Biergarten Haus Owners Take Over Sova; Will Reopen It as H Street Coffeehouse and Cafe

Look out for panini, pour-over coffee, and a new look.

By: Jessica Voelker

If you're lamenting the recent loss of Sova coffee shop at 1359 H Street, Northeast, fear not: Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas will reopen it as H Street Coffeehouse and Cafe as early as Monday, February 18. (Sova closes on the 17th.)

McGovern and Vorobjovas own Biergarten Haus, the German beer bar next door to Sova, as well as the sexy Dupont vodka bar Russia House. McGovern says he has long wanted to do a coffee spot, and when Sova owner Frank Hankins decided to call it quits (news first reported on the Frozen Tropics blog), the neighbors worked out a deal fast.

McGovern plans to overhaul the space, working at night as much as possible in order to keep it open during the day. The look will remain “rustic,” he says, with new rough-cut wood and stone accents, but granite counter tops should lend a more polished feel. Something to look forward to in spring: Out back, he's installing an arbor trellis decked out in wisteria. There will also be outdoor speakers.

H Street Coffeehouse and Cafe will continue to serve coffee labels Ceremony and Intelligentsia—McGovern wants to put a new emphasis on staff training and will add a pour-over program and more ambitious tea offerings as well. A new menu of chilled drinks should show up in warmer months.

In the morning, customers can expect freshly baked muffins, oatmeal, and breakfast sandwiches. Later in the day, they can eat in the cafe or pop in for grab-and-go items. Panini, seasonal salads, and kid-friendly fare are all in the plan. McGovern will also feature a rotating selection of his own house-made soups—beef and barley, chicken noodle—as well as curried stews and vegetarian offerings. There are no plans to serve alcohol.

If licensing does not permit McGovern to open Monday, he says he will plan a pop-up version of the coffee shop next door at Biergarten Haus. We will update when we know for sure.