Photo by BeyondDC
Those who know me know that sitting still is a challenge. So it was no surprise to me or anyone else when six years after opening The Bike Rack in Logan Circle, I started looking for my next challenge. Call it coincidence or divine intervention, but at that same time I started talking with my friend Rasheed Jabr, owner of Filter Coffeehouse about the possibility of opening a combination bike and coffee shop.
Rasheed and I met at one The Bike Rack’s weekly rides and immediately hit it off. The bike/coffee shop concept was beginning to take off and it seemed like a natural fit, a marriage of two of my favorites: cycling and coffee. The more Rasheed and I discussed it, the more we took steps to turn an idea into reality.
Rasheed and I put together a business plan and began the process of looking for space and funding. The dilemma in looking for a new space was that every location we liked was too close to the Logan Circle store. It was at that time a friend who works for Bozutto Development informed us of a new space under development in Brookland: Monroe Street Market.
Since The Bike Rack opened in Logan Circle, most of DC’s new bike shops have opened in saturated markets and fight for the same customers. However, when we were looking for new locations there was no bike shop in the entire northeast quadrant of DC. Brookland was evolving into the newest “hot spot” for affordable housing in a nice community. The place had everything to make it happen, inexpensive housing, universities, easy proximity to downtown, its own Metro stop. What the community lacked was much needed and essential services. Monroe Street Market was poised to bring that to Brookland.
If only securing the funding was as easy and finding the location.
When we were planning for the new location, banks were just beginning to losen their grip on the credit markets post-2008 crash. For that reason among other reasons, finding a bank that would take a chance on a new concept was challenging, even though that concept was the marriage of two local and successful businesses. Despite any temporary delays, the belief in our idea and the location kept us moving forward, we would not give up. Our determination and hard work paid off and we are now in the buuildout phase of the project.
The Bike Rack and Filter Coffeehouse in Brookland is expected to open in January 2015. Stay tuned and join our email list for up-to-date news about the new shop!
Progress has begun at our new Brookland location. Photo by author.