coffeebreak.jpgAlt Coffee, the Alphabet City hangout notable for its quality Internet access, scary bathroom, and diverse clientele, closed this weekis closing soon. Owner Nick Bodor is not losing his business, but simply rearranging it to fit the style of a changed neighborhood. He will be re-opening after renovations transform it into Hopscotch, a coffehouse where it's likely a diaper-changing table in the bathroom will replace the sign instructing "No OD's Allowed."

The cafe’s owner, Nick Bodor, 38, said that for years he was able to clear enough money from Alt to live on. But times have changed on Avenue A, where new boutiques now face a cleaned-up version of Tompkins Square Park that includes several playgrounds.

Before Mr. Bodor rented the storefront in 1995, he said, it had been shuttered for 14 years. The first furniture he installed came from Dumpsters, and some of the early patrons included a man who read palms and people who lingered all day over a single cup of coffee.

But rents have risen in the neighborhood, including Mr. Bodor’s. He said that since 2001 his insurance costs have tripled and that it recently became more expensive to rent computer equipment, leaving him little choice but to accommodate the changing times.

This is sad of course, and not just because heroin addicts tend to be quieter than small children while in eating or drinking establishments. We are glad to hear that Mr. Bodor didn't lose his business outright though, and can only hope that Hopscotch continues to feature house computers for customers without laptops.

(Coffee Break, by Goggla at flickr)