The former Mid City Deli space at 14th and P streets NW will soon be home to a new Dolcezza gelato and coffee shop. The guys behind Taylor Gourmet were initially set to open something there, but they’ve changed directions and are now subletting to Dolcezza.
Unlike Dolcezza’s other outposts, this location will have a to-go window that allows people to order gelato and coffee from the street. Also new: a sundae bar where patrons can combine their favorite gelato flavors with different flavored whipped creams and other seasonally rotating toppings. Just one of the potential combinations to look forward to? Thai coconut milk and key lime gelato topped with honey graham crumbles, toasted coconut, and rum whipped cream. “We always do it at home or at parties and stuff like that, and it’s always good,” co-owner Robb Duncan says of the sundaes. “So we were like, ‘Man we should do that in the shops, too.'”
Duncan discovered that the building was originally constructed in the late 1800s by a pharmacist who had his business there. He’s working with a millworker out of Baltimore to add apothecary cabinetry to the walls of the 1,000-square-foot space. The Dolcezza team has had to do extensive renovations on the space, including ripping out the floors and reinforcing the walls with steel, but Duncan hopes to open the location by mid-May. By then, it should be warm enough that you can enjoy your gelato on the outdoor patio, too.
And in other Dolcezza news, the gelateria is opening its factory and “coffee lab” near Union Market on Friday, March 21 with free public tours at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day through Sunday, March 23. Guests that weekend can also pick up half-priced prepackaged pints of gelato and sorbet, which normally retail for $10.50.
Photo by Jessica Sidman