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Comments

Charles

Man, this thread is totally full of fakers.

At the same time, when I walked by, I thought the inside looked a bit sparse, and the glass is a total mess - but the coffee stand in the back looks spotless and hopefully they'll have good coffee. I'll definitely give it a shot if it ever opens for the morning rush.

Williams

ICH is fantastic. Good service, clean environment with an inviting atmosphere. You can sit in comfort with your laptop, have a chai soy laite or the best tasting green mountain coffee. If you haven't checked it out yet, stop on by and see for yourself.

jeffrey

Despite all the shills above, I've been meaning to get in to check this place out, and had occasion to do just that this evening.

Note: they are still in the process of setting up in there, but when I popped my head in and inquired I was greeted warmly and figured why not give it a shot, even if they're not quite open and running on all cylinders yet.

Before going into any other details let me cover the most important part first -- the coffee.

As for the aforementioned name brand coffee mentioned somewhere above, it's not Gorilla or D'Amico or any of the other local tasty roasts but it is Green Mountain Coffee. That is fine by me, and certainly better than much of what you'll find out there especially as compared to the bulk/generic stuff at your average local bodega or coffee cart.

They have a self-serve coffee bar at the rear near the register with what will be several (8 or 9) freshly-brewed pump thermoses containing various Green Mountain Coffee blends and flavors, and this evening (not fully open yet) they happened to have the French Vanilla and Hazelnut pump containers operational.

I opted for the Hazelnut, which happily survived the taste test and was in no way weak or watered down (like some places such as the now former Muddy Waters on Vanderbilt in PH would do.)

Since they are still in only partially-open mode, I did not inquire as to espresso drinks. That's a far more rigorous test, and I figure I'll at least give them the benefit of being fully operational first before venturing down that path. :)

They had a few wrapped pastries in a glass case at the register counter next to the self-serve coffee area, and those looked okay (like what you might find in a corner store) and my only comment there would be that they would do wonders if they stocked something like the marvelous (and remarkably well-priced) freshly-baked goods of Margaret Palca (on Columbia Street in the Waterfront District). But hey, maybe I'm just a fan of Margaret Palca. I've been trying to get tea lounge to offer her stuff instead of the Sarabeths stuff that I find to be mass-produced and lacking any semblance of freshness and flavor, but that's another story (hah).

But back to ICH, they'll hopefully find their stride with baked goods and other coffee-complementary offerings after they've been open for a while, or better yet, they will move with whatever the majority of local demand prefers.

As for decor, I have to confess that someone's description above of cold ceramic tiles had me expecting the worst sort of cold, bright, glaring antithesis-of-comfortable coffee establishment.

Well, having honestly seen the place, I was pleased to note that it's not at all the case. There are tiles, but they are a basic earthen color and of a material that will hold up well to heavy foot traffic, and the rest of the place was in more light earthen tones with wood trim, not glaring techno-glare white.

Dim the lights a little and throw a few cheap oriental rugs down, and the place will feel more cozy in no time.

They have a copier in the front window, and a bank of internet-connected monitors along the right when you walk in (like the ones at Ozzies on 5th Ave in the Slope). There are small tables along the left as you walk in, and then a separate area with larger upholstered chairs (meant to be more like a lounge, I guess) in a separate area along the right toward the back.

I didn't check out that smaller, right-side lounge area, merely got a glimpse of part of a chair inside, and I guess I'll reserve thoughts about how that all works once they've had a chance to get things fully operational there.

The large screen flat panel tv situation was nice, visible to most seating there. They might do well to put notable televised events on the screens there and publicize it to the local community, but they probably already have that in mind.

But again, what impressed me perhaps the most was the warm reception when I popped my head in, and while chatting with the folks there. They honestly could not have been nicer. Sometimes this gets lost in the shuffle especially as a new place is still only partially open and preoccupied with getting things in place, or in the busy rush after opening, but it made a definite, very positive impression on me.

So although the place is a bit spartan (albeit tasteful enough, overall) in its present, partially-open state, the coffee was good and the reception and conversation even better.

As for any potential competition with K-Dog, here are my thoughts:

1) The two places are certainly far apart enough that I see comparison as irrelevant

2) Each is adjacent to a different neighborhood subway station, and therefore convenient to entirely different groups of people, geographically

3) Each has its own different personality: K-Dog has more of a quirky Brooklyn/Family-oriented/Americana thing going on (or something like that, my apologies if I butchered that :), and ICH is more of a casual coffee bar with internet screens and TVs going, more like you'd expect from a typical internet cafe.

4) Both appear to have really nice people working there.

Based on just those few observations, I feel there's more than enough room for both of them to thrive at their (nearly) separate ends of the neighborhood, especially if they continue to focus on pleasing their customers.

Well, that's just my opinion, anyway. Now I just need to get over to Lime to see what that's all about. :)

jeffrey

Whoops. An error in my blurb above: the "lounge-ish" area is toward the back left as you walk in, not right. Cheers.

Nativegal

Wow! Jeffrey, Thanks for such a thoughtful review. Even though I'm on the far end of the neighborhood where even K-Dogs is a little out of the way. I'll have to make it a point to check out ICH.

adwred

That's great news, Jeffrey, and that's for all the details. I walk past ICH on my way to work - I hope it opens sometime in the morning.

As for Lime - its pretty cool, very upscale, date kind of place, well dressed patrons having a night out, young 20s crowd, not a place you'd go to grab a beer really... Hostesses and all that. Nice bartenders. When I went in they had two "bouncers" pat me down; I don't know if that's a regular practice or just my dressed down appearance.

angel

Hey there!

Those comments are just great, i enjoyed reading and it's ok for people to open up and speak about things that is happening in the neighborhood.
This gives us a chance to know what people likes and dislike, so the owners of those establishment will step up and please the public.
Let's make our community proud,safe from crimes, and each one help the other.
People let's just unite and be happy for little progress.

Charles

Thanks for the review, jeffrey. I still can't fathom a coffee-centric place that isn't open for the morning rush.

Will

I was wondering about their early hours. While I have not passed by in the morning, I am told they are open as early as 6AM. I did go in the afternoon and sampled the pastries. They have the same offerings as Starbucks. Good sign.

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