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Wednesday, May 23 News

New coffeehouse on Bank Street fills void

NEW MILFORD — The aroma of fresh-baked pastries, lattes, coffee and other beverages greet customers who enter Java Haus at the Alpenhaus, the new café-style coffee house, located on the upper level of Alpenhaus Restaurant.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Manuela Dürre Young who, with her business partner, Jeff Yenter, converted the restaurant’s upper dining room into the coffee house. “It’s my dream come true.”

The coffee house is a welcome site for many customers who were disappointed when the former Bank Street Coffee House closed its doors last fall.

“I'm grateful that Manuela and Jeff converted part of their space into a coffee house,” said business neighbor Tony Vengrove. “The closing of Bank Street Coffee House clearly left a void, which had it not been filled quickly would have negatively impacted our downtown retail ecosystem.”

“As owner of Makery Coworking, when Bank Street Coffee House closed, our members really missed having a simple sandwich option,” Vengrove said. “Java Haus filled that void and many of our members, including myself, frequent the shop for lunch.”

Dürre Young said the restaurant’s dining room opened at 5 p.m., so transforming the space into the Java Haus made sense.

The business serves breakfast and lunch, as well as a variety of beverages.

Sherman’s Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters coffee, teas by Harney & Sons, lattes, frappes, macchiatos, espresso, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies, protein shakes and more are among the beverages available.

Sacred Grounds is a USDA certified organic and fair trade certified wholesale and retail, small batch roastery.

“It’s very flavorful,” Dürre Young said of the coffee, adding that they will soon add French Roast to the menu.

“The coffee itself is great quality,” said resident Tracey Ruscil, who works on Bank Street and has found the coffee house to be an asset for the community.

Bagelman bagels, fresh-baked scones and other pastries, fruit and yogurt parfaits, and egg and cheese sandwiches are served for breakfast.

“I love the bagels and their baked goods,” Vengrove said. “It's wonderful to be able to walk down the street and get a high-quality bagel.”

The lunch menu boasts numerous items, including curry chicken salad, wraps, sandwiches and soups.

There is something for everyone, Dürre Young said, noting the gluten free and vegan options.

She noted the flavorfulness and popularity of the vegan sandwich — made with hummus, tomato, lettuce, onion, carrots, avocado, cucumber and roasted peppers in a wrap.

“It’s the best espresso in town,” said customer Mark Rogers of New Milford during a recent visit to the café. “It’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

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Light-hearted décor based on a traveling theme grace the exposed brick walls of the space. A small area of one wall showcases local artwork, which will rotate monthly.

About a dozen tables with wooden tops — some with two chairs and others with four — and a wooden counter with five seats are available for patrons who want to enjoy their beverage and food at the Java Haus.

Yenter, who is a contractor by trade, made the table tops, counter and copper checkout counter.

The flow of customers on a recent morning was steady. Some placed their order and left to get on with their day, while others sat at tables to read the newspaper, have breakfast with their children, meet a friend before the children get off the bus and hold a business meeting.

“It’s an anchoring point for the community,” Yenter said.

“I pop in a few times a week,” Vengrove said. “It seems there’s always someone I know there, so it’s a nice way to get great coffee and food while building community with friends.”

Java Haus at the Alpenhaus at 59 Bank St. is open Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 860-799-5557.

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