Regular customers of “Dora,” the year-old coffee shop at 221 East Broadway, have noticed a few changes lately. In September, Jamie Rogers bought the business from Nicole Slaven, who had named the shop for her great grandmother, Dora Cohen. This week, Jamie renamed the store “Pushcart Coffee.” Recently he also took on a partner, Lisa Fischoff, the first employee he hired three months ago.
We stopped by last week for a little “coffee talk” with Jamie and Lisa. They’re aiming to make the shop (one of TLD’s first sponsors) a homey neighborhood spot linking the Lower East Side’s past with its present. There are old photos on the walls and a new community bulletin board. Taking the theme a bit further, jamie’s looking to purchase an old-style “pushcart” that could be taken to various locations in the neighborhood.
Lisa is also a manager at the New Amsterdam Market. The day I was in the shop, she had just returned from the Union Square Green Market, where Pushcart Coffee has been sourcing ingredients for a daily soup special and other items. Quite a few menu items have been added, including a greater variety of sandwiches and baked goods, including doughnuts made by an East River Co-op resident and goodies from Jamie’s sister, who runs a start-up business called “Maggie’s Kitchen.”
Jamie, a former corporate lawyer, lives in an apartment above the coffee shop. He’s taken an interest in neighborhood issues. Jamie has partnered with The Lo-Down to produce a weekly print newsletter (available in the store) and he hopes to become a member of Community Board 3 in the months ahead. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of work to be done at Pushcart Coffee.
Jamie and Lisa are inviting everyone to a grand re-opening next Friday, December 16th, from 6-8 p.m. They hope you’ll come by to say hello.