Compass Coffee, the main supplier of coffee products for Students of Georgetown, Inc., commonly known as The Corp, opened its own new location in Georgetown on April 6, as it aims to offer a new study space for Georgetown students off campus.
The coffee shop, located at 1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW beneath the neon “Georgetown” sign, served free drinks of any size to customers from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The new location covers a 3,000-square-foot space and is Compass Coffee’s 10th storefront since the company’s founding in 2014.
Washington, D.C. residents Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez co-founded Compass Coffee four years ago when they both returned from active duty in the Marine Corps. The company’s first location opened on 7th Street in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C., and its reach has since expanded to nine other locations in the District.
Compass Coffee’s Georgetown building was formerly a jewelry exchange. The company expanded into the space because the Georgetown sign has elevated the building to an iconic status, Haft said.
“It just seemed like a great location for Compass, a great community space,” Haft said. “It seemed like we could do justice to the building and build something great for the community.”
Evan Conner, a shift supervisor for the Georgetown location, said that many of the cafe’s college-age employees believe the new location is a prime spot for students to study near Georgetown’s campus.
“One of the big things they expressed was that there isn’t a facility that is similar to the one that we’ve built here in the Georgetown community,” Conner said. “So we get a lot of students coming through, studying, even looking around now pretty much everyone in here is deep in schoolwork, which is really exciting.”
Compass Coffee joins Blue Bottle, Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee, among other coffee shops in the neighborhood.
Seo Young Lee (COL ’21), CEO of The Corp, said that she is excited about having Compass Coffee in the area, a company The Corp has had a partnership with prior to its Georgetown opening.
“I’m happy to welcome Compass Coffee to the Georgetown neighborhood,” Lee wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The Corp has been proudly making all our drinks with ethically sourced beans from Compass Coffee for years.”
As one of four individuals on the leadership team for the Georgetown location, Conner previously worked at a coffee shop in D.C. that mainly catered to working professionals. Compass’ approach creates a cafe environment that encourages customers to stay for longer periods of time, a tactic which Conner said he prefers.
“I know that I came from a downtown cafe that was more like immediate drinks, trying to get people on their morning commute,” Conner said. “So this is an excellent change of pace, more attention paid to vibe, the environment that we’re creating, so that everyone feels comfortable sitting here, staying here and getting their work done while they’re here.”
The Georgetown location’s decor features greenery, wall art, a fireplace and a variety of seating options.
Sherry Gholami (MED ’22), who was studying at Compass Coffee on opening day, said the location was a refreshing change for her and her peers to study.
“We study frequently so we get tired of going to the same old places,” Gholami said. “So it’s really exciting when there’s a new coffee shop or a really nice environment to study in.”