Mayorga Coffee in Silver Spring, Maryland
Visiting DC, went to Mayorga Coffee to do some studying.
freshly roasted specialty coffee beans
a place to hang out / socialize
wireless internet (no access half the time)
Don't know about:
The place is very large, with nice leather couches. They roast their coffee on-site, which you can see them do. On my first visit, I bought half a pound of medium-roasted Honduran Marcala, fresh from the roaster.
The manager wasn't present on the second of my two visits (a Saturday morning), and the place was falling apart. Wireless internet was unavailable for over two hours, and several people with laptops (myself included) were visibly unhappy. I inquired about it twice, and the nice but clueless girl behind the counter kept saying that the manager wasn't in right now and she didn't know how to fix it, so sorry.
I asked when the drip (filter) coffee was brewed. Enthusiastically she replied, "Today!". Great. And this girl is pulling the espresso shots? (FYI, some good coffeehouses dump their coffee and brew fresh coffee every 30min.)
A woman complained about the thick smoke hanging in the air (presumably from the coffee roaster); girl behind the counter: so sorry, the manager isn't here right now.
A very irate man in a wheelchair was complaining that something related to their coffeehouse outside blocked the entrance to his home; the girl behind the counter: so sorry, the manager isn't here right now.
When the internet was still down after at least 2 hours, a couple of the people with laptops packed up and left, and I left as well.
I understand that Mayorga's has been sufferering a lot since it's parking lot turned into a construction site--in fact, the whole area has become one big construction site. This is a real shame. Mayorga's was one of the first to invest in the south Silver Spring revitalization, before Discovery built its headquarters downtown. It was a great place for coffee, and for music and drinks at night. Lots of different kinds of people enjoyed hanging out there, from moms with kids in the morning to high schoolers in the afternoon to diverse professionals in the evening for happy hour. It had good light fare--sandwiches, salads--though always had lackadaisical service.
I feel like we need to support it during a difficult time. There's nowhere else in Silver Spring quite like it.
Totally know what you mean about feeling like you need to support Mayorga. My husband and I dutifully went there when we first moved to close-in SS, trying to get over the poor service, mediocre food, only so-so coffee, but we've since given up. I hate to admit it, but for good coffee, I now go to Starbucks. I tried to get behind Mayorga, but it just seemed to go from bad to worse over the past few years.
I stopped going to Mayorga after a couple of frustrating visits similar to yours and especially after their parking lot turned into a construction site.
Head about a half mile north on Georgia to the Panera on the corner of Georgia & Colesville. It's in the broadcast area for free Silver Spring Wi-Fi and except at lunch crunch has a study-friendly environment. Not chowish, but effective.
Other downtown SS options?
There's a shopping center (free parking) with a Whole Foods that has a wine store/lunch spot (http://www.adegawinecellars.com/menu.html) that also is, IIRC, in the broadcast area.
Click on link below and scroll down to the coverage map: