WASHINGTON -- Rising rent in D.C. is claiming yet another mom and pop business and this time it’s family run coffee shop that is closing its doors after more than two decades.
Sip of Seattle sits nestled on the first floor of a downtown law firm in Metro Center.
There, you’ll get a warm hello and a friendly face. It’s a throwback of sorts to an older D.C. and your go-to mom and pop shops.
“Every day, same people," said co-owner Lisa Escobar. "We already know their orders everything. It’s like family.”
Escobar has been running this family business on 12th and G Streets, Northwest for 22 years, serving up espressos and cappuccinos in mugs like you have at home.
And they are known for their famous empanadas.
But that’s not what keeps people coming back.
Rather, it’s the service with a smile and friendly chatter. It’s like family catching up.
“I would take a bullet for them,” said Jesse Benton.
Friday, December 14 is Sip of Seattle’s last day. They've been pushed out by big chains and rising rents.
“I’m sad,” Escobar said as her voice choked, “but I don’t want to cry.”
She said the family tried to make the business work as times got tough and more expensive, “but it’s not easy right now.”
One customer said, “Before I started coming here, I was going to another independently-owned coffee shop and it closed as well so I’m concerned about how many are going to be left.”
“A lot of sad people in the building right now,” said Jesse Benton, who is the building's security guard. Like so many who slip out one front door into another, he’s going to miss the daily routing of stopping by the shop for sip and a chat.
“It breaks my heart, but you have to prepare yourself for stuff like that all the time,” said Benton.
“I want to say thank you (to our customers) for being with us,” said Escobar, “and I’m going to miss them…a lot.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help the owners recoup some of their losses. No word yet on what’s next in store for the Escobar family or for that location.