If you want a solid cup of coffee, chances are you’ll find it within a seven-block radius between 14th Street NW and Shaw, which now contains The Wydown, The Coffee Bar, Peregrine, Mockingbird Hill, Dolcezza, La Colombe*, and the most recently opened, Compass Coffee. Up next: Slipstream, from couple Ryan Fleming and Miranda Mirabella. The 45-seat spot occupies the entire first floor of 1333 14th St. NW, previously occupied by branding and design firm Fathom Creative. It’s slated to open in early October. (Stay posted for the exact date.)
Fleming, who was wooed into the coffee biz from finance, is trying to encourage interaction and dialogue between baristas and customers by creating a coffee bar that operates like an actual bar. “We thought the quality of coffee is increasing, and we need to figure out a better way to serve it to people,” Fleming says. “We’re just trying to have that conversation with people…It’s hard to have that experience waiting in a long Starbucks-style line.” For those really interested in the nuances of their MadCap-roasted coffee, Slipstream will offer flights. Of course, guests can still just come in and grab a cup to go.
Former Taan chef Jonathan Bisagni will oversee the food offerings. The chef has spent the past year working on an organic beef and produce farm in Annapolis. While Bisagni has spent a lot of time at a number of Asian restaurants (Toki Underground, Kushi, Sticky Rice), he says his early training was more French and Italian, so the menu takes inspiration from many cuisines.
Mornings will feature house-made croissants, Japanese milk bread, cheesecake soufflé, and other pastries. There will also be to-go bento-style boxes, whether it’s cheese, fruit, and crackers or rice, eggs, and vegetables. Other lunch options will include salads and sandwiches. The coffee shop will transform into a full-service restaurant and bar in the evenings. The menu, which is still in development, will start small. The kitchen doesn’t have a hood, so expect a fair share of cold plates and salads.
As Y&H previously detailed, bartender Steve Oshana is putting together the “cocktail menu that’s not a cocktail menu.” While there will be some pre-set drinks, the menu will consist of a list of spirits and a list of adjectives like sweet, sour, herbaceous, bitter, spiritous, and sparkling. Guests can choose from each, and the bartender will create a cocktail. While there’s not necessarily a set script for these combinations, Oshana says the bartenders will use recipes for classic cocktails and interchange ingredients, like housemade bitters, tinctures, and syrups to fit requests. For example, if you want something with gin that’s sour and a little bit herbaceous, you might get a Bee’s Knees with lavender or thyme syrup as opposed to honey. And if you want something with coffee? You can bet they’ll incorporate it into something boozy as well.
*This story has been updated to add two more coffee hot spots in the area: La Colombe and Dolcezza
Photo courtesy Slipstream