Earth Grocery and Coffee Shop: A Café with Cuisine

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Abe Samuel is the co-owner of Earth Grocery and Coffee Shop in Shaw. Photo: Alexander Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

Plants populate the interior of Earth Grocery and Coffee Shop at 1701 Sixth St. NW. Patrons can be found at all hours of the day working remotely, relaxing with a book or catching up over a cup of locally roasted coffee. The vibe is best characterized as “serene.” Then in the evening, this convenient neighborhood marketplace transforms into an intimate dining establishment.

Owners Abe Samuel and Fay Shewakena are coffee aficionados. Hailing from Ethiopia, famous for its beans, they opened the Shaw market and eatery in April 2023, combining fine dining with a casual café.

In the daytime, the coffee bar serves all types of specialty java drinks. “Our goal was to create a place where people come and they enjoy a special coffee moment and relax,” Shewakena said. “It’s a very meditative store.”

The café offers a variety of freshly prepared Mediterranean-inspired vegan and vegetarian options with Ethiopian spices and recipes. Homemade falafel, wraps and vegetable-forward bowls are menu highlights.

The store features a convenient marketplace. Specialty groceries such as fava beans are always stocked on the shelves, in addition to standard grocery, household items and gifts.

As the last cup of coffee is poured and remote workers pack up, the chairs and tables are rearranged and decorated with lighted candles, creating a more intimate environment for their specialty three course dinner service.

Dishes rotate daily. Everything is homemade.  Authentic Ethiopian preparations are available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Earth Grocery and Coffee Shop is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. To make a reservation, call 202-525-2508. Takeout and delivery also available. For more information, visit www.shawgroceryandcafe.com.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.