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."

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

Posted by Darrow Montgomery on Jan. 18, 2010, at 12:10 pm
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"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."

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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."

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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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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.)"

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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."

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