Colada Shop, the busy D.C. cafe and bar that sells Cuban-style espresso drinks, rum cocktails, pressed sandwiches, and other Caribbean snacks, will open its first Maryland location in a Potomac shopping center this spring.
The company, which has two counter-service locations in the District, hopes to open its Potomac outpost by early April, a representative says. The latest store (7993 Tuckerman Lane) will replace a shuttered branch of Le Pain Quotidien in Cabin John Village, a strip off the I-270 Spur in between Bethesda and Rockville.
Colada Shop operates a tiny storefront at 14th and T Street NW that draws a steady line for coladas — shareable, sweet Cuban espresso drinks that are commonly found at Miami coffee windows — along with daiquiris, croquetas, guava and cheese pastelitos, and fried empanadas stuffed with beef picadillo. The company opened a location at the Wharf development on the Southwest waterfront in July, navigating the coronavirus pandemic by adding contactless ordering, plenty of outdoor seating, and cilantro rice bowls built around mojo pork, sofrito chicken, or romesco cauliflower and mushroom. Colada Shop closed its first store, in Sterling, Virginia, over the summer after more than four years of business.
At the Potomac restaurant, executive chef Mario Monte will continue to grow the menu, introducing a plate of green plantain latkes served with cured salmon, onions, mojito-cured salmon, and cilatnro-chive crema. “Platanachos,” plantain chip nachos with black bean dip and a choice of protein, and tostones stuffed with ropa vieja represent two more additions. With room for 80 people inside and a 50-seat patio, the Maryland Colada Shop will be the company’s biggest restuarant yet.
Along with pina coladas, mojitos, and Cuba libres, co-owners Juan Coronado and Daniella Senior and Juan Coronado will roll out seasonal cocktails that incorporate ingredients like hibiscus-cherry cordial and Japanese plum liqueur.