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New Dolcezza Cafe Inside the Hirshhorn Is Ultra Modern

The coffee shop/bar/gelateria officially opens on Friday, February 23

Hirshhorn’s redesigned lobby from Japanese lobby artist Hiroshi Sugimoto includes a metallic Dolcezza stand.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

What started last year as a pop-up cafe parked outside of the Hirshhorn is now a permanent hospitality operation inside D.C.’s iconic modern art museum.

Dolcezza’s new gold-lined java destination — its ninth location to date and the first homegrown chain to join a Smithsonian institution — is already pouring lattes this week ahead of a grand opening currently scheduled for Friday, February 23.

Alcoholic drinks are in the mix for members-only events for now; during a preview event on February 13, there were $13 cocktails including apple cider punch (Cotton & Reed dry spiced rum, Capitoline rose vermouth, Toigo Orchards apple cider, hard cider, and fresh mint), as well as a spiked horchata hazelnut latte. Expect a full rollout of booze options — as well as a pared-down gelato menu — once the cafe is up and rolling, a Dolcezza employee tells Eater.

Only one other Dolcezza location, its cafe in the Mosaic District, serves alcohol.

To keep art lovers caffeinated, there’s cold brew iced tea ($2.75) for sale, as well as cappuccinos ($4), mochas ($5), and more via ModBar brewing and espresso equipment.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

The opening is timed to coincide with the museum’s latest 1980s-themed exhibit, Brand New (Wednesday, February 14, through Sunday, May 13), which packs in plenty of references to food and drink via a Remy Martin tribute video by artist Dara Birnbaum; a “Pepsi Please” painting by Peter Halley; Jeff Koons’ “New! New Too!” lithograph billboard of Smirnoff vodka and tonic; and a “USDA Choice Beef” poster from David Wojnarowicz.

Bar guru Derek Brown was among the first to sample the offerings on Tuesday. For food, there’s scones, cookies, and muffins, as well as savory fare like a ham and cheese croissant.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Initial hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are expected to be extended after its official opening to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Status: Grand opening is scheduled for Friday, February 23. Seventh Street SW and Independence Avenue SW; website.

Dolcezza at the Hirshhorn

7th Street SW & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20597

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