Longtime Upper East Side residents may remember DTUT, the coffee cafe and bar hybrid that operated on Second Avenue near 84th street until its sudden closure in 2007. Now a former manager has decided to reopen the cafe under its old moniker—which stands for Downtown Uptown—this time further north on Second Avenue, in the space that housed long-closed dive bar American Spirits. The revamped cafe will be a boon to locals who haven't had a non-bar, non-Starbucks place to hang out, grab some java or even sip a beer in a comfortable environment since the original shut down.
The new space channels some of its predecessor, especially with the mismatched furniture, scattered literature and decidedly low-key vibe. Current Brooklyn design aficionados will recognize the Edison bulb chandeliers and repurposed woods that are so popular with establishments across the river. In the coming months, local artwork will adorn the not-yet-covered walls.
Starting tomorrow, the cafe will open early to serve Irving Farms coffee and espresso drinks, plus a selection of teas and pastries. Come mid-day, the cafe churns out a rotating selection of house-made sandwiches, including several kinds of grilled cheese and other childhood favorites. More grown-up options come out in the evening, like varieties of sweet and savory fondue, which were a date-night staple for teens and adults at the original. Charcuterie and other small plate items also serve as upscale bites for the nighttime set.
Additionally, craft beers, wines and bespoke cocktails transform the space from coffeeshop to casual lounge. General Manager Corey Lopez-Thomas, a longtime bartender in the neighborhood, hopes to switch up the alcohol selections frequently, bringing in brews from local spots like Bronx Brewery and Sixpoint, as well as a few from far flung spots like Avery Brewing Company in Colorado. A small selection of seasonal cocktails round out the bar program—and patrons can also opt for their desired liquor neat or on the rocks—but don't ask for a Vodka Soda here. For that, steal away to another neighborhood gem, Biddy's Pub, around the corner on 91st street.
1744 Second Avenue; (917) 403-6598. Open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight; Fridays and Saturdays until 2 a.m.