Thursday, July 15, 2010

Check us out! We are upgrading!

We have listened to your suggestions and we are working hard to make them reality! Come on in and see the new improvements!

Check us out and enter to win our weekly drawing for a FREE lunch for two!

Big Chair coffee is open 7am-9pm Monday - Saturday.

We love Anacostia and we love our community and it is our pleasure to make your experience with Big Chair a great one!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Check back soon!

Come on down to Big Chair today!

Come on down for lunch or coffee or tea or anything on our wonderful menu!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big Chair Coffee does catering!

Give us a call or send us an email today to learn more!

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill in Historic Anacostia is your place for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Visit us today!

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill

Friday, May 7, 2010

Come check out our new menu!

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill keeps on getting better!

Come on down and check out our new expanded and totally homemade from scratch menu!

Crab Cakes
Shrimp Salad
Fish Dinners
Macaroni & Cheese
Pound Cake
Chicken Salad

Just to name a few! Come on down and have a great dining experience OR take advantage of  our wonderful catering service!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Come on down and get your choice and mix of a fresh smoothie! Enjoy your own special combination of  strawberry, mango, pineapple, bananna, papaya and more!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Come on down and enjoy the NEW Big Chair Iced Coffees, Iced Mochas and Iced Teas!

Come cool down at Big Chair!!!

Enter to win a FREE lunch for two!

Drop your business card in the Big Chair bowl next to the register and enter to win our weekly drawing for a FREE lunch for two!!!!!

Tell your friends and come on down to Big Chair for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Coffee Menu! Come and enjoy!

Caramel Latte
French Press
Hot Chocolate
Various Teas

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Chair Coffee has FREE wifi!

Come on down, bring your laptop, and enjoy some of our delicious drinks!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NEW MENU ITEM: Salmon Burger!

Come try our latest addition to the menu: The salmon burger! Come and get it before it swims upstream!

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill

Open 7 days a week 7am - 9pm

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vote Big Chair Coffee for Best Coffee Shop

Vote Big Chair Coffee for Best Coffee Shop

Go to the link above to vote! Poll closes March 15th. Let's get Big Chair and River East on the map!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

TODAY AT BIG CHAIR: Leo Alexander Meet and Greet, Sat 3pm -7pm

DC 2010 Mayoral Candidate


Cordially Invites
The River East Community At-Large


Saturday, February 20, 2010
3pm Until 7pm

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill
2122 MLK Jr. Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 2020
(202) 525-4287

Light refreshments will be served compliments of the "Leo Alexander for DC Mayor"

*This is not a public endorsement by Big Chair Coffee"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good to Go takeout: Big Chair Coffee n' Grill in Anacostia

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Mac Mekonnen serves a turkey burger and fries at Big Chair Coffee n' Grill.
Mac Mekonnen serves a turkey burger and fries at Big Chair Coffee n' Grill. (Michael Temchine - For The Washington Post)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When giving directions to their home in Anacostia, my friends often say, "We live just past the big chair." Until last month, they were referring to the giant structure on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue that, as most locals know, was erected in 1959 to advertise the Curtis Brothers furniture store, now long shuttered. These days, in addition to that larger-than-life landmark, my friends are also referring to the coffee shop that recently opened across the street from it. For this community, where sit-down spots are lacking, the new eatery is huge news.

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill is run by Ayehubizu Yimenu along with her son Dave, nephew Mac and other family members. The location used to be a plumbing shop; Dave spent the past two years turning the space into a cozy two-story cafe. The brew menu is fairly standard (from $1.40 for a small coffee to $4.10 for a large caramel macchiato), but soon the owners plan to offer coffee ceremonies, a tradition carried over from their native Ethiopia. (The coffee is Java brand.)

