By Stephanie Liotta Atkinson
Woodridge is about to get sweeter.
In May 2011, two storefront properties in the Woodridge Main Street (2026 and 2028 Rhode Island Avenue NE) were purchased by an entity called “DC’s Chocolate Bar and Bakery LLC.” The owners of the Chocolate Bar, it turns out, are two long-time Woodridge denizens, Dr. and Mrs. Larry and Tahiti McNair. (If the name sounds familiar, Dr. McNair has a successful dentistry practice on Hamlin.)
In the 2026 RIA retail space Mrs. McNair will open a storefront for her existing organic soaps and skincare products business called Tahitian Treats. With a BS in Biology and Chemistry, Mrs. McNair personally crafts her own line of hypoallergenic offerings for those with sensitive skin. Tahitian Treats has been operating online for quite some time, and the Woodridge storefront will be the brick and mortar evolution of an already successful enterprise. In addition to organic body products, Tahitian Treats will offer seated massage.
Next door in 2028 RIA, the McNairs are planning a veritable Wonkaland for Ward 5’s chocolate lovers. DC’s Chocolate Bar and Bakery will feature organic chocolates, baked products (including cupcakes and breads), ice cream, smoothies, coffee, and light meals. At least at the moment, the McNair’s have no plans to serve liquor on the premises (although some of their chocolate products will feature liquors).
Last night I got a peep at the Chocolate Bar’s spectacular design plans. The McNairs are awaiting a permit to bump out the storefront windows, where they will ultimately install window-facing counter seating. An entire side wall of the cafe will feature a countertop with stools (think 1950’s malt shop), behind which ice cream and shakes will be served up. With additional tables, the Chocolate Bar will seat 35. The McNairs are focused on creating a family-oriented environment suitable for kids and adults. The tentative hours are 6:30am-9pm. With the addition of free WiFi, Woodridge residents might actually have our very own place to have a cup of coffee, read the paper, check email, and hang out. Imagine that?
We can anticipate a grand opening in June.
Edit: the above post is edited to reflect the notion (addressed in the comments) that family-friendly does not preclude serving alcohol. I agree that an establishment can do both, and Argonaut is a perfect example.