A Change in Ownership at Dora Coffee

Image via Dora's Facebook page.

A change is ahead at Dora, the 9-month old coffee shop on East Broadway.  Nicole Slaven let us know today she’s sold the business to Jamie Rogers, a regular customer who lives in an apartment above Dora (at 221 East Broadway).

Nicole told us a short time ago she loved creating a space that quickly became a community gathering spot with a reputation for high quality coffee and friendly customer service. When Jamie approached her a couple of months ago, Nicole  saw a rare opportunity to hand off the business to a strong manager with neighborhood roots who could make sure her vision “could continue to be a reality.”

Jamie says he wants all of Dora’s customers to know the quality coffee and service they’ve come to expect will continue. He’s looking forward to adding new items to the menu and continuing to expand the shop’s offerings.  An attorney, who’s leaving a corporate law firm to run the Lower East Side business, Jamie will be on the job full time right after Labor Day Weekend.

Nicole says she hopes to be involved in new projects that are even more coffee-centric. In June, she married Ed Kaufmann, a roaster at Stumptown Coffee and an occasional Dora barista.

Dora is an annual sponsor of The Lo-Down.

Restaurant Wrap: Dora, Banjo Jim’s, Cocoron, Spitzer’s Corner, Russ & Daughters

Cappucino at Dora on East Broadway

In neighborhood restaurant news today:

  • Get your late-afternoon cappucino a little earlier from now until Labor Day: Dora tells us via Facebook they will close at 4 p.m. until then.
  • Tonight’s the finale for music bar Banjo Jim’s in the East Village, EV Grieve reports. Next up at that location: artisanal cocktails.
  • Cocoron, the Delancey Street soba shop, draws the eye of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Serious Eats revisits Spitzer’s Corner’s hamburgers three years after its first review, and finds them in need of a higher grade of beef.
  • A new Vimeo video shows 90 seconds’ worth of life inside Russ & Daughters.
  • Bowery Boogie reports rumors of a new venture at the old Imperial Tavern on Ludlow Street.
  • Do food trucks need letter grades from the health department? The mayor thinks so, according to the WSJ’s Metropolis blog.

Hester St. Fair, Xi’an Famous Foods, Veggie Eats

East 6th Street's all-vegetarian Caravan of Dreams gets props. Photo courtesy of Refinery29.com

It’s a busy week in Lower East Side food news:

Food Wire: Hakki Pizza, Sorella, Octavia’s Porch

Coming soon to the corner of Essex and Rivington: Hakki Pizza

There’s lots of food news around the neighborhood this week:

  • On the pizza front: Hakki Pizza has taken over the Visco discount clothing store space at 123 Essex, at the intersection with Rivington; this week, the former corner store is gutted, Hakki’s signs are up over the doorway, and construction work continues apace. New pizza options are springing up all over the LES; Fork in the Road reported last week that Goodfellas Brick Oven Pizza is scheduled to open in about two weeks in the former Kebab House at 144 Orchard. St.
  • Sorella has put together a sumptuous-sounding menu for Easter brunch on Sunday. From noon to 5 p.m., choose an appetizer, entree and dessert for $48 per person. The duck fat English muffin with chicken liver mousse and coconut-cream filled bomboloni with chocolate passion fruit sauce are not to be missed. Know of other Easter specials in local restaurants? Email us here.
  • Time Out magazine is really (really!) unimpressed by Octavia’s Porch, the 2nd Street creation of Top Chef alum Nikki Cascone.
  • Dora, the coffee shop at 221 East Broadway, continues its weekly cuppings (tastings) this Saturday at 2pm. More info on their web site.

Coffee with a Cause

Next time you buy a bag of coffee, you can also help out a well-known Lower East Side non-profit. In the last couple of weeks, the coffee shop Dora started stocking “Workforce Blend” from New York-based Plowshares Coffee Roasters.

One dollar from each sale will benefit the Workforce Development Center at Henry Street Settlement. Here’s what Plowshares has to say about the coffee:

“This flavorful blend offers a deep and full bodied cup that is both bold and balanced.   Notes of Chocolate, Cocoa and Vanilla combine seamlessly with a suggestion of smoke in the finish to create a flavor to inspire hard work.”

We understand Workforce Blend is also available at Russ & Daughters. Dora is located at 221 East Broadway (Clinton Street).

