LOWER MANHATTAN — On a street packed with coffee shops, R&R Coffee aims to be different.
The small cafe at 76 Fulton St., opening July 30 just steps from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, focuses on fresh, seasonal Intelligentsia Coffee beans, which are ground and brewed to order.
"You can taste the difference," said Ron Julka, 36, co-owner of R&R Coffee. "It's a lot fresher. You can taste the crispness."
The 18-seat coffee shop will also offer croissants and pastries from Ceci-Cela Patisserie, and within the next few weeks the menu will expand to include sandwiches and salads as well, Julka said.
The drinks list currently features espressos, machiatos, cappuccinos, lattes and other coffee concoctions, along with hot chocolate. Small 8-ounce drinks start at about $3, while large 16-ounce beverages cost $4 to $5.
Julka hopes to turn the windowed cafe at the corner of Fulton and Gold streets, which previously housed The Country Kebab restaurant, into a gathering space that appeals to the neighborhood's residents, workers and tourists.
During the soft opening on Friday, many curious passersby peeked in to see what the coffee shop looked like and to welcome the new owners to the neighborhood, said Richard Young, 43, Julka's business partner.
"The community is already coming in," Young said.
Young and Julka have previous experience running coffee shops in San Diego, but this is the first time they've brought their vision of a relaxed environment and top-of-the-line ingredients to their native New York.
"We wanted to bring that same atmosphere to New York City," Julka said.
R&R Coffee, 76 Fulton St., will be open Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning July 30.