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Take a Construction Tour of Commonwealth Joe's, Bringing Coffee to Arlington

The new shop will perk up Pentagon City

Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters COO Chase Damiano and CEO Robbie Peck are gearing up to debut their new coffee shop.
Tierney Plumb

Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters is about to open up shop in Arlington with an arsenal of its high-end coffee options.

At the center of the operation is nitro cold brew coffee served on on tap. There will be six varieties, featuring coffees from different regions of the world roasted in various ways. The extensive setup is similar to having multiple craft beers on tap.

CEO Robbie Peck and Chief Operating Officer Chase Damiano, longtime Arlington residents, also run The Java Shack in Courthouse. Pentagon City entered their radar when they started doing pour-over events with the various tech companies popping up.

Commonwealth Joe's new corner location is attached to a big new luxury apartment building, The Bartlett. Vornado debuted the complex this summer and is giving the roasters an additional entrance from its marble lobby. "It’s exciting to have this be accessible in your pajamas," says Peck.

Instead of giving The Java Shack a big renovation, they decided to keep its community vibe and debut a new store that showcases what their modern brand feels like.

Core Architecture (of Georgetown Cupcake and Cava fame) designed the 1,500-square-foot space, which features clean lines, warm woods, gold accents and soaring exposed ceilings. A series of peg boards allow for modular shelving.

An "educational room" in the back features a projection screen and can be closed off with curtains and rented out for business meetings. At the center is an early-1900s architecture drafting table that can be raised (the two hand-picked it last year from an H Street antique dealer). Check out construction photos below:


The plan is to host weekly "cupping" events there, a standardized way to drink and evaluate coffee (think wine tastings for coffee). The space may end up certified as a lab for coffee evaluation from the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Baristas have lots of room to work their magic behind the lengthy bar, and for food options, croissant connoisseur-type vendors will do daily deliveries (Junction Bakery is one). The back of the house features a walk-in fridge, rare for a coffee shop. The reasoning: nitro cold brew needs to be kept at the temperature.

Hours aren’t set in stone yet, but will likely be weekdays 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. An opening could come later this week, but nothing's finalized.

Commonwealth Joe’s $13-$17 coffee bags are currently sold at about 30 retail locations in the area, including Whole Foods, but this will be the brand's first local coffee shop.

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