The Shell station on 17th and Madison has a new parking lot-mate, Logan’s Espresso. The walk-up — and drive-thru — coffee stand located in the corner of the parking lot opened earlier this month and is trying to catch the attention of foot and car traffic on the corner with its plant wall and neon pink sign.
“I thought Logan’s would be great because there are not a ton of walk-up coffee places in Capitol Hill. I love coffee, and I love the idea of people bonding over something as small as getting a drink,” said Courtney Dabbagh, owner of Logan’s Espresso.
Dabbagh’s son Logan is only a few months old, and is the stand’s namesake and inspiration. After having Logan, Dabbagh decided to pursue her longtime goal of starting a business rather than returning to her job as a nurse. While simultaneously building a business and caring for an infant has proved to be a major challenge, she notes the opportunity to be around Logan as much as possible planning the stand motivated her to forge forward when navigating challenges with the business and raising Logan as a single mom.
“Logan inspired my motivation to fully commit to starting Logan’s Espresso. I wanted to do something out of the box and brave so I could be a good example for him, even though he’s only an infant,” Dabbagh said. “Maybe when he grows up, I’ll still have the business, and he’ll see you shouldn’t give up on your dreams and you shouldn’t just go back to your day job if you don’t love it.”
Logan accompanied Dabbagh to meetings involving the construction of the stand and now joins Dabbagh when she opens, closes, and serves coffee. The mother thinks Logan’s exposure to the many facets of creating the coffee spot aided his speech and learning development, and keeping Logan active reminded Dabbagh to view each day as a learning experience.
“I started the business on a limb, and a lot of my strength came from Logan because he changed my entire perspective on life” Dabbagh said. “Babies learn new things and develop everyday. I think he just made me realize every moment is precious. I realized I couldn’t waste a second of my life second guessing myself when that time could be spent creating and innovating.”
Nestled between two trees in the corner of the Shell parking lot, Logan’s neon pink sign and plant wall distinguishes the walk up stand from surrounding foliage. The shop’s other three wood-panelled walls boast large windows framed by troughs of succulents. According to Dabbagh, the shop’s eye-catching appearance is the result of the successful application of her experience in staging homes.
“A lot of parents walk by and tell me that corner used to be unsafe. I wanted to make something really light and whimsical to brighten up the area and to give it more life,” Dabbagh said,
While the stand’s appearance entices customers to its window, Dabaugh believes relationships with patrons are maintained through customer satisfaction. According to Dabbaugh, attentiveness to patrons and allowing customers to personalize their drinks sets Logan’s Espresso apart from the multitude of cafe’s on the hill.
“I think every business tries to do this, but what sets us apart, is we really strive to provide every single customer with a really good experience, doing whatever it takes to make sure they leave and come back satisfied,” Dabbaugh said, “We have that small town feel of drive thru espresso where they have all the syrups. We are really accommodating with customizing all our drinks.”
As a walk-up and drive-thru espresso stand, Logan’s joins a small club on the pedestrian-oriented Capitol Hill. The neighborhood’s lone drive-thru before Logan’s showed up became a bikini barista stand in the Ladybug Espresso family of businesses last year. Heck, even a drive-thru re-opened in the taco joint that used to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken became news on Capitol Hill when Rancho Bravo reopened its ordering lane in 2015.
For, Dabbagh, Logan’s is about more than drive-thru coffee — she is also glad she gets to work in her home neighborhood.
“I’ve lived in the Capitol Hill for a couple of years now and I just fell in love with it. Having a business set up here makes me feel more connected to people. When I see people carrying my cups around, it’s really special to me.”
Logan’s Espresso is now serving a steady stream of regular patrons between 5 AM (6:30 AM on weekends) to 6 PM, long hours Dabbagh and her employees embrace.
“Having Logan turned me into a different person and changed my life in a huge way, because I felt empowered after I had a baby,” she says. “When people think of a single mom, they don’t usually see somebody who could run a business or feel empowered, but I’ve been handling the many things that come with having a baby that even couples find difficult with two people.”
Logan’s Espresso is located at 1701 E Madison. You can learn more on the Logan’s Facebook page.
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