“The foot traffic and walkability of the neighborhood reminds me of Europe,” says Blumen Cafe owner, Andira Jabbari. Originally from Syria, Andira opened her first tea shop in Wiesbaden, Germany. Impressed with the network of trails, bike lanes and public transit options, Ms. Jabbari knew Arlington was where she wanted to open her new business. In Germany, she says public transportation is a top priority and it’s satisfying for her to see that same infrastructure here in Arlington. And because Andira lives nearby, she enjoys walking to work each day.
Ms. Jabbari runs the café, located in Clarendon, with her family and three other employees. Among them, several languages are spoken: Mongolian, Arabic, Spanish, German and French. The space is clean and open with a mix of both Mediterranean and European flair. Although Blumen Cafe serves Illy coffee, you’ll find yourself lingering longer than expected over the lovely selection of teas (27 flavors in all) and unique Mediterranean pastries. Order a cup of tea for yourself or a pot for several and you’ll be served with an impressive ceramic warmer, tea candle and glass pot. To use Andira’s words, “there’s already Starbucks where you can get your coffee to go. We don’t want to be that kind of café. We prefer our customers stay and enjoy their experience, converse and take in a light snack similar to what you’d see in Europe.” To quote one of the customers sitting nearby, “the space is cool, open and airy. It’s perfect for collecting your thoughts before starting your day.”
It also seems that having other coffee shops nearby didn’t deter Ms. Jabbari from setting up shop. In fact, she has been impressed with the strong sense of community proven by visits from neighbors, including several nearby business owners to wish her well. “I’ve already seen support from customers simply by seeing them return. Even one of the coffee shop owners stopped by to wish me good luck.”
Most of the staff walk or take the bus to work, making them a great role model for Arlington’s Car-Free Diet. With two Capital Bikeshare stations nearby, Metrobus, ART, Metro and Zipcar – Blumen Cafe is easily accessible. Stop in for coffee or tea or a snack — no vehicle required. Be forewarned, you may find yourself lingering longer than expected.
2607 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201