Central Coffee co-owner Mehmet Osman Coskun grew up in Turkey, where drinking coffee is a social activity to enjoy with friends, not something you do by yourself. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that when he came to the U.S. in 2000, he found himself drawn to the NBC sitcom "Friends," which features a group of six New York City young professionals who spend their time talking and hanging out at a coffee shop, Central Perk. The show reminded him of home.
Now, as he opens his own coffee shop at 1901 North Moore St. in Rosslyn, he hopes Central Coffee will combine the best of the Turkish and American coffee-drinking cultures that have influenced him.
"When I started planning this place, I knew that I wanted to create a good environment and offer a good product. I'm Turkish, and most people know what Turkish coffee is about: It's an experience! And the idea of Central Perk came back to me, too. I feel like Rosslyn has lots of young professionals who work long hours, and sometimes they just need to get out of the office. Central Coffee is the perfect place for them to come," Coskun says.
Central Coffee offers plenty of room for patrons to settle in. The more than 2,500 square-foot space has a classy-looking bar with a marble countertop and also features comfortable decor such as leather couches, easy chairs, banquettes and a fireplace. Coskun wants people to consider Central Coffee a place where they can spend time chatting with friends or where they can bring a laptop and spend a few hours getting work done.
Although Coskun's establishment serves food and even has beer and wine in the evenings, coffee is the focus. Central Coffee's house brews come from the Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters. Many of their coffees have a cupping score of 85 or higher, which is considered excellent by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Coskun says he traveled to five states to find the perfect coffee partner and is very happy with Ceremony's product.
At breakfast, Central Coffee is partnering with a local bakery from Alexandria to serve fresh-baked muffins and pastries. As a quick and easy lunch option, they are collaborating with Bakery de France to provide a selection of panini made with top-quality deli meats and cheeses. Popular choices include the chicken panini, the spicy salami panini and a grilled cheese. The average sandwich price is $7.
Coskun hopes to expand Central Coffee to other areas, but he says he chose to start in Rosslyn because he sees tremendous potential here.
"There are two Starbucks in Rosslyn and each one always has a crazy line," he says. "With Nestlé coming here and Deloitte, Gartner and other large companies already here, the potential is amazing. Plus, so many people live here, and the Central Place residences are open, too. All of these people need a local coffee shop!"