Tag Archives: cafe

New Glendale coffee shop offers a taste of Wonderland

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Just steps away from the bustle of Myrtle Avenue in Glendale is an enchanted place lined with giant tea cups in which to sit and enjoy freshly brewed coffee, teas and delectable pastries.

While this may sound like a scene from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, this unique ambiance can be found at My Coffee Cup, a newly opened café bringing a touch of Wonderland to the heart of Glendale.

My Coffee Cup, located at 65-53 Myrtle Ave., has only been open for a week and has already garnered a loyal local following. This two-month-long labor of love first began when owner Evelyn Valentin experienced an unfortunate personal event.

“I lost my job in March, and at my age, I didn’t want to start again. I think it was a blessing in disguise,” Valentin explained. “So I decided to invest my savings and open up a coffee shop. I wanted to have something different and unique from everybody else. I just happened to see a picture online of a teacup ride and I said ‘That’s it!’”

Many of the café’s patrons enjoy stopping by for an iced coffee while snapping selfies at one of My Coffee Cup’s unique, oversized teacup booths. The booths seat seven and are similar to the teacups in the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland — though the cups in Glendale do not spin.

“I wanted something bright and different, something that was never seen in New York before,” Valentin added.

The tea cups were designed by Valentin, made in Asia and transported halfway around the globe to Glendale, with an interesting pit stop in customs along the way. Each teacup is painted in bright shades of blue according to the theme of the café and adorned with a gold filigree stencil design reminiscent to delicate, fine china.

In addition to a whimsical ambiance, My Coffee Cup also boasts an expanding menu filled with both traditional café favorites and unique offerings. The coffee menu includes hot and iced coffee, teas, cappuccino, lattes, hot chocolate, Chai tea and mocha beverages. The café liegeois ($3.75) is a decadent mix of ice cream bathed in a shot of hot espresso or special cold brew.

“I went through over 60 blends of coffee to find that perfect one,” Valentin laughed. “I was awake for weeks after because of the caffeine, but I got it.”


My Coffee Cup also serves real fruit smoothies in strawberry, blueberry and tropical fruit flavors, as well as sweet summertime frozen slushies. The expanding menu features breakfast frittatas, grilled cheese sandwiches and dessert items including apple turnovers and cheese almond Danishes.

My Coffee Cup offers a senior citizen discount daily, as well as a special rewards card. Valentin is also constructing a special sidewalk coffee cart for busy morning commuters.

Valentin hopes to expand the café, with an outdoor tea garden complete with large, LED-lit teacups on the horizon for next summer. She also hopes to someday franchise My Coffee Cup, with cafés throughout the boroughs and Manhattan.

“I’m hoping that maybe in the near future it becomes a chain, and I’ll have a bunch of teacups all over the city,” Valentin said.


‘Retro-futuristic’ coffee and dessert café opens in Astoria

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Gossip Coffee

People won’t be able to stop talking about one new coffee and dessert café that opened its doors in Astoria Monday.

Gossip Coffee, located at 37-04 30th Ave., has opened for business and calls itself the first retro-futuristic coffee and dessert café in the western Queens neighborhood.

The shop comes from duo James Paloumbis and John Bortolis, who are the partners behind MexiBBQ, located at 37-11 30th Ave.

Its interior, referred to as following a “Googie-style architecture” as seen in “The Jetsons,” features plush lime green and sky blue arm chairs, and high-top chairs lining the wall-mounted bar. The site is decorated with bags of the shop’s signature coffee, wheat-grass planters, and retro memorabilia.

Patrons will also be able to enjoy an outdoor deck filled with wooden benches, colorful plants and trees, and yoga mats hidden to the side for whoever is looking for some time on their own.

gossip coffee inside

Gossip Coffee offers 10 rotating blends of coffee along with 10 different cold teas served on tap such as ceylon sonata, masala chai and peach oolong. All drinks are made on site daily, and prices range from $3 to $5.

For visitors looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, the café features an extensive selection of pastries – including doughnuts made fresh daily by Chef Scottish Francis Legge, who was dubbed the “Donut King” on season five of Fox’s “MasterChef.”