What to eat? We dropped in on a cold night, so house-made chicken noodle soup ($5.25) sounded good -- and it was, with a pleasantly oniony broth, thick coins of carrot and lots of white meat. Selections that rotate daily include cream of broccoli and corn-and-shrimp chowder. Other solid bets are the boneless wings ($7 for about eight), which are sort of like nuggets that have been given the hot-sauce treatment, and the turkey burger ($7.80), simply dressed with lettuce, tomato and a light swath of mayo. There's a beef burger ($4.95), but Mac says the veggie version ($7.75) is "selling like hotcakes" to his clientele who seem, so far, to appreciate Big Chair's health-minded options in a neighborhood where fried food abounds. We'll be back to try the omelets ($5.99, made with your choice of cheese, vegetables and meat), which we're told are a tasty, not-too-filling way to start the day.

Take your meal on the first floor at the bar or at one of the few small tables near it, or head to the lounge area upstairs and someone will cheerfully bring you your food when it's ready. Either way, take a look around at the art hanging on the walls: Available for purchase, it's the work of local artists from the nearby Honfleur Gallery.

Big Chair Coffee has been in business for only about three weeks, yet already it has its regulars. "I'm in here every day," said one customer whose office is just up the street. The people next to us nodded in agreement. With its simple but satisfying food and friendly-cool vibe, Big Chair feels like one of those mellow get-togethers that you hope will grow to a full-on party.

-- Catherine Barker

Big Chair Coffee n' Grill

2122 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE; 202-525-4287, Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Big chair coffee on washington post

The Breaking News Blog

All the latest news from the District, Maryland and Virginia

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Anacostia gives coffee shop warm reception

Lidya Tewelde makes a latte during the lunch rush at Big Chair Coffee & Grill in Anacostia. Residents said they are happy to have a coffee shop in the neighborhood.
Lidya Tewelde makes a latte during the lunch rush at Big Chair Coffee & Grill in Anacostia. Residents said they are happy to have a coffee shop in the neighborhood. (Mark Gail/washington Post)
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Korinna Garbis, 29, of Arlington County ordered lunch at the counter on her second visit. Working for a construction company in the area, she said she was excited to have another lunch option close to her job.

"There's not really a lot of options here, so a lot of times I go to Barracks Row," she said. "It just is a good, dynamic scene in general, and there's no other place around here to get cocoa. It's nice to be able to get out of the office and regroup for a moment."

Residents are just as enthusiastic, said Cheryl Jenifer, 59, an educational consultant who lives around the corner.

"The atmosphere is very cozy and warm. And anything that's quaint adds to Anacostia, which is a historic community. I was a principal in this area for over 20 years, so I've worked and lived right here. So something like this makes you feel like you don't have to venture so far," she said.

A liquor license is pending. Yimenu said that it's strictly to offer wine and beer as more of a restaurant setting and not along the lines of a nightclub.

The coffee shop used to close at 7 p.m., but the hours were extended to 9 p.m. The buzz for the business even prompted an earlier than scheduled opening.

"I wanted to do a grand opening on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but we were in here on Jan. 11 testing the machine and cleaning up everything and all of a sudden customers and reporters started coming in," she said. "My hair wasn't even done, but I wasn't going to turn any business away."

The coffee shop is at 2122 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. For information, call 202-525-4287 or visit

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Chair Food Menu

  • All kinds of omelettes (veggie, ham and cheese, cheese, steak, etc. - you name it we make it)
  • Breakfast Platter: 2 eggs any style, bacon or sausage and hashbrowns


  • Boneless Chicken Wings
  • Chicken Tenders
  • Veggie Burger
  • Turkery Burger
  • Steak n' Cheese
  • Chicken Cheesesteak (choice of Teriyaki, Buffalo or BBQ style)

*Comes with your choice of french fries or onion rings

  • Creamy Corn and Shrimp Chowder
  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Cream of Broccoli
  • Chicken Noodle Soup

*Soup choices are rotated daily


  • A variety of tasty treats

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Caramel Latte
French Press
Hot Chocolate

Photo courtesy of Life in the Village

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WASHINGTONIAN.COM: The Wrap-Up: The week in Food

"Big Chair Coffee n’ Grill—the first stand-alone coffee shop in Anacostia—opened this week in DC’s River East neighborhood. According to DCist, the owners won Murky Coffee’s La Marzocco espresso machine at a tax auction. Coffee beans will come from Ethiopia, and eventually there’ll be eggs and sausage at breakfast and burgers, wings, and chicken fingers at lunch."

