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A Harder Cuppa

Side Dishes: Woodstock loses beloved café

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Finding a place to linger over a latte in Woodstock became a lonelier proposition this winter with the loss of a local café and the closure of a nearby pâtisserie.

In late December, Woodstock Coffee & Tea Company was evicted from its