Coffee shop at the Capitol plans to reopen in early April

Coffee shop at the Capitol plans to reopen in early April

That’s starting to change, though, now that vaccination efforts are well underway. Members of Congress started getting vaccinated in December, and aides began a few weeks later, limited to two people per personal office and four on the committee staffs of each chair and ranking member. Vaccines were rolled out to Capitol Police employees last month.

Even now, with many shops closed as the pandemic continues, the Capitol does not want for coffee. You can fill your thermos at the Senate carryout or the Capitol Market in the House basement. But pumping a sputtering urn for some over-roasted sludge doesn’t compare to sipping a freshly prepared cappuccino or gulping down a readymade cold brew. 

Cups stands out on the Hill as a locally owned shop amid a host of national chains and cafeteria food products brought to you by Sodexo Incorporated. The smiling faces of the Chungs brighten the windowless warrens of the Capitol complex.

Stewart likened Cups to other brands that have morphed into a generic term: You grab a Kleenex when you sneeze, throw garbage out in the dumpster, slap a Band-Aid on a cut and — at least on the Hill — you make a Cups run for a quick pick-me-up.

“It’s more than just a place to pick up a cup of coffee — you can get coffee anywhere — but Cups, that’s where you go,” Stewart said. 


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