03 Jan 2011

Juice, Tea & Coffee Appear in Hill East

I’m not a fan of chain stores and restaurants, and avoid them when I can. But with the absence of a coffee shop/cafe in Hill East (other than the one inside Safeway), I’ve found myself wishing even FourBucks or Caribou Coffee would set up shop. Not likely, but now we neighbors have the chance to demonstrate our buying (or is that sipping?) power at a new tea shop, that, fortunately, happens to have coffee on the menu. Perhaps additional small business owners will follow.

Barry Lester, the owner of Attitude Exact Gallery on Barracks Row, has ventured into the Bermuda Triangle of commercial space, also known as the building beside Frager’s. Last year were were sad to see Dulce come and go after a few short months. In mid December Lester opened The B Spot: Juice Bar & Art Gallery and Stage on the upper floor of the property.

The menu focuses on teas, juices and fruit smoothies, with cups of Counter Culture coffee rounding out the menu, and for that this groggy mom is grateful. You can even sip world tea championship teas like the Strawberry Seduction and Assam Reserve, or get a little crazy with a B Spot Nirvana Smoothie. There are also baked goods if you need to round out your liquid meal.

Perhaps most interesting to me is that Lester plans to let people rent the space for “dry” parties and hold regular events like a weekly Saturday story hour. He seems to understand catering to the child set can be lucrative, especially in the absence of a liquor license. The room is bright and open with plenty of room for chairs, activities or even little rugrats doing their thing. Eclectic artwork from the Smithsonian Associates art league dress up the place.

Welcome to the neighborhood B Spot. Thanks for taking the dare and diversifying the businesses in HillEast.

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7 responses to “Juice, Tea & Coffee Appear in Hill East”

  1. Mark says:

    So this place is on the upper floor? I fear it will suffer the same fate as that short-lived coffee shop that was in a row home on the next block. One of the primary joys of hanging out in a coffee/tea house is gazing out the window and people watching.

    I wish them the best.

  2. Nice write-up, Kate. I live just a couple of blocks from the Potomac Avenue Metro. While I love all the options available at Eastern Market/Barracks Row, I have longed for a coffee shop closer to home for those days when I just need to get out of the house to write or do a little work for a few hours and feel a bit too lazy to lug the laptop that far.

    I was desperately hoping the corner spot at Jenkins Row would be a coffeehouse or a nice little deli, but sadly it became the GameStop. I also hoped that the ground floor storefront at 1306 Penn would become home to a little spot, but it became another Cricket location; now that they’re gone, I’ve had my fingers crossed again.

    I just noticed The B Spot while walking home the other day, and I wasn’t sure how long it had been open. As Mark mentioned, the upstairs location will work against them in an already difficult spot, and I really want coffee (including an occasional latte or Americano) rather than tea. At least they’re brewing Counter Culture, which I’ve always enjoyed. I’ll try to stop by there and give them a shot soon.

  3. ML says:

    Tried this place today – I was pleasantly suprised at how much I liked it. Mod yet cozy decor, tho the tablecloths are little fussy for a tea/coffee shop. Nice music playing at a nice volume, free wi fi… in short, a good place to chill out or get some work done. Yes, it’s upstairs, but not a bad staircase. Not friendly for taking my stroller though (bummer.) The tea is nice!

  4. Eva says:

    I was there yesterday and really liked it. Especially the really nice owner who chatted with me while battling with the tea… But I think to make it work in this location they definitely need regular events like hosting the Moms on the Hill “Eaters and Sleepers” group (which the Dulce people did)… It would also be a great space for life music or other cultural events. And an espresso machine instead of just serving drip coffee.

  5. Ernie says:

    As a native Washingtonian who has lived on the Hill for years, I can attest to the menu. I have had the opportunity to try the juices, teas and coffee and the prices are very reasonable. I am elated that our neighborhood does not have another chain but an enviroment that is decorated very nicely with seating and beautiful Art Work . Welcome

  6. Kate McFadden says:

    @Ernie – I totally agree with you. It’s low key, fairly priced and nearbye! I wish them all the best — and hope they do a bit more with their signage and advertising.

  7. This new place belongs to my very ambitious, hardworking and talented cousin. I am wishing his new venture him great success! Evrrybody spread the word!

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