The digital age has made listening to music much easier. Still, there's just something so satisfying about placing a vinyl record on a turntable, putting the needle on the perfect spot and hearing your favorite song's melody fill the air.
Named for the famous jazz musician Charlie Byrd, who frequented the location when it was still the Showboat Lounge, this venue is a combination of a sandwich shop and record store.
Take a bite out of this sandwich, The Little Richard, while you listen to tunes at Songbyrd Record Cafe — Photo courtesy of Songbyrd Record Cafe
Most of the menu item names are inspired by the music industry. Little Richard is a veggie muffuletta with smoked provolone, while Sgt. Pepper is a local bratwurst hoagie and Love Me Do is a medium rare roasted beef on whole wheat baguette.
The one item you cannot leave without trying is the Mumbo Slice. Mumbo is a well-known district favorite sauce featuring a spicy and sweet combination. The cafe takes a piece of focaccia bread; covers it in mumbo sauce; and then adds on toppings of pulled pork, shaved onions and pineapple.
Sandwiches range in price from $7 to $10, and the menu remains the same for the entire day.
The store features about 350 records from many different genres on-site. You can even listen to them at designated stations connected to Spotify.
A unique aspect to the cafe is that you don't have to just listen to music or buy records. You can make one, too. Using a 1947 Voice-O-Graph, patrons can record their very own vinyl track lasting around three minutes for $15. Record a song, or just speak your mind. It's up to you what to record.
For those of you hoping to buy a beer or adult beverage here, you're out of luck, because they don't serve alcohol. Coffee-lovers can rejoice, however, because they do sell Equal Exchange, a fair trade brand of organic coffee out of South America and Africa.
To get to the cafe, take the Woodley Park/Adams Morgan Metro stop. And be on the lookout for more changes right nearby soon: Songbyrd Record Cafe's owners Alisha Edmonson and Joe Lapan are planning on opening a music house in the adjacent space in the future.
Music is said to soothe the soul. So let the tunes feed your head and the menu fill up your stomach at this new cafe in the nation's capital.