‘From the Gegent’ is a series of articles featuring businesses, services and the people behind them in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Presented by Mica Soffer, owner and publisher of community news service COLlive.com and neighborhood directory gegent.com:
Photos: Sholem Srugo
Chocolatte, the popular coffee shop in Crown Heights which has become something of a community hub, has recently expanded its menu.
Owned by Levi Harel and his brothers, the shop at the JCM on the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway, the neighborhood’s busiest corner, is the flagship coffee shop and eatery which has since branched out to include another location in Brooklyn, as they look to expand to new market areas as well.
In 2013, the brothers, who have a long history in the restaurant business, opened Chocolatte Espresso Bar, with the name based on their two favorite items – chocolate and latte, with the goal “to provide the best quality foods, and create exciting new menu items,” managing partner Levi Harel says.
The brothers were on the lookout for a “good location,” he says, and they soon opened the coffee shop which is open 24 hours.
The menu has continuously expanded over the years, as customers began to ask for more.
“We specialized in coffee and pastries, and soon customers asked for sandwiches, salads and more, so we began to offer those as well. Now, 6 years later, we are constantly innovating and reinventing ourselves,” he says.
While top quality coffee is their main focus, they now offer all kinds of meal items as well, with the brothers themselves coming up with menu items and recipes.
Chocolatte now offers salads, sandwiches, and pastries, in addition to a large selection of coffees, fresh juices, summer drinks and smoothies, and even drinks for children, like milkshakes and hot chocolate.
Their revamped breakfast menu (served until 2:00 pm) includes the “Tel Aviv” (3 eggs, Israeli salad, avocado, sweet potato, cream cheese, olives, bread and a hot drink), the “On the Run” (3 eggs, toast, and coffee), or the egg and cheese croissant.
For the rest of the day, you can get their soup of the day, 3 types of pasta (Italian Pesto, Pomodoro Basilico, and Alla Crema), and a variety of wraps and panini sandwiches (like smoked salmon, flounder, tuna melt, spicy tuna, caprese, and goat cheese).
“We use natural and healthier options wherever we can, such as butter rather than margarine,” Levi Harel says. “We also offer a large selection of salads and healthier menu items.”
They also do catering for events, such as family gatherings, bris, upshernish, and corporate and office events as well. “Since we are open 24 hours, if you call the day before, or even a few hours before, we can accommodate your event,” he says.
“We have become a family place, a hub and favorite meeting place for all types of people of all ages,” Levi Harel says.
“Families get together here, teens come here to study, and we have lots of bochurim, visitors and tourists,” he says. “Even members of the NYPD stop by very often, since we are open 24 hours. The fact that we are open all night keeps this area of the neighborhood safer, since there is always a light on, and always someone here to welcome you.”
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