One day way back in 2006, Mike Caswell spent several hours people-watching on the block of Orchard Street between Broome and Grand streets. The midtown real estate broker Caswell had hired to help him choose a site for the high-tech coffee shop he planned to open suggested a spot halfway down that block. At first, Caswell thought he was crazy.
“This street looked like a war zone,” Caswell says, sipping an Americano in a window seat of Roasting Plant, now in its fourth year. But his agent insisted that the Lower East Side was the place to find Caswell’s target demographic. So the industrial-engineer-turned-coffee-entrepreneur, who at that point had invested seven years developing his automated roasting and brewing system, agreed to check it out. From a table at 88 Orchard, one of the first new businesses to open on lower Orchard, he saw exactly the type of customers he believed would dig his 21st-century brewing system and premium product.
21 Clinton Street, near Stanton
Hours: Mon-Thu: 7am-12am; Fri: 7am-1am; Sat: 8am-1am; Sun: 8am-12am
Cusine: Coffee Address: 221 East Broadway (at Clinton)/map Phone: 212-876-8065 Hours: Mon-Sun; 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Menu/web site Reservations: n/a Delivery: yes Jamie Rogers and Lisa Fischoff run this community-oriented coffee shop on East Broadway. They serve Stumptown Coffee, a selection of baked goods (many made by neighborhood friends) and offer sandwiches, soups and snacks, very often created with local ingredients. There’s a robust bulletin board in the entry announcing various local events and happenings. And then there’s those pushcarts: increasingly popping up at various locations around the neighborhood.
A network of clear tubes instantaneously transplants raw beans to a roaster, resulting in a supremely fresh cup of java. A former Starbucks exec dreamed up the idea in his basement. The original store is on Orchard Street.
81 Orchard, near Broome
Open Mon-Fri, 7am-6:30pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-6:30pm
88 Orchard, at Broome
Mon.-Thurs. 7:30-11PM, Fri. 7:30-midnight, Sat. 8:30-midnight, Sun. 8:30-7PM
A handsomely appointed space on the NW corner of Allen and Delancey serving soups, salads, sandwiches on Balthazar bread, and gourmet coffee from a menu owner Mark Hernandez calls “California cuisine.” Housemade baked goods light up the serving counter, and change daily. There’s also free wi-fi offered in a bright, comfortable space.
61 Delancey St., at Allen.
Open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
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