. I0 WN
Hot, Cold and Everything in Between
How do you like your coffee? In Chapel Hill and Carrboro, coffee drinkers have more than a dozen
options. That's about one java joint per
5,000 residents. Each has its own particular
flavor and "go-withs" - everything from
organic chocolate and wine to gelato and
sheep's yogurt. Here's the buzz on a few of
the newer places to caffeinate.
La Vita Dolce
Whenever frustrations built up during
her 20-year career at IBM, Sue Rothberg
fantasized about walking away and opening
an espresso bar. By the time she finally
made her wish come true last year, she'd
had years to write a business plan and
mentally work out the kinks. After a few
months ofmarket research, she recruited
her brother, lawyer Steve Lazinsky, to leave
Indianapolis and join her as a partner in La
Vita Dolce, a coffee house and gelatoria in
"It's not a run-of-the-mill coffee shop,"
Rothberg said. "We tried to create an
atmosphere we knew people in this com-
munity would appreciate. They are well-
educated and well-traveled."
Tiles embedded in the five layers of
Venetian plaster on the walls spout coffee
facts: "It takes approximately 2,000 berries
to make a pound of coffee." "Coffee was
fir t cultivated in Yemen in the sL'Cth cen-
tury." Overstuffed armchairs form a con-
versational grouping in one corner. Tall
cafe tables and chairs, with a steaming cof-
fee cup carved in each leather seatback, are
tucked in a windowed alcove. Music from
the '40s fills the double-height room. Cof-
fee is served in oversized, multicolored cups
with saucers or chunky, white espresso
cups. The espresso machine takes center
stage behind the glass freezer case holding
homemade gelato and sorbet.
"Coffee is a tough business 365 days a
year," Rothberg said. "The gelato and sor-
bet balance out business on hot days."
Southern Village is pet friendly, so
Rothberg created a "cappoochino" gelato
that is safe and healthy for dogs.
A baker makes quiche for the shop
every morning, and pastries are available. In
nice weather, customers take their refresh-
ment on the front patio, where La Vita
Dolce sometimes hosts live music. Outdoor
events on the village square also bring in
Lex Alexander wants people to get out
of a rut and into a ritual, replacing their $4
coffee drinks on the go with a cup of
coffee, tea or chocolate at home. His tiny
shop, 3 Cups, opened in December and has
a 1930s mercantile feel, with bags of fresh-
to-the-rninute roasted coffee beans and
packets of tea for sale, along with row upon
row ofindividually wrapped chocolate
bars. It also offers French-press coffee pots
and other simple equipment to brew hot
beverages at home.
"We're about teaching people about
what we've selected so they can make it at
home," Alexander said.
3 Cups has a few tables inside and on
A new reason to linger In one of Franklin Street's most
tranquil courtyards: 3 Cups seeks to educate and
caffelnate a few cups at a time.
the patio facing the courtyard behind
Penang, and Alexander sells pastries and
bread from Weaver Street Market and
sheep's milk yogurt to go with coffee
"handmade" by the cup.
"We don't have fancy machines because
we're trying to model in our shop the way
you'd make it at home:' he said.
The coffee beans - none dark roasted
in this issue
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine