Cafe Phillips Owner Promises Clients ‘The Best Coffee in the World’

Posted June 10, 2003 at 1:42pm

Restaurateur Phillip Yun feels the pain of inhabitants of the area just off North Capitol Street.

“There’s no coffee around here,” said Yun. “There’s no breakfast around here. You have to go to Union Station to get a decent cup of coffee.”

But Yun’s new restaurant, Cafe Phillips, will change that. Slated to open Thursday, set back a day from the original projection because of inspection scheduling conflicts, the “gourmet sandwich and coffee bar” will provide a much-needed addition to the existing grill and pub fare that’s abundant in and around Union Station.

Around lunchtime Monday, the restaurant, dotted with paintings by the owner’s wife, was already busy with curious potential diners rushing in to grab a menu and cheerful workers applying the finishing touches. Located at 50 F St. NW, the new cafe boasts “the best coffee in the world,” according to Yun.

The two ingredients necessary for the perfect cup of coffee, according to Yun, are “baristas,” or professional coffee makers, and very fresh beans.

Cafe Phillips’ other forte is meat sandwiches. Fresh roasted turkey, roast beef, ham and pork are carved right in front of the customer and piled onto one of 10 different fresh breads. Yun said that he goes through 13 turkeys’ worth of meat a day at his first cafe, which he opened about three years ago at 1401 H St. NW.

The cafe also offers breakfast foods, like bagels and pastries, in addition to other American lunchtime favorites, like salads and soups. The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Yun added that the cafe caters with 24 hours notice but does not have enough manpower to deliver.

Yun, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, has opened 12 restaurants in the Washington area over the past 20 years. The 51-year-old currently owns the two aforementioned Cafe Phillips and another that is scheduled to open in about a month.

“I would be a great asset to people around here,” Yun said with a grin from ear to ear. “No restaurant around here is similar to mine.”