Food

Neighborhood Restaurant Group Is Opening a Specialty Coffee Shop With Chef-Made Milks and Syrups

Cameo will open next year in the Roost.

Nazia Khan. Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Restaurant Group.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s forthcoming “culinary clubhouse,” the Roost, is bringing together a ton of different food and drink concepts ranging from an Italian-American restaurant to low-ABV cocktail and beer bars. The latest addition: Cameo, the not-quite-a-food-hall‘s specialty coffee shop.

Cameo will serve brews from domestic and global roasters. Nazia Khan, formerly of The Wydown, has been tapped to head the program. She plans to balance a list of accessible and familiar flavors (think rich chocolates) while introducing fruity, juicy palates found in specialty roasts. She also wants to connect caffeinated Washingtonians with lesser-known coffee producers in Papua New Guinea and Rwanda..

The coffee shop is also working with NRGs chefs to create an international roster of custom syrups. A chef like Robert Curtis (Hazel) cooking Turkish cuisine might be pulled in for a play on Turkish coffee. The team is also collaborating to create a house nut-based milk.

The other concepts announced at the Roost, beer hall Shelter and cocktail destination Show of Hands, are focusing on providing non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beverages. The coffee version of low ABV is low-to-no caffeine, and Cameo’s loose leaf tea program is aimed at ensuring there’s an option for everyone. Baristas can brew a cup of high-energy coffee or craft a foamy matcha or rose tea latte.

Before turning to coffee full time, Khan worked at the Atlantic Council focusing on policy and development in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Her approach to sourcing at Cameo takes on the same global perspective and aims to create opportunities around the world.

We can be really small players like a speciality coffee shop or a roaster in the US, but make a huge impact on the global market because we can change how we buy. We can source directly,” says Khan. “You can make an impact immediately as a consumer.” 

Cameo, along with other concepts at The Roost, is slated to debut in winter 2020.

The Roost, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 

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Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.