The Bloomingdale neighborhood near Rhode Island Avenue and North Capitol Street has gotten hot in recent years with a lot of new and trendy bars and restaurants, but the first new place to open was Big Bear, a cozy, friendly neighborhood coffee shop at First and R Streets NW.
The well-loved spot was originally just a daytime coffee shop until they got a liquor license after years of negotiations – they were the only new business around and the license allowed them to stay open later and thus stay in business.
And a good thing too: the place is beloved in Bloomingdale for its tasty coffee and relaxed vibe. The building almost looks like something you’d see in a French village, covered in distressed paint and surrounded by a spacious patio with fences covered in grapevines. (I don’t recommend eating the grapes though, super tart.)
They also have sandwiches, pastries and salads.
So stop by, have a coffee inside or on the great patio when it’s nice out (the iced coffee is my fave) or cozy inside and enjoy relaxing in a nice residential ‘hood. Don’t eat the berries on the outdoor vines though; trust me.