Coffee Talk

Originally Published 01/21/99

Washington, D.C. is in dire need of some hipper, trendy, New York City-esque hangouts. At last, one has made an appearance – Tryst. Located smack dab in the middle of Adams Morgan, Tryst is a coffeehouse with a unique style.


Tryst, with its unofficial motto “no corporate coffee, no matching silverware,” has been bustling since it opened last year. Owner and creator Constantine Stavropoulos wanted to make Tryst different from the chain coffeehouses that have popped up all over the country. He based his creation on the many coffee bars scattered throughout New York and Europe. A prime location, at 2459 18th St., and architectural splendor completed his formula for Tryst’s success.

Tryst has a feeling all its own. Glass windows stretch from floor to ceiling. On beautiful days during any month of the year, the windows open to welcome in the fresh air. Tryst beckons people passing by to stop in and rest on one of the many overstuffed sofas and chairs. The decor is cozy and homey, with definite modern touches. Seats and small coffee tables are situated between the mint green and mauve walls, but no typical table and chair groupings exist inside Tryst.


As a building, the most visually striking feature of Tryst is its ceiling. When the ceiling was removed during renovations, the original pressed-tin ceiling was discovered. After a coat of genuine copper paint and the restoration of a skylight, the ceiling became the defining characteristic of the coffeehouse.

Tryst’s allure stems beyond simply atmosphere – the coffee is delicious too. With a menu as unique as the place, finding something unappealing about Tryst is difficult. Coffees are creatively prepared, and future plans include rarities such as Turkish coffee and European frapp?s. To accompany the coffee, Tryst offers an enticing and entertaining selection of treats. The menu offers what Stavropoulos calls “fun food.” The selections include cocoa puffs, waffles, interesting sandwiches named for Tryst regulars, and even Swedish fish.

If a full coffee bar isn’t tempting enough, Tryst also has an extensively stocked alcohol bar, making it the perfect place for mixed age groups. The vast age range is apparent on weekend nights, when Tryst is packed.

The Tryst crowd is always eclectic, but the mood of the coffeehouse changes to a mellower atmosphere during the week. People curl up in a chair to read a book alone or engage in conversation while lounging on a couch.

With continually changing artwork on the walls, board games available to play and countless drinks to try, leaving is difficult – that’s exactly what Stavropoulos wants it to be.

Tryst previously has been compared to Central Perk, the coffee shop on the television show “Friends.” Although Tryst shares the same comforting feel, it is refreshingly different. Tryst is not a wannabe Starbucks or a close cousin to Dupont Circle’s XandO. Tryst is distinct in every way.

Tryst is open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m.-2 a.m., Friday and Saturday 7 a.m.-3 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.