By Gillian Puma, Senior Writer
From Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts, students have a multitude of coffee shop options to get through their day. While other students may resort to local delis for their coffee run, one local cafe has brought a new setting to the typical coffee run.
Located on 234 W. and 238th St. is a small cafe known as Mon Amour. The cafe offers a variety of beverages served hot or cold as well as food options such as baked goods, breakfast foods, salads, flatbreads, pizzettes, paninis and desserts. However, what makes Mon Amour stand out from the typical cafe setting is that they offer a variety of wine and beers for their customers as well.
The cafe was opened by Jeffrey Garcia in November 2015. Garcia owns the cafe alongside his wife, Yahaira. They can both be seen working at the cafe at different times.
“Initially my partner and I who opened up this place noticed there was a deficiency in the area with coffee shops,” Garcia said.
The cafe was originally supposed to be a wine bar, but when Garcia went to see other restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn he realized coffee and wine were a good mix.
“We figured why not do the coffee in the morning and transition into wine and beer in the evening,” Garcia said.
Garcia also shared his experience in the restaurant industry.
“I worked in a restaurant when I was younger. I was a bar-back and a bus-boy and things like that. But I never cooked other than cooking at home or cooking for myself,” Garcia said. “I like the kitchen and inventing new things.”
One of the sandwiches on Mon Amour’s menu is one of Garcia’s original creations known as “The Jeff.” It is one of Mon Amour’s popular breakfast sandwiches.
Mon Amour’s menu is also growing in variety, with the intention to add new salads on the menu. This past summer the cafe added smoothies to their menu.
“We didn’t think it was going to be that busy for the smoothies in the winter, but a lot of people kept coming in for it so we implemented it back into the menu,” Garcia said.
Garcia also discussed the design of the cafe’s interior.
“We try to create a place where people felt like they were walking into their home,’’ he said. “As you can see, we created an area like a living room where the TV is, and then the cooking area is like an open concept kitchen.”
The college community has also responded to Mon Amour’s services. In 2018, Assistant Director of Web Communications Christine Loughran named the cafe on a list titled “Riverdale’s Best Coffee For College Students On A Budget.” The list can be viewed on Manhattan’s website.
Students have found comfort in the cafe for other purposes as well.
“It’s a great place to eat or even pick up something quick. The prices are extremely negotiable and the food was very good. The service was also extremely generous,” Senior Kristen Friedman said.
Rob Walsh, the college’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships, is also a regular at the cafe.
“Those in the Manhattan College community who have discovered this neighborhood gem enjoy a comfortable place, good food and pastries, and a great cup of coffee,” Walsh said. “Those who haven’t been there yet are really missing out.”