Modern Times Coffeehouse, located at Politics & Prose Bookstore, closed on February 28th 2015. The bookstore’s owners bought the operation and management rights from Javier Rivas. Modern Times’ staff and menu will remain the same for the immediate future. Service won’t be interrupted.

Modern Times Coffeehouse opened in Politics & Prose in 2006, founded by Washingtonians Javier Rivas, Adam Hasler, and Ryan Wisnor. Before that the Sirius Coffee Company operated the outlet. In 2009, Rivas became sole proprietor. At that time the coffeehouse held a lease with P&P owners Barbara Meade and Carla Cohen.

Under Rivas, Modern Times further developed a ‘third wave’ coffee program. It offered a full food menu prepared in-house. The café also underwent a renovation of its interiors, kitchen and seating area.

In 2011, Meade sold the bookstore to Bradley Graham and Lisa Muscatine. The new owners honored the existing lease through early 2014 and renewed it for one year after that. Rivas will remain a management consultant for the bookstore through 2015.

In the meantime, Rivas will focus on building up La Mano Coffee Bar. Rivas and business partner Anna Petrillo opened the café earlier last year. Petrillo had also previously worked for Modern Times. La Mano is in the Takoma neighborhood of northwest D.C. It specializes in espresso and single origin coffee service. The café also offers baked goods produced in-house.

Rivas says: “For three young dudes, Modern Times was a lesson in opening and operating a coffeehouse. We knew that we were incredibly fortunate to set up business in a space and community that nurtured our creativity and allowed us to make some mistakes and learn from them as we grew. I am eternally grateful to P&P for trusting us and hosting a flourishing business. Nine years later, I’m taking the foundations of the success of Modern Times and applying them to La Mano Coffee Bar. That means dedication to quality ingredients, hiring and training highly motivated staff. With the help of Anna Petrillo, we also want to cultivate community and strong business partnerships in Takoma.”

“La Mano offers exciting new challenges in my professional development. We benefit from the focus and attention to detail necessary to operate in such a tight space. It’s a true testament to the importance of working with a tight crew, and using simple, good ingredients married with elegant, efficient design. Takoma is the perfect place for La Mano and for my family - I can’t think of a better place to raise my daughter.”

For more information, contact: Javier Rivas, javier@lamanocoffee.com