What we love: Comfort. This is not surprising for a place that was once a coffee shop. You can sit at a table or in a folding chair or simply stand. This is one venue that never gets too crowded or uncomfortable. (Although people have been known to sit on the floor at popular kids shows.)
What we don’t: The name. Don’t you feel just a little embarrassed when someone asks where you’re seeing a show and the answer is “Jammin’ Java?” It’s always a risky proposition for a business to change its name once it’s established, but if ever there was a place that might consider it, wouldn’t that be Jammin’ Java?
--David Malitz, Sept. 16, 2011
Appearances are deceiving. Jammin' Java sits in a small strip mall in downtown Vienna, and driving down Maple Avenue, you'd probably mistake it for just another suburban coffee shop. In fact, it serves that function during much of the day, starting at 7.
But at night, Jammin' Java transforms into an intimate venue showcasing national, regional and local acts, with an emphasis on singer-songwriters and roots and Americana acts. Owners and brothers Luke and Daniel Brindley are themselves acclaimed musicians, and touring the country, they've obviously taken notes on what constitutes a great listening club: small, cozy, with a sterling sound system clean and clear for acoustic groups and sturdy for electrified bands.
Who goes? The nighttime crowd is the standard college kids, young professionals and savvy music fans.
What to eat and drink? Coffee may be Jammin' Java's mainstay (the cappuccinos and lattes are highly recommended), but wine, beer and, more recently, liquor are also available. A small menu features salads, sandwiches, chilis and desserts as well as good vegetarian alternatives.
Tickets: All concerts are general admission. Tickets, generally between $10 and $20, can be purchased at Jammin' Java, online or by calling 703-255-1566.
Getting there: No close-by Metro stop, but there is plenty of parking -- hey, it's a strip mall.
Here's a tip: Giving added meaning to "all ages, all the time," Jammin' Java serves the area's widest, and youngest, fan base. Almost every day, there are morning kids' shows. The club clears out an area in front of the stage so tot-rockers, mostly 5 or younger (their elders should be in school) can bounce around as designated drivers -- moms, dad, nannies -- enjoy a cup of joe (adults are free, kids pay).
-- Richard Harrington (Nov. 2, 2007)