the seasonal OtoƱo blend from Intelligentsia, a big, bold monster with tons of flavor that produced a lot of crema. This time I wanted to get something from Heart, a terrific roaster from Portland, OR, which has become my favorite.

Not a lot of shops in the DC area carry Heart’s beans, but I knew of one which I had been meaning to try out, Colony Club in the Park View neighborhood in Washington. I had stopped in once before, but if was just after 5pm, when they stop serving coffee for the day and switch over completely to being a bar.

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