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A couple of months ago on this blog, I was lamenting the lack of a decent indie coffee culture in New York City. Not that there isn't good coffee here; there just isn't nearly enough of it. I was jealous of Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Europe; Africa; and other large swathes of the planet. I still am. But things are looking up. The coffee scene has been ramping-up recently, with a few newcomers including the new Chelsea branch of Brooklyn's Cafe Grumpy, and the new Local in SoHo.
The name Local refers to the products the place sells from nearby sources, like moist apple-cider cake doughnuts (from Hudson Valley's Breezy Hill Orchards, via the Union Square Greenmarket), and bread from neighborhood bakeries Parisi and Grandaisy. The coffee itself, made from 100% Fair Trade beans, is actually roasted in Massachusetts. But who cares which state it comes from: It's in New York City now. And it's delicious. The house blend is a complex, aromatic medium-roast, which Local gets by mixing its dark Thompson Street blend with the lighter Sullivan Street variety.
I'm adding Local to my west-SoHo crawl, which usually includes pane pomodoro from Grandaisy (formerly Sullivan Street Bakery), Greek yogurt from The Yoghurt Place II, and a stop at the Thompson Street branch of the coffee mini-chain Porto Rico Importing Company (Local owner Craig Walker's alma mater). After some coffee at Local, I'll still need to drop by Porto Rico to breathe in the wickedly intoxicating smell of coffee beans in big burlap sacks (arguably better for in-store aroma than for long-term flavor-preservation)—and buy some tea.