Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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:"

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