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.
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.
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.