NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Saddled with the unenviable task of trying to replace an iconic New Rochelle locale, the Rochelle Coffee Shop has assumed the location that once housed Donut World and the new store is quickly earning public adoration.
Several local and state dignitaries were on hand at the new coffee shop Thursday to celebrate its grand opening and sample the vast menu of modern cuisine.
Led by the father-son combination of Spiros and Taso Michilis - who have a combined 35 years in the business – the Rochelle Coffee Shop has delighted customers looking to enjoy a modern menu of breakfast and lunch staples in a classic diner setting.
“We came in with a new mentality and wanted to focus on creating a new and modern menu, not old school. We’ve got more salads, and paninis and things like that,” Taso said. “We’re just trying to accommodate our customers and give people what they want.”
Although the space is small, customers can be seen entering and exiting the coffee shop as if on a conveyor belt.
This speedy service, combined with a quality product and friendly staff, have Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Marrone believing the Rochelle Coffee Shop could be an ideal example of what the chamber is seeking as it prepares to focus on North End business.
“Taso has taken what he was given and created a perfect business model for this type of diner. They get the people in and out and fed without making anyone feel rushed at all,” he said.
“In years past, (the chamber) focused on downtown, and now we’re keen to get more involved with a special emphasis and a North End chapter.”
Although many will forever associate the Quaker Ridge Road diner next to the post office with Donut World, the Rochelle Coffee Shop is doing all it can to forge its own legacy in the minds of local coffee lovers.
“This location has been an institution for a long time,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said. “I’m looking forward to the food and to see that tradition continued.”