Velazquez at Primitive Christian Church on Sunday. Photo: WNYC.
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez was on the Lower East Side yesterday, campaigning during the final weekend before Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. In an appearnce at Primitive Christian Church on East Broadway, she injected herself into a hyperlocal issue: a proposed bar at 221 East Broadway.
The pastor at the church, Marc Rivera, is an outspoken critic of the bar, whose owners are trying to persuade Community Board 3 to support their liquor license application. About three dozen members showed up at a recent CB3 committee meeting to speak out against the bar. People on both sides of the issue (quite a few residents also support the proposal) are girding for a battle before the full board tomorrow evening.
221 East Broadway.
As we noted earlier this week, the owner of 221 East Broadway has spent the last few years renovating the six-story residential and commercial building. Two years ago, a coffee shop (Dora – later renamed Pushcart Coffee) opened; just a few weeks ago a second upscale business, Malt & Mold, debuted in a neighboring storefront. And within the past several days, the operators of a bar on Avenue B signed a lease for a prime corner spot, where they plan to open a neighborhood watering hole.
The changes along East Broadway appear to be picking up speed. Just a day after Malt & Mold, an artisanal beer and grocery opened at 221 East Broadway, word comes that another business could be coming to the same building. Inside Pushcart Coffee, there’s a somewhat coffee stained notice from the owners of B-Side, an Avenue B bar:
In case you can’t see the small type, the note is from “Andrew and Sivan.” It says they have “fallen in love” with the neighborhood and “want to be part of what makes it so great.” They plan to open a “friendly neighborhood bar and take-out restaurant” and are hoping for community support. They’re holding a get-together to explain their concept tomorrow night at 7:30 at Pushcart Coffee.
Malt & Mold, 221 East Broadway.
In some parts of town, the arrival of a new business might not cause a stir. But on East Broadway, near Seward Park, any new venture seems to get the neighbors buzzing. This was certainly the case on Friday, immediately after the signage went up announcing “Malt & Mold,” a new specialty grocery coming soon to 221 East Broadway.
Before the weekend, we stopped by the tiny shop (located right next to Pushcart Coffee) to talk with proprietor Kevin Heald. Malt & Mold will be a takeout destination for beer, cheese, charcuterie, pickles, fresh bread, chocolate, ice cream and other locally-sourced products.
Lisa Fischoff, Jamie Rogers of Pushcart Coffee.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
"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!
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:
221 East Broadway. Photo by Chris Gage.
Thanks to Lo-Down reader Chris Gage for this photo and the following tip, “the deli on the corner of Clinton Street. and East Broadway has moved around the corner, to Clinton (between East Broadway and Henry Street). When I asked the man behind the counter, he said “Rent was too high.” It was speculated that a restaurant was going in the old space.”
We don’t know about any restaurant going in here, but there are some other interesting happenings to report about 221 East Broadway. For awhile now, we’ve been hearing about a new gourmet coffee shop going into a smaller space in this building.
Address: 221 East Broadway (at Clinton)/map
Hours: Mon-Sun; 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
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.