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Colada Shop Will Put a Cuban Cafe Inside an Experimental “Bloomie’s” Department Store

The popular cafe and cocktail bar will have its own entrance and patio in Fairfax’s Mosaic District

A fried chicken croqueta sandwich from Colada Shop Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The first ever location of “Bloomie’s,” a scaled-down offshoot of luxury department store Bloomingdale’s, will offer customers a place to buy Cuban coffee drinks, rum cocktails, croquetas, and pressed sandwiches when it opens in Northern Virginia later this year. D.C.-based all-day cafe Colada Shop will continue its recent expansion tear after striking a deal with the legacy retail company to open a 900-square-foot cafe with its own separate entrance and patio inside the Bloomie’s coming to the Mosaic District development in Fairfax.

A representative for Colada Shop says the restaurant has submitted an application for an alcohol license, with plans to open by late August. Co-owner Daniella Senior tells Eater the plan is to serve customers mojitos, pina coladas, and other tropical drinks that they can carry throughout Bloomie’s while they shop.

Senior says she sees several “synergies” with the target customer at Colada Shop and Bloomie’s. The new retail brand reflects a strategy from parent company Macy’s to move away from indoor malls and cater to a younger demographic of customer by stocking emerging brands and following patterns from online sales. Senior describes the average Colada Shop customer as someone who is around 25 to 40, “well-traveled,” and sees eating as a key part of exploring other cultures. Bringing in Colada Shop allows Bloomie’s to pump up a local brand rather than establish its own restaurant.

“I think that’s what excites me is they’re really valuing what we bring to the table and recognizing that ... we can improve on what is the shopping experience,” Senior says.

As part of the deal, Colada Shop is getting a mobile bar cart with a running sink that it can move around the store for promotions by the shoe section or private events on the patio. Senior says she has plenty of personal history with Bloomingdale’s, too: “It’s the only retail card that I’ve had for over 10 years. It’s the only department store that I actually shop at regularly.” If Bloomie’s is a success, Colada Shop could have a precedent for future deals.

The newest Colada Shop will mark a return to Virginia for the company. The original Colada Shop opened in in Sterling, Virginia, in 2016 and closed last summer. Colada Shop developed an urban following with a tiny space near the corner of 14th Street and T Street NW. During the pandemic, the company grew by opening roomier cafes with expanded menus from group chef chef Mario Monte on the Southwest Waterfront and in Potomac, Maryland.