Habit coffee shop to open in Mount Pleasant, Purple Patch to serve brunch


Habit will be housed next to Purple Patch in the space that formerly held Last Exit.

The owners of Purple Patch, a Filipino-American restaurant in Mount Pleasant, are readying to open a coffee shop next door on Saturday.

[Also read: At long last, Filipino food arrives. What took it so long?]

Dubbed Habit, the cafe will serve locally roasted coffee from M.E. Swing’s as well as Australian meat pies made in-house. Despite the name, the miniature pies don’t have to include meat: In addition to beef and cheese, Habit will sell varieties like egg and cheese as well as leek and potato.

“They’re everywhere in Australia,” says Drew Cleary, a native Australian who co-owns Purple Patch and Habit with his wife, Patrice. “It’s just part of the culture.”

“They call it tea,” Patrice adds. “It’s an excuse to get out of the house and gather as a family and have food and drinks. I really enjoy that they took the time to do something together as a family. We want this to be a place where people can do that.”

Drew developed his 4-inch-wide pies using recipes from his mother. He and Patrice plan to make 250 pies a day.

This weekend, the couple are simultaneously launching a brunch menu at Purple Patch that will be available Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dishes include smoked bacon and red snapper on a bagel with cream cheese, pulled pork and atchara (pickled unripe papaya), and a waffle with ube (purple yam) ice cream and Filipino fried chicken.

Though they share a building, the two businesses are separate entities and you won’t be able to eat Purple Patch’s food at Habit and vice versa.

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Habit occupies space that formerly held Last Exit, a dimly lit speakeasy with sultry details like curtains printed with naked women. “My husband liked them,” Patrice says, “but I said there’s no way we can open up a coffee shop and have kids in here with nudie ladies.”

There are a few comfy couches and barstools, though the Clearys see Habit as more of a grab-and-go spot than a place where customers linger. There’s a TV on the wall, though Drew expects he’ll take it down.

“I’d rather not have people asking, ‘Can we put CNN on?’’’ Drew says. “We just want some music to be playing and for things to be mellow.”

3155 Mt Pleasant St. NW

Holley Simmons is the dining editor of Express. When she’s not reporting on local restaurants and tastemakers, you can find her sewing a dress from a 1950s pattern or planting a windowsill herb garden. Contact her at holley.simmons@washpost.com.

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