Choosing a casual-yet-professional setting for a meeting with either a promising business prospect or an existing account can be tougher than it sounds. Pick a cramped and crowded Starbucks with people hovering over the mobile-order pick-up area, and you may irritate an already harried client. Suggest meeting at a dingy and deserted deli with reheated decaf and ancient pastries, and you could give a potential client the wrong impression.
Luckily, having been in the D.C. office-spaces game for more than a quarter century, Metro Offices knows the city -- and where to go for joe when you need that perfect environment. Below we give you our top four coffee-spot recommendations.
Zeke’s Coffee DC
With its fluid-bed coffee-roasting technique and specialization in small-batch output, this family-owned roastery in the Woodridge neighborhood of D.C. caters to coffee die-hards, but don't let that intimidate you. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and always happy to make a recommendation if you consider yourself an any-coffee-with-cream-and-sugar-is-fine type and don't know what to order. During warmer months, the outdoor seating with umbrellas makes an excellent place to sit, sip your hand-crafted latte and talk business with your clients. In winter, the countertop and clean, modern shared tabletop spaces will do just as nicely.
2300 Rhode Island Ave NE. zekescoffeedc.com
Though its Foggy Bottom location is currently closed for extensive renovations, worry not -- this 102-year-old coffee company is still serving up its sustainable, ethically sourced coffee mere steps from the White House, at its 14th-and-G-Street store. Prices are competitive with certain ubiquitous, mermaid-logoed chain coffee shops, and the ambience at Swing's is much more authentic. It offers a vast array of delicious, diet-breaking pastries, including croissants, sticky buns and several types of fresh muffins.
Why take a client or prospect here? While it gets busy during the afternoons, it's usually not packed -- and the available seating/table combinations, with its mix of comfortable booths, padded chairs and round patisserie tabletops, is conducive to tete-a-tetes.
640 14th St. NW. swingscoffee.com
With five locations in D.C., this fantastic coffee shop practically begs to be tried. Each Washington La Colombe is as charming as the next, with knowledgeable staff glad to recommend their favorite drink and food picks. The company recently made an already popular addition to its list of offerings: multiple flavors of canned "draft lattes," mixtures of frothed milk and cold-pressed espresso.
On most weekday afternoons the atmosphere at each La Colombe is to business discussion, with every location well-lit, windowed, clean and inviting.
Multiple locations. lacolombe.com
Unlike chain coffee shops, Qualia, a regular at area farmers markets, both roasts and brews its own coffees in-house. It has two D.C. locations, one in Petworth and one in Eckington. The food menu is rather sparse, including just a few pastries and bagels with your choice of topping, but the simplicity and honesty of the coffee and tea menus more than makes up for it.
The coffee roastery does not sell pre-ground coffee, owing to the fact that once ground, beans release their carbon dioxide quickly -- and without this 'protection,' there is no barrier between the coffee and flavor-degrading oxygen damage. So you'll only find whole-bean coffee for sale here.
Another thing: don't look here for free Wi-Fi. The company eliminated it last year in order to help control table traffic. But let's face it, during a meeting with a client, do you really need to be on your laptop? The move also means more and better seating available for you and that new prospect.
3917 Georgia Ave NW and Eckington Pl NE & Harry Thomas Way NE. qualiacoffee.com
Looking for high-quality, amenity-filled, centrally located office space after your cup of joe? Look no further than Metro Offices. Whether you're looking for shared, virtual or temporary work space in D.C., we have your needs covered.