Lights On in Lower Manhattan

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By Kelly Rush New Yorkers are known for needing their fixes and they know just the perfect spots at which to curb their cravings. In today's edition, I bring you several new businesses that I predict will become favorites of people looking for coffee and comfort food. As usual, if you see any new retailers or spot changes to a longtime establishment, please email me at and I'll check them out. Blue Spoon Coffee Company 90 William St. (at Platt St.), 212-809-8880, Tucked in between a nail spa and a barbershop is Blue Spoon, the second coffee shop from owner Heather Teegarden to grace Lower Manhattan. The first location, on Chambers Street, has been a favorite of the government crowd and residents on the go, and this new outpost is sure to attract its own loyal following. The menu is a mix of deli classics with gourmet touches. For coffee, Blue Spoon brews direct-trade Intelligentsia. The sandwiches and panini include options like the smoked turkey and brie with apples and honey mustard, roast beef and cheddar and hummus with roasted red peppers on Balthazar ciabatta bread. Eager to leave her desk job in public relatio=ns, owner and native New Yorker Teegarden opened her first store in 2005, assuming the lease of a struggling tea shop on Chambers Street. "It's been such a great ride," she says. "There is such an amazing sense of community here." Grandma's House 27 Peck Slip (betw. Water & Front Sts.), 212-472-6362 This cozy spot, which looks more like your grandma's kitchen than a restaurant, is a throwback to simpler times, when a big meal and a hug made everything better. Or maybe old-fashioned milkshakes and mac and cheese just delude us into thinking life is great. Either way, diners can get filled up on delicious food and be happy for at least one hour of their day. The restaurant, which features large portions of comfort food, is already taking orders from Seamless. Popular menu options include the aforementioned mac and cheese, Angus hamburgers-called hambiggers-and baby back sweet ribs. R&R Coffee 76 Fulton St. (at Gold St.), 646-449-8908 "R&R" stands for decades-long friendship, rest and relaxation and the perfect meeting spot for New Yorkers looking to sit down for a minute and share a pastry or two over great coffee. Co-owners Ron Julka and Richard Young (the Rs) have been friends for around 20 years, and they've decided now is the time to open their version of the coffee shop in Lower Manhattan. "We're in love with the location," Julka said. "We have tourists, residents and businesspeople, and more and more people are sticking around longer." The shop, a stone's throw from the South Street Seaport and yet still close to Wall Street, features Intelligentsia beans and pastries by Ceci-Cela. Coming soon are salads and sandwiches, bagels and an even greater selection of pastries and cookies.

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