Brews and Bitters to bring coffee, cocktails to once-vacant spot


While Jana Rae, 54, was tidying the interior of a storefront on East Meadow Avenue, a man walked in to ask when the business would officially open.

“That’s been happening all day,” Rae said after he left. “It’s a good thing.”

The storefront is the new home of Brews and Bitters, a combination coffee shop and craft beer bar that Rae co-owns with Jonathan Joseph, 29, of East Meadow. Residents have been eager to know what would come of the space, which has been vacant for the past six months.

The bar that previously occupied the location, called the Nest, was passed from owner to owner until it closed in May, when its most recent owner, Marvin Almendares, left to pursue a military career. Joseph bought it from Almendares, and he and Rae have since redecorated its interior and altered its façade.

Brews and Bitters will open on Nov. 7, and the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce will welcome it with a ribbon-cutting on Nov. 16.

“We’re very excited that a person living in East Meadow is reinvesting in our community,” said chamber President Frank Camarano. “And people are really excited about it, too. We can’t wait for their opening.”

Joseph has lots of relevant experience, having worked at a number of bars around the metropolitan area. He also spent two summers working in Portugal, which inspired him to create a bar that emulated those that he saw in Europe. “We’re looking forward to giving the people here an experience that they may have never heard of,” Joseph said.

“Who doesn’t like coffee and Bailey’s?” Rae added.

The bar will feature an extensive coffee menu, including Brazilian brews and Sail Away cold brew to help guests kick-start their mornings. It will include an array of its own specialty cocktails for patrons to enjoy by night. And it will offer a number of coffee cocktails, like a Mexican drink that includes mescal, tequila, Sail Away and mole bitters.

“We encourage our guests to try a cocktail they haven’t had before,” Joseph said, adding that the menu would change often to offer new drinks and seasonal favorites. Eventually, the partners plan to serve desserts and small entrees.

Brews and Bitters seats 30, and takes reservations to ensure that guests are comfortable, Joseph said. It will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Wednesday, and close around 2:30 a.m. from Thursday to Saturday.