Dooby’s Coffee


Java-obsessed Phil Han’s first business venture was a pop-up coffee stand at his family’s Korean church in Hanover, Md. “My thought was, if I can convince an older generation of Koreans to like this coffee, maybe we can convince others,” says the Gilman and Babson College graduate who opened Dooby’s Coffee in Mount Vernon in August.

The name is derived from Han’s childhood nickname—his mother called him deukgobbi (the Korean word for croaking toad) because he cried so much as a baby. The menu, like the interior, is minimal: soups, sandwiches and a handful of South Korean-influenced dishes, and for dinner, small plates and the occasional entrée (like a bone-in rib-eye) are available along with wine, beer and cocktails. Of course there are Counter Culture coffee drinks and baked goods by Katie Boyts. “This will be the only place in town you can get a Fruity Pebble marshmallow cookie,” Han notes.

He and Chef Paul Lee (who cooked at Daikaya in D.C.) also came up with the Cambodian chicken salad, which Han calls “a destination chicken salad.” The idea, he says “was to create a memorable flavor profile that’s almost mildly offensive,” thanks to Thai red chili peppers and a dash of fish sauce in the mix. It’s served on homemade sourdough, which Han points out, “has a rockin’ flavor.” Dooby’s Coffee, 802 N. Charles St., 410-702-5144.

—Martha Thomas

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