Go HERE to continue reading.

WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: Photos: Coffee and a Chair, East of the River

Posted by Darrow Montgomery on Jan. 18, 2010, at 12:10 pm
Go HERE to view photos.


"Traits of a winning coffee shop include a comfortable atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and above all, good coffee (or in my case, tea). Big Chair Coffee has all three, plus an upstairs lounge (not quite open yet), and it's locally owned, too. They offer a full range of coffee drinks, from espresso to mocho, plus non-coffee beverages such as chai, hot chocolate, juices, sodas, etc. Hungry? Try a veggie burger, turkey burger, omelettes, hash browns, or a pastry."

Go HERE to continue reading.

AND NOW, ANACOSTIA: Big Chair Coffee Open for Business

"Exciting times on MLK this morning: Big Chair Coffee opened for business! Here are some photos of the opening. I missed part of the morning rush, but got there at about 8 and witnessed a pretty steady flow of customers. Here in Anacostia we're accustomed to walking or driving down the street with no expectation of anything being open, so I'm sure it will take a little time for the place to really fill up. But this is hot."

Go HERE to continue reading.

WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: Big Chair Coffee: Big News for Anacostia

"Nearly four years ago, WCP senior writer Jason Cherkis explained the woeful state of the sit-down restaurant in Ward 8. He summed it up in one concise sentence: “Ward 8’s culinary culture right now is the carryout.” Consider this excerpt:

People don’t power-lunch in Ward 8. For the most part, people who eat out communicate over Styrofoam trays at bus stops, on stoops, in cars—inevitably lukewarm, fried, and hurried. Some may sit and have breakfast at Cole’s Cafe or lunch at Player’s, but the community’s bigwigs don’t count those as sit-down restaurants. When they think of sit-downs, they’re thinking of chains that have long stacked the suburbs. “I count sit-down as Outback, Applebee’s,” says James Bunn of the Ward 8 Business Council. “I want to go to someplace where I really enjoy—Red Lobster, Applebee’s. My cultural restaurants.”

Big Chair Coffee N’ Grill won’t change the dining culture in Anacostia all by itself, but the shop’s opening yesterday was a cause for celebration for many in Ward 8. Housing Complex’s Ruth Samuelson was there on opening day and filed a report. Here’s a nice moment from her item:"

Go HERE to continue reading.

Corn and Shrimp Chowder and Caramel Latte

Corn and Shrimp Chowder and Caramel Latte
photo courtesy of Congress Heights on the Rise

HOUSING COMPLEX: Big Chair Coffee-Anacostia's First Stand-Alone Coffee Shop That Anyone Can Remember - Opened Today

"People craving a cup of joe in Anacostia can finally look further than their own kitchens and office coffee machines. Big Chair Coffee ‘N Grill—located on Martin Luther King Jr. Ave—opened this morning for business.

The shop has been a long time coming—forever, really: no one can remember a stand-alone, sit-down coffee place in Ward 7 and 8 in recent history. (There is apparently a Starbucks in the Safeway on Naylor Road.)"

Go HERE to continue reading.

DCIST: Grand Opening At Big Chair Coffee n' Grill

"Today's grand opening at Big Chair Coffee n' Grill might be the most highly anticipated new business event in River East in years. Dozens of curious customers dropped by the soft opening on Saturday to check the place out. There wasn't a whole lot to see yet: No sign, no food. But before Big Chair even opened its doors, it was already building a scene."

Go HERE to continue reading.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grand Opening Day Evening Rush

Photos courtesy of Congress Heights on the Rise

Our Grand Opening!

Photos courtesy of Congress Heights on the Rise