With the advent of a nationwide rollout of new regulations to restrict the sale of alcohol and food in the country, many people have started making a pilgrimage to the nation’s capital to grab a meal at their favourite cafe or pub.
But how do you find a spot to enjoy a meal when you are in town, or even if you are?
This is where Norma’s Cafe comes in.
A few years ago, the local business opened its doors in a strip mall across from the Washington Monument, and it has been running as a stand-alone restaurant since.
A café and a bar Norma runs out of the back of the restaurant, and a few other small shops and eateries that have cropped up around town have been a regular sight.
While the cafe serves a small menu of classic American fare, there are also dishes such as smoked trout and mac and cheese that have been popularised around the country.
It also has an international focus, offering dishes such a steak tartare, steak fritters, chicken tikka masala, and even an Indian-inspired curry.
“Norma’s is the only place I’ve ever felt comfortable with making a living from.
I was never very happy with where I was living,” said Alina Krasnyk, who has lived in Washington, DC for more than four years.
“I was trying to figure out how to make a living in this country without a job.
I thought about getting a job somewhere, but the reality of it was I wasn’t really happy.”
But after being hired by Norma, she said she was able to find the time and space to focus on her art and cooking.
“My life is pretty much set up that way.
When I’m working, I’m making a lot of art and doing food, and when I’m not, I do art.”
Norma has also become a magnet for locals who want to find out more about their city.
“A lot of people who come in here will talk about how the city is really different and what a place it is,” said Norma.
“That’s why people come here and they’re excited to talk about it.
But I think it’s also a chance to meet other people and have a conversation.”
A photo posted by Normas Cafe (@normascafe) on Aug 16, 2018 at 12:11pm PDT Norma is one of the main players in the growing trend of cafes serving food and drinks as part of their mission to spread awareness and promote positive change.
The cafe also operates a Facebook page with information about the cafe and its owners.
Alina and Norma have not decided how much they want to charge for their services, but said they are not afraid to offer some of their menu items to those who want them.
“It’s just one of those things that we’re comfortable with and I’m sure people would be happy,” said Anna.
“There’s not much we can say about how much it’s going to cost, because it’s just a small part of our business.”
With a business that’s grown from being a small, one-person operation to a full-fledged restaurant with around 100 employees, the couple are hoping to expand to more outlets in the near future.
“We just want to keep growing and continue to grow,” said Kristian.
“As a small business, there’s always going to be people who are looking for something different, and Normas has been a big part of that.”
We’re hoping that people who want something different can come in and try it out and try the food, or just walk through the shop and just enjoy themselves.
“With the proliferation of cafes and food trucks in the capital, the trend is only going to grow.
“And I really hope that people come in for a coffee, a sandwich, or maybe some pasta, and they enjoy the experience of it.””
Being here has been amazing, it’s changed the lives of so many people,” she said.
“And I really hope that people come in for a coffee, a sandwich, or maybe some pasta, and they enjoy the experience of it.”