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Walking the line in Mt. Pleasant | Media Mass | Cameron Nordholm

Flanked on one side by an alley and by a crumbling antiques store façade on another, Dos Gringos Café has become a stable mainstay in a changing and sometimes troubled neighborhood. After nearly 9 years of serving the Mt. Pleasant community of Washington, D.C., however, it faces even more challenges than in the past.

Dos Gringos serves a diverse menu to an even more varied clientele. Doctors, laborers, young non-profit workers and local shop owners all find a meal in the café’s corner perch. But even as it approaches a decade in age, its beginning remains the same.

“I was living in the neighborhood and I wanted a bagel with cream cheese and tomato,” said Alex Kramer, co-founder and sole current owner of Dos Gringos. “It was the most expensive bagel with cream cheese and tomato I’ve ever had.”

For Kramer, the decision to open a restaurant with her former partner also meant examining what its role would be in a community that has undergone tremendous shits in demographics and fortune over the past fifty years.

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