Cafe Kindred Among Spate of New Independent Retailers Open in City

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
May 22, 2015

First in a series. Today, Cafe Kindred. Next: Lil City Creamery.

After four years of planning and more than a year of teasing its prospective customers with a tantalizing “Coming Soon” sign, Cafe Kindred finally is open in the new Northgate building on North Washington Street.

City residents, many of whom appear to appreciate the vibe of funky and offbeat alternatives to the big national chains, may find the new coffee shop to their liking. Decorated with old industrial equipment, audio records, and other items used in nontraditional ways, the owners have managed to take a brand new space in a new construction building and make it look like something that would fit in a redeveloping urban neighborhood in Washington or Chicago.

The shop also is the first independent coffee and espresso shop in the City, joining two existing Starbucks. But Cafe Kindred is attempting to be much more than a coffee shop, featuring homemade baked goods and confections, from croissants to cannoli, as well as sandwiches, salads, and hot breakfast items.

There is a bar in the rear, and the store is hoping to serve alcohol in the near future.

It’s the first such venture for married couple Gary O’Hanlon and Jen Demetrio, who both were hard at work on site during a visit from the Times. Mr. O’Hanlon said he hoped the space’s unique appearance would be a draw for City residents, and noted that he and his wife traveled far and wide to find the antique items used to decorate it.
Just inside the front door is a church pew doubling as a long space to sit, and to the left, an old window, complete with the grids separating the small panes, doubles as a coffee table. Old windows also grace the exposed brick on the right wall, as if you could use them to see out.

May 22, 2015 


6 Responses to “Cafe Kindred Among Spate of New Independent Retailers Open in City”

  1. Another FCC resident on May 22nd, 2015 11:29 am

    So happy to see an independent coffee shop/bakery in town. I’ve been a few times and thought the service was great; the decor interesting; and the food yummy as well. Espresso drinks weren’t online yet as the last time I was there, but looking forward to those as well. I hope it succeeds!!

  2. Jim Breiling (North Arlington) on May 22nd, 2015 1:42 pm

    Betty and I stopped by about noon today (Friday) and found Cafe Kindred closed through the Memorial Day weekend and into Tuesday until mid afternoon for additional interior work.

    Parking for the retail shops in the Northgate building is limited. Hope that this doesn’t impair their business.

  3. Dennis Szymanski on May 23rd, 2015 11:02 am

    I had the pleasure of experiencing Café Kindred this past week. I had the hot pastrami sandwich and just loved it! Toasted bread, lean pastrami, and a good amount of cheese and sauerkraut. At $8, the price was reasonable. I’d have it again. The pastries displayed were enticing but thought I would save for a morning coffee visit. Parking. Well, it is what it is. Not great but not like the Flower Bldg. A plus is that you may enter the garage via either No. Washington St/Lee Highway or Jefferson St.

  4. Phil Duncan on May 28th, 2015 12:41 pm

    Just now at CK, meeting my daughter for lunch. We’ve met here several times since Gary and Jen opened shop, and have been consistently pleased with the cuisine and the ambience. Also, we enjoy having the choice to support an independent cafe that’s decided to locate in one of The City’s new, mixed-use buildings (Northgate), where the rent for restaurant & retail tenants is no doubt higher, but the atmosphere is more modern. As for the parking, I’ve always easily found a space in the building garage, which has plenty of maneuvering room even for my station wagon. There’s a garage entrance right in the middle of the Northgate building, on N. Washington St., and another entrance off Jefferson St. Or, of course, if you live nearby, arriving by foot or pedal is an option.

  5. Ira Kaylin on June 6th, 2015 10:37 pm

    My wife and I stopped by for lunch this past week and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. The food was very tasty. The service was first rate. No doubt we will go back. Parking was ample but I don’t how it is during the weekend evenings

  6. Jim Breiling (North Arlington) on June 13th, 2015 6:34 pm

    Betty and I visited Wednesday a bit before noon. I followed Dennis Szymanski’s
    recommendation of the pastrami sandwich. Fine, but a bit dry (addressed by adding mustard). My chea tea was an unqualified success. Interesting decor. Others were there, too, to converse and to use the wi-fi.

    We had a pleasant chat with Gary, who we informed about the FCT story (previously unknown to him) and which we were able to show him electronically.

    He hopes to have the bar open in about a month.

    We got one or only two open parking spaces inside the building.

    A small business that is good enough to plan on periodically visiting.

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