Barmini and ThinkFoodGroup veteran Juan Coronado and food and beverage consultant Daniella Senior are teaming up to open up a Cuban cafe in D.C. — and that's just the beginning.
The partners are working to open two locations of Colada Shop this summer (the second will be in Virginia), with further plans to expand the brand and to open additional projects together.
Colada Shop, a labor of love that has been several years in the making, will be an ode to ventanitas, the Cuban cafes largely found in Miami. The D.C. location is slated for 1405 T St. NW. The goal is for it to be a social gathering place that opens early and casually transitions from daytime to evening, Senior explained. She sees it less as a coffee shop filled with busy laptop workers and more as a place where friends might meet up for a snack, coffee, or cocktail. "Certain elements will be traditional, but we want to keep it approachable," she said. "We want to transport people."
The name is inspired by the Colada, a Cuban-style of espresso traditionally meant to be shared. While coffee will be a focus, they're also collaborating with chef Mario Monte on menu items like Cuban sandwiches with pork roasted in-house, croquetas, pastelitos (a Cuban pastry that can be sweet or savory — a guava and cheese one has Senior particularly excited), and more. Coronado, naturally, will handle the cocktails, including some that will be coffee-based.
The small location has 22 seats, and will eventually add a patio as well. Meanwhile, the space below the cafe will eventually become a 1920s Cuban cocktail bar, inspired by the Hemingway era. Those plans are further off, though — likely not until early next year. But both the D.C. location and the Virginia one (in a glass-enclosed space in Sterling's new Cascades Overlook development, which has an outdoor liquor license), could open as soon as July.