A croissant comeback in Upper Northwest
Casual neighborhood bistro Little Beast is reopening its daytime cafe component this month, bringing back early morning hours a little more than a year after scraping the service. Starting tomorrow, Little Beast Coffeehouse & Bakery (5600 Connecticut Avenue NW) will open weekdays at 7 a.m. and serve coffee and pastries until 3 p.m. On opening day, owner Aaron Gordon plans to serve free cupcakes from Red Velvet, Little Beast’s sister confectionary, and free medium drip coffee through the end of January. Little Beast sources all its beans from Vigilante Coffee.
Pastry chef Kristen Brabrook makes an array of baked goods for the new cafe every morning. That includes a “Beast Favorite” cinnamon roll made with croissant dough and a “Mila’s Monster Cruffin,” a croissant dough pastry baked in a muffin tin with a cardamom sugar topping and a filling of vanilla pastry cream and chocolate ganache. There’s also a vegan banana pecan muffin, decadent tortes, maple oat scones, and gluten-free muffins and quiches. Little Beast’s dinner hours will still start at 5 p.m., and brunch will still be reserved for weekends.
Covering up for the cold
Two D.C. bars recently retooled their patios in order to open during the dead of winter. In Columbia Heights, Lou’s City Bar enclosed and heated its pet-friendly outdoor patio bar in time for the NFL playoffs. To celebrate, the sports bar will host tap takeovers this month from Heavy Seas and Bell’s. And the Wharf’s Cantina Bambina — the outdoor offspring of Southwest Waterfront mainstay Cantina Marina — just reopened last week above the icy river. Newly installed operable windows now frame the open-air drinking perch, with room for 150:
A health food loss on H Street
Homegrown vegetarian business Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar/Hempburger has closed on H Street NE, according to a report from Washington City Paper. The 8-year-old health food and juice cleanse operation, also known for its coconut “crab cakes” and avocado plantain pies, hopes to make a D.C. comeback. Owner Khepra Anu tells WCP he plans to relocate to Brookland food hub Tastemakers while he looks for another brick-and-mortar home. [WCP]
Bao buns for IAD flyers
Chicago-born Wow Bao is en route to Dulles Airport. The fast-casual chain, known for its hot Asian steamed buns packed with sweet and savory fillings, also serves rice and noodle bowls, pan-seared potstickers, soups, and salads. The Dulles location (near gate 20 in Concourse D) is opening in February 2020, followed by another at Boston in March.