Longtime 11th Street coffee shop Columbia Heights Coffee has closed, according to multiple sources. No one has yet gotten a comment from owners Nadew and Tsege Delnesaw, who have operated the shop since opening it in 2003, back when 11th Street was much different than the one we have today: barely any bars or restaurants (even Wonderland wasn't open then) and much less foot traffic.
I worried that places like the Coupe might affect Columbia Heights Coffee's business, but figured they were different enough, as the Coupe was more like a restaurant. Turns out I was wrong. It's sad to see, I think even with big places like the Coupe (which still has middling reviews) small, neighborhood shops could stay in business.
I wonder if this is something we'll have to get used to? Small, well-liked businesses open and thrive until the area gets more popular and bigger places can come in. Then those big places squeeze out the small ones.
(Then again, since there have been no comments from the owners, something else might have been afoot. Some on PoP speculate about rent increases, which is also a big problem for small businesses in popular areas.)
Columbia Heights Coffee may have been one of the oldest businesses in the area -- most of the other places that used to be there have long since closed and reopened as something else -- like the crummy sandwich shop that Room 11 replaced.
It's too bad to see them go, and I'm going to do my best to keep supporting small businesses in the area. You should too.