By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — The popular East Village coffee shop Roastown Coffee has finally arrived in Midtown, greeting caffeine-seekers with bunches of balloons as they opened their doors Wednesday.
The trendy java house, which also has an independent location on the corner of St. Mark’s Place and an outpost on West 27th Street and Sixth Avenue in Chelsea, sells organic coffees, espressos and frappuccinos, as well as salads, sushi, fresh juices and sandwiches 24-hours a day on West 34th Street near the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue.
The eatery also offers a sure-to-be-popular wall of 16 flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt served with an array of 27 toppings that rivals any of the pricey chains.
"It looks good!" said Brooklyn's Gwendolyn Akoto, 24, who goes to church in the neighborhood and was lured to the store Wednesday evening and immediately drawn to the yogurt wall.
Owner Sookie Chung said she hopes the eatery will be a pleasant change for the neighborhood, whose dining scene is dominated by fast food chains, Starbucks outposts and little else.
"There's not a lot of healthy food," said Chung, who hopes her fresh-made sushi offerings and fresh fruit will prove enticing.
"We don’t have that before,” said East Harlem’s Jimmy Sow, 39, who works at the bargain jewelry shop next door and stopped by to check out the opening after a shift.
He said he typically grabs lunch at Burger King, Wendy's or a pizza shop on Eight Avenue, but plans to stop by again to try something new.
"I don’t think there are too many options in the area," agreed MaryJane Finley, 26, who lives in Jersey City, and also made a b-line to the yogurt wall.
In addition to take-out, the new shop also has plenty of seating, with a spacious upper level with tables and chairs.
Staff said their first day was slower than they would have liked, but Chung said she thinks word will spread.
"They love my coffee," she said, adding the chain is planning additional outposts, including a possible location on 42nd Street.