Caffe Aficionado is hoping to open at 1919 N. Lynn Street, near the main entrance of the Corporate Executive Board building, at some point in April or May 2013. Owner Adiam Berhane, who spent part of her childhood in Italy, says she’s going for an Italian vibe, eschewing the laid back “Northwestern” vibe of Starbucks and other coffee chains, while serving American coffee.
“America beats Italy in coffee,” Berhane said. “I probably won’t be allowed back in the country after saying that.”
Caffe Aficionado will serve Handsome Coffee, which is roasted in downtown Los Angeles, and Steven Smith Tea, a high-end artisanal tea from Portland, Oregon. The shop will also offer hot chocolate, Liege waffles and locally-made patries.
Berhane, who speaks Italian, moved with her family from Italy to D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood later in her childhood (her parents own restaurants in Adams Morgan). Most recently, she was working in music management and magazine publishing in New York City, before deciding to open a coffee shop and “live a more Italian life” closer to her parents.
“I wanted to open a business I really like and that I’m passionate about,” she said.
The cafe is being designed by the same architects who design Taylor Gourmet restaurants. Berhane said she wants the cafe to emphasize ”elegance and service” while also being a welcoming “third place” for people to hang out.
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