INWOOD — Inwood may not have its own Starbucks, but the neighborhood is brewing up new local coffee shops with two new shops opening within one block of one another in just a few months.
Pin Pan Bakery, a Dominican-style coffee and pastry shop on the corner of Broadway and West 207th Street, opened catty-corner from neighborhood newcomer Darling Bakery this month, making it the second bakery to open on the same busy Inwood stretch over the past few months.
Although Inwood has its share of small bakeries, the two new coffee shops join Indian Road Cafe and Beans and Vines as Inwood's only java joints that offer a place to sit and enjoy a cup of joe, something neighbors say is long overdue.
"Ours is a neighborhood full of great people - there can be competing businesses," Inwood local Inger Tilsen-Breton wrote on Facebook. "Competition can be good. Even better when we have more opportunities in different price brackets."
The pastry counter at Pin Pan is filled with homemade American and Dominican-style pastries, from a tropical inspired guava danish to the more traditional Dominican tres leches cake. A blueberry muffin is priced at $1.50 and a morning doughnut costs $0.85.
"We tried to mix it up with American and Dominican [sweets] to cater to the community," said Rojas, a family friend of the owner who was not available Tuesday. "Everything is made here on site, even the buttercream."
The new Dominican-style bakery, which specializes in cakes, will soon provide free wireless connection, according to barista Odalis Dejada.
"It's a great corner and I know it's getting a rush in the morning," said 21-year-old Stephanie Rojas about Pin Pan's location in front of the 207th Street A-train at 5009 Broadway, and its ability to attract early morning commuters who are grabbing a cup of coffee on the go.
Down the block, Inwood residents have been flocking to Darling Bakery at 4961 Broadway since it opened in May, both for its menu of homemade scones, artisan coffee blends, and freshly baked bread.
The prices of baked goods are slightly higher at Darling Coffee with a slice of hummingbird cake costing $2.50 compared to a slice ginger cake at Pin Pan Bakery priced at $1.50.
Inwood local Erica Arenas, 30, said she likes the to come to Darling both for the iced coffee and WiFi.
"I've been here everyday for the last month," she said as she touched the screen of her iPad.
Nichole Frockeur-Lidakis, 34, who owns Darling Coffee with her husband Nick Lidakis, said she is excited to see another bakery open in the neighborhood and looks forward to sampling their fare.
"Whenever I can...I like to taste other people's things and I get excited," she said.