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By night, Capitale is a destination for bottle service and DJ parties. By day, it’s now a place where you can watch Colbert Report reruns, play Washington-themed board games, and sip on coffee drinks named things like “Rubio’s Razzamatazz” and “Trump’s Tirmisu latte.”
Roasted, as the new Franklin Square spot is called, comes from Capitale co-owner David Chung and Pierre Jimenez, who owns two commuter cafes in Virginia called Coffee Club. The two have been friends since college and recently started talking about bringing their businesses together. Jimenez had been to the nightclub when it used to be called K Street Lounge and had a futuristic glass white design scheme. “I was thinking to myself, ‘That doesn’t go well,'” Jimenez says. Capitale’s look, however, includes dark woods, couches, and shelves of books. “It has a coffee feel to it, even though it’s a club… No disco balls or anything like that.”
The coffee shop, which opened in late December, was initially just called Cappuccinos at Capitale and didn’t advertise itself very well. Hardly anyone showed up. So after a couple weeks, the owners decided to rebrand as Roasted (or roasted. as they stylize the name) and add a political satire theme. (Never mind that most of cafe’s thematic elements aren’t actual satire, just politically themed.)
Roasted serves Compass Coffee and your typical coffee bar offerings plus flavored specialty drinks like the Lindsey Graham Cracker Latte or Martin O’Malley’s Mint Mocha. “Pretty much if Starbucks is carrying it, we probably can make it for you,” Jimenez says. You can drink your coffee out of politically themed cups you’d likely find at a souvenir shop near the White House.
The coffee spot might want to work on its political commentary (jokes?) though. For example, a description of Carson’s Caramilla Latte reads, “Nothing like butterscotch & caramel to keep your facts straight,” while another for the Santorum Shortcake Latte says, “Is this raspberry, almond & vanilla trio the name of Santorum’s wife’s stripper name or a delicious latte?”
If you’re not entertained, well, at least there’s a ping pong table—and some board games, too. And since the Washington Post recently moved into the building, Roasted is thinking about formatting the menu like a newspaper or adding other media-themed elements.
There’s no food except some biscotti cookies for now, but Jimenez says they’re looking to bring in some local baked goods. As that section of the menu reads, “because baking politicians is what we do.”
Roasted is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
CORRECTION: This story initially misspelled the name of Capitale’s owner. It’s David Chung, not David Yung.
Roasted, 1301 K St. NW; (202) 733-6070; roasteddc.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman