Popular UES Cafe, DTUT, to Reopen on Second Avenue
YORKVILLE — Downtown cool is moving to the Upper East Side.
DTUT, which stands for Downtown Uptown, also had an East Village counterpart that closed in 2005.
Lopez-Thomas, who managed the original DTUT on Second Avenue and East 84th Street, expects to open the new shop as early as Friday.
The new DTUT is located at 1744 Second Ave., at East 91st St.
Lopez-Thomas, a hospitality industry vet who worked his way up from bar-backing to being a partner of Biddy's, located at 301 E. 91st St., wanted to fill the void left by DTUT's closure, he said.
Though the busy bar scene along Second Avenue is mainly sports-oriented, DTUT's atmosphere offered both a respite from boisterous boozing and a sense of community, he explained.
"It was almost this meeting place for everybody," said Lopez-Thomas, a native to the neighborhood who now lives in Williamsburg. "There really was nothing like it."
The soon-to-be DTUT will offer espresso drinks and pastries — such as croissants, muffins, scones, brownies and cookies — throughout the day, as well as "kid favorites for adults."
The menu hasn't been fully finalized, but Lopez-Thomas said these sandwich-centric selections will mostly likely include peanut-butter-and-jelly baguettes, fluffer-nutters, and grilled cheeses — served, of course, with tomato soup and cheddar Goldfish crackers.
"Just little kitschy things," he said.
Lopez-Thomas said his menu is motivated by the philosophy that basic fare — done right — can do battle with intricate, expensive eats.
"I love the super fancy artisan type thing," he said, but "you can have simple things that are just as good and affordable."
Drinks-wise, beer and wine — as well as a seasonal cocktail menu — will be offered from the late afternoon until close, he said.
These rotating drinks will always include a tequila, vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey-based selections, and these main spirits will also be switched seasonally, Lopez-Thomas said.
Lopez-Thomas said these proofed picks will be different than what's typically encountered in UES bars, as to make accessible a range of beverages to customers' of varying knowledge levels.
While "there's not going to be Bud or Bud Light," Lopez-Thomas explained, you won't have to be an expert to navigate the craft beers.
"I never want people to feel alienated," he said.
The decor, which includes reclaimed wood and thrift store finds, goes hand in hand with the DIY vibe of the previous DTUT, he said.
"It was always talked about to do DTUT again — to do a coffee shop," he said. "It finally came to fruition."