Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

An Early Look at Grape + Bean

Old Town's Grape + Bean offers coffee and wine tastings each week.
When you first walk into Grape + Bean—a month-old coffee, wine, and gourmet shop in Old Town—the place looks a little out of order.

“It’s never gone this fast before,” says David Gwathmey about the opening of the store he owns with wife Sheera Rosenfeld.

Gwathmey speaks from 15 years of restaurant experience. He’s helped run Rocklands in Alexandria and before that a restaurant in San Francisco, but this is Gwathmey’s first place of his own. When he and Rosenfeld lived in San Francisco, they fell in love with California’s wine country. This, coupled with an appreciation for the small cafes and bars in San Sebastian, Spain, where Gwathmey once traveled, “made us long for something like that—neighborhood places that you can walk to,” he says.

The couple set up shop in the South Royal Street building owned by Rosenfeld’s father. They’re still only allowed to serve coffee—fair-trade Counter Culture Coffee beans come in fresh shipments every week—but a notice in front proclaims plans to convert Grape + Bean into a 22-seat wine bar and, eventually, a restaurant. If things go well, it may eventually expand to the building’s second floor.

In addition to coffee, the shop sells daily baked baguettes, challahs, and olive loaves from nearby Restaurant Eve, locally made Kudzu cookies, specialty chocolate, cheese, and an extensive selection of wine (bottles start at about $20). The latest issue of Wine Spectator and cards explaining the cheeses decorate the bar, but Gwathmey is happy to provide additional information about any of his products while he makes java on his $11,000 Clover coffee machine, one of about 50 in North America.

Grape + Bean holds free wine tastings Friday evenings from 5 to 7. It will also host Sunday-morning coffee tastings, lining up samples of three to six different brews.

Grape + Bean, 118 S. Royal St., Alexandria; 703-664-0214; Open Wednesday and Thursday noon to 6, Friday noon to 8, Saturday 9 to 7, Sunday noon to 5.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular on Washingtonian

How David Gregory Lost His Job

Where to Pick Your Own Apples and Pumpkins in Washington

8 Hot New Restaurants to Try Now

DC Spends Least on Fashion, Most on Books

The Town Without Wi-Fi

This Insanely Cool Georgetown House Is on Sale for $10 Million

Having Trouble With Your Wedding #Hashtag? There's Now a Tool for That!

Things to Do in DC This Weekend October 8-11: Kygo Performs at Union Market

Tim Krepp's Activism Works Because He Gets How Absurd This City Is