Brewing Now: Farmers Restaurant Group Partners with Compass Coffee to Make a Great Cup of Coffee


It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows Farmers Restaurant Group that when we decided to create a unique, proprietary coffee blend for our restaurants, we wanted to work with an independent local roaster who not only knew a lot about coffee, but one that had a knack for interesting, tasty blends. We also wanted a roaster who would be willing to really take the time to work with us to find the perfect brew for all of our restaurants. Compass Coffee, a neighbor, whose moniker—Real Good Coffee. Made in DC—was an obvious choice.

Our Beverage Director, Jon Arroyo, was already familiar with Compass Coffee when he set out to make friends with owners Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez to see if they could come up with a coffee blend for our restaurants. Arroyo was seeking that “just right” cup of coffee that tasted recognizably delicious and bold on its own, and would also pair well with the diversity of food available on our menus. This is asking a lot of one cup of coffee, but Arroyo was expecting nothing less. The partnership with Haft and Suarez was perfect.

The expert roasters from Compass approach their craft using smart technology combined with sensitive palettes. Working with Arroyo, they began the process of testing a full range of coffee blends from across the world, joined together through a wet blend process that really highlights the flavor profiles. Their differing tastes all independently landed on what would soon become our First Bake Blend. This well-balanced blend makes a delicious cup of coffee we think everyone will enjoy.

We invite you to stop by one of our restaurants for a cup, with a doughnut or a breakfast sandwich, or on its own. We think you will agree — it is just right. Guests at Farmers & Distillers can also purchase our First Bake Blend retail for $14.99 to enjoy at home.

Farmers & Distillers Hosts their first Art Reveal: An Evening with the Artists

Step into our latest restaurant, Farmers & Distillers, and it is readily apparent that art plays a vital role in the dining experience and culture. From the expansive 36-foot mural of Mount Vernon and the distillation process, with multiple miniatures of George Washington whimsically working, to the modern-day portrait of George with a man bun, original artwork is built into the very foundation of our newest farmer-owned restaurant.

Farmers & Distillers honored the artists and their contributions last week, with an ART REVEAL: An Evening with the Artists. Invited guests had an opportunity to tour the restaurant with the artists and learn about their process, inspiration, and details of their unique artwork. They also spoke with owner, Dan Simons, about why we are growing our interest in original art and artists.

“At our restaurants, we are all about making things by hand and from scratch. It starts with our food of course, but also includes our artwork,” says Dan Simons. “We are delighted to work with artists in creating original pieces of artwork that help us tell the tale of our restaurants.”

Art has always been an important part of the design process for Farmers Restaurant Group, with each restaurant having it’s own unique and original pieces of art. But, it is clear that the importance of art in our environment is continually increasing. With Farmers & Distillers, we have taken our interest in original artwork to a whole new level. We collaborated with local and regional artists on original pieces of art that reflect the spirit of our first president, George Washington, and tell the story of how his life and the lives of those around him at Mount Vernon inspired us in the creation of Farmers & Distillers.

The artists whose work we commissioned for Farmers & Distillers include:

Aaron Pexa created hand-cast glass sconces from a previous installation, The Lucent Parlor, that help bring the magic of Mt. Vernon’s pre-electric interiors to the General’s Parlor, an intimate, 16-seat private dining room tucked away on the lower level in Farmers & Distillers.

Kiki Carrillo painted the 36-foot mural in the center of our main dining room, Georgie Distills, that tells the history of distillation through the ethereal presence of George Washington, with views of his Mount Vernon estate and Washington, DC.

Nathan Loda painted the modern-day portrait of Young Washington with a man-bun featured in the main dining room. This is not his first work for FRG. Loda is also the artist behind the striking Headless Horse host-stand artwork found at Founding Farmers Tysons.

Noella Cotnam has sculpted animals for each of our restaurants. Her frolicking gophers, and mama and baby owls at Farmers & Distillers are joining a family that includes a ram, sheepdog, lamb, pig, cow, duck, goat, and bear.

Ronald Jackson has two pieces of commissioned work currently underway and not yet in the restaurant, portraits of the enslaved cooks from the Mount Vernon kitchen in the mid to late 1700’s.


For more information about the artists, their artwork, and few videos of the process, please go to our Artists page at Farmers & Distillers. Or come on by for a meal or a drink and see them in person. Reserve a table today.