Some of the doughnut flavors, which will be $4.50 each, include prosciutto and stout – which was what got him the nickname by “Master Chef” host Gordon Ramsay – orange creamsicle, lemon poppy seed, and doughnut holes rolled in espresso and chocolate bits. Every day, there will also be a 10-doughnut supply of the Gossip Doughnut, which is a caffeine-infused chocolate doughnut topped with a gold leaf that runs for $10. The doughnuts are made twice daily.

gossip coffee doughnut 3

Lemon poppy seed (back) and orange creamsicle.

The site also includes an entire rice pudding bar, featuring a rotating selection of nine different flavors of rice pudding at a time. Puddings are available in four different sizes: the four-ounce Teaser, eight-ounce Selfie, 16-ounce Date and 32-ounce Entourage.

Gossip Coffee is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 718-440-8792.


LIC shop plans to serve bike community with coffee, beer and great service

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Peter Dressel

Cyclists will soon have a spot in Long Island City where they can grab a coffee or drink a cold beer with fellow lovers of the sport.

Jane Kenyon and Damon Strub are the founders of Nomad Cycle, a bicycle shop that emphasizes providing services to the cyclist community, which opened its doors on Jan. 29 in LIC.

Nomad Cycle is currently located at Strub’s former seventh-floor architecture studio located at 51-02 21st St., but the founders plan to move the shop to a storefront location by the summer.

After making the move and applying for a beer license, Nomad Cycle plans to be a bicycle shop, café and taproom, the first in Queens.

“Manhattan and Brooklyn are very dense with bike shops and coffee shops. It seems to me that Queens, certainly this area in Queens, is growing and needs shops like these,” said Kenyon, a professional cyclist who has competed in international races. “We’re more interested in being part of the community and building relationships with our clients.”

For now, the business offers bike services and repairs, professional bicycle fittings, DIY repair work stations available for rent, and a master mechanic on hand to provide assistance.

There are also hands-on classes and other bike-related events taking place at the shop. Restored and vintage bicycles are available for sale, and they have access to a distributor of Italian bicycles.

“We’re really going to focus on quality, not necessarily expensive. We’re not going to carry stuff that is going to break down,” Kenyon said. “If you come in and tell us what you want, we’ll work with you to source with you and build up what you’re looking for.”

Kenyon and Strub are currently looking for the new location for Nomad Cycle and would like to be closer to the route most cyclists use.

When they make the move, they will first open as a bike shop and café and then apply for a beer license. The plan is to become a community space where people can hang out and socialize.

Photo by Damon Strub

Photo by Damon Strub

“When we do move to a storefront, we would like to be part and parcel a community space for cyclists and non-cyclists and a place that attracts people to hang out,” Kenyon said. “If you are into cycling, you know you’ll always find other cyclists to talk to.”

Although the shop plans to combine the love for cycling and beer, Kenyon added that they emphasize that their customers should stay safe on the roads. The shop even hopes to have a car service available for any cyclists who might have had a beer too many.

“What we would say is please drink responsibly,” Kenyon said.

Nomad Cycle is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit nomadcycle.com.

Photo by Damon Strub

Photo by Damon Strub


Logan’s Cafe at LeHavre on the Water celebrates successful first year

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Logan’s Café has only been open for one year, but it already has a loyal fan base. 

“The food here is excellent, and the environment is nice and comfortable,” said Irwin Hodes, 75, a daily customer. “I don’t know another place that has food as good as this.”

Dozens of diners, and several more in the summer, have flocked to the small Whitestone diner at LeHavre on the Water every day since it opened last Feb. 18, said the restaurant’s operator Logan O’Connor.

“It’s exciting,” said the 20-year-old entrepreneur from Whitestone. “I met a lot of people here and learned a lot of things about being a business person.”

O’Connor saw a notice seeking a new café concessionaire at LeHavre last November, when he was visiting his grandparents.

“I was always interested in cooking and always wanted to own my own restaurant,” he said, leaping at the chance and landing the poolside eatery.

O’Connor often finds himself jumping from behind the grill to the counter, manning all posts at the restaurant, with no fear of burning out.

“I do everything, seven days a week,” he said. “I don’t get tired. It’s fun.”

Logan’s Café is located at 168-68 9th Ave., in the LeHavre clubhouse.

To celebrate the eatery’s first milestone, O’Connor is giving out free cupcakes Tuesday.

“It’s a get-together place,” Hodes said. “We’re all happy he’s here.”