Cafe 227

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fundraiser for Cafe Collage

It seems like forever since Cafe Collage suddenly closed its doors after a year in business. I remember attending the ANC's tavern license approval meeting for Cafe Collage, where the proprietors' supporters (myself included) showed up to voice our support for the enterprise against a small but vocal neighborhood opposition group. In their view, a "residential" street such as T Street was no place for a coffee house and cafe that served alcohol. In my opinion, this argument was flimsy and a bit capricious- especially since a much bigger, much louder bar (Cafe Saint Ex) is located RIGHT NEXT DOOR. I imagine that the opposition's real problem was with the ethnicity of the proprietors and the likely clientelle - Ethiopian. God forbid that people of color come back into the neighborhood to socialize after being displaced - think of what would happen to the property values!

Anyway, whatever the opposition's true intentions were (which, despite my speculation, I really don't know), they were successful in scuttling the proprietor's plans by finding an architectural code violation that required a costly and time-consuming renovation. I really didn't think the Cafe would ever reopen. Quite a disappointment, really - they were the only non-chain coffeeshop within walking distance of Cafe 227 (Sparky's doesn't count because I don't consider anything south of R Street to be within walking distance). Also, their spicy and strong Ethiopian Harrar blend was the best cup of coffee in the city, in my opinion.

Therefore, I was overjoyed to receive a letter from Tito, one of the proprietors, announcing that they do intend to reopen once they've undertaken the necessary renovations. To that end, they're holding a fundraiser Monday evening (June 26) at U Turn Cafe (near the corner of 11th and U Streets) at 7pm. There will be an art auction and Ethiopian folk music, and all donations are tax deductible. In addition, U Turn will donate 40 percent of all drink receipts to the proprietors to help them in their efforts.

I plan on stopping by, and I hope you will too...

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