Roasting Plant Founder Saw Orchard Street as Incubator

After four years, one of the old kids on the block

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.

Welcome to This Month’s New Sponsors – and a Special Deal from Dora!

We’d like to take a moment to welcome our new Annual Sponsors: the Educational Alliance, Dora (the new coffee shop on East Broadway) and the Village Zendo.

Dora is offering a special Valentine’s Day deal to readers of The Lo-Down. When you mention TLD, get $2 off a sweet holiday treat — an “I love coffee” mug filled with candy. The offer is good through February 15th.

In supporting The Lo-Down, our new sponsors join Neal Young and Jeremy Bolger of Halstead Realty, the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, the Abrons Arts Center and Michael Ming of Allstate Insurance. Incidentally, Michael is running a special contest through the end of the month (you could win a new Dell computer).

We’re happy to have these local businesses on board!

Winter Wire: Open & Closed

Here’s a look at the snowy scene on East Broadway near Clinton Street, courtesy our friends at the coffee shop, Dora. In addition to the public schools and city offices, lots of businesses and organizations are closed today. The early line:

  • The Essex Street Market is closed.
  • The Chinese American Planning Council is closed.
  • The Educational Alliance’s early childhood and after school programs are closed. All other programs are open.
  • The Chinatown YMCA is open.
  • The Henry Street Settlement is open today, except for the daycare and after school programs. Their Meals on Wheels program delivered extra food yesterday in anticipation of the storm.

Restaurant Eyeing 221 East Broadway Removed From CB3 Docket

Since we posted Community Board 3’s agenda last week, we’ve been getting quite a few questions from readers about a restaurant that appeared to be moving into 221 East Broadway, the old Mayflower Hotel building.  According to the agenda, a place called the “Pigeon Cafe” was seeking a full bar in this vacant corner spot.

Neighbors hungry for more dining options on the “Lower Lower East Side” will be disappointed to hear this item has now been removed from the SLA Committee’s January 10th docket.  David Slaven of Red Brick Properties, the owner of the building, tells us he’s never heard of “Pigeon Cafe.”  Several prospective tenants (including some restaurant operators) have seen the space but, as of yesterday, no one was close to signing a lease.

Food Wire: Souvalki GR, DBGB Beer Tastings, Cupping at Dora

Souvlaki GR’s food truck – near Union Square.

In food/restaurant news:

  • New York Street News has its first big scoop of the year! Souvlaki GR, Vendy Award winner, is going brick-and-mortar on the Lower East Side. The buzz-worthy food truck operators are looking to take over a storefront at 116 Stanton (near Essex). The owners will go before Community Board 3 this month in their quest for a license to sell wine and beer.
  • DBGB will be hosting beer and cheese tastings the second Tuesday of every month (beginning this month). Cost: $25/person.
  • Staff shortages mean Sugar Sweet Sunshine will have reduced hours this week:  8am to 7pm through Thursday. Friday 8am – TBD & Saturday 10am – TBD.
  • Dora, the new coffee shop on East Broadway, holds its first “cupping” Saturday ay 3pm.

At Dora, Nicole Slaven Shares Her Passion for Coffee

When Nicole Slaven sets out to make a cup of coffee, she is not messing around.  Every serving is individually brewed in a Hario 360 1-cup cone. There’s an 18:1 (water to coffee) ratio that allows all of the grounds to hydrate thoroughly.  The process takes exactly three-and-a-half minutes. In short, the details matter a lot!

Dora’s Debut Just Days Away

"Team Dora" with owner Nicole Slaven (second from right) at their preview party

We stopped by a preview party last night at Dora, the new coffee shop that will open at 221 East Broadway (Clinton Street) a week from Monday, November 22.  The new space is coming along nicely and the smell of Stumptown coffee was already filling the air.  More to come in a day or two!

More on Dora, the Gourmet Coffee Shop Opening on East Broadway

During the summer, we mentioned that a new gourmet coffee shop called Dora would be moving into 221 East Broadway, on the corner of Clinton Street.  Traven had a nice talk earlier today with Nicole Slaven, who’s going to be running the business (look for that story sometime soon).  Meanwhile, Serious Eats profiled Slaven in a feature they posted on the coffee vendors at the Hester Street Fair: