David Wysong, Mark Semans and Brent Richards have a vision of a special hangout in the Rose Hill area.
They are the owners of Telegraph Station, a brand new coffee shop that serves fresh bagels but is scheduled to turn into a unique hybrid — a coffee shop in the morning, a deli-meal lunch stop at midday, and a place to sip a micro brew or a Virginia wine with snacks while listening to live jazz in the evenings.
The cozy venue is located at 5735-A Telegraph Road in the Telegraph Shopping Center just past the traffic light on Farmington Drive, and it already caters to a diverse clientele.
The shop space has been extensively and tastefully renovated by the owners themselves but the largest changes to come will be in what is offered within. Juicers will soon be churning out smoothies, tea selections will complement the coffees, the sandwich menu and deli trays will be available, and wine and beer will be served.
"The three of us are local guys, and we want to offer our neighborhood a different—and we believe needed—venue," Wysong said. "We want to serve local wines and micro brews, and healthy, distinctive food. We also want to feature home grown artistic talent playing music, such as jazz and bluegrass, in the evenings."
Telegraph Station's Italian chef will prepare signature sandwiches such as the Elmer—turkey, granny smith apples, brie, and honey mustard on a hard roll, or the Ponte—prosciutto (ham), hot soppressata (salami), pecorino (hard Italian cheese), tomato, lettuce, and salsa di rucola (a pesto-like special sauce), also on a hard roll.
On a recent Thursday morning visit, the Alexandria New Moms Meet-Up Group was present in force—toddlers and infants played with the shop-provided toys in the back room while moms chatted nearby. Several days later, an afternoon visit (evening hours are awaiting an imminent ABC license approval) saw several single, working customers at laptops, seated on comfortable chairs and sipping freshly brewed coffee. Couples at tables were munching on bagels while listening to the shop's background classical music. Two men at the bar alternated reading a newspaper and watching the large-screen television, which featured a discreet volume setting.
The multi-use venue has a long bar, several lounge chairs, six tables for two-to-four inside and two tables for two outside, and a display case and counter for take-out traffic. A back room with space for kids to play, a sofa, and shelves with books, magazines and toys, allows for clientele with different needs to be catered to simultaneously.
Signs of promise abound at this early stage in the eatery's evolution—the coffee was fresh and strong, as promised; the cream was fresh but not so cold as to change the coffee's temperature; and the bagels were crisp on the outside with a chewy inside. That attention to detail makes Telegraph Station a sure bet for a second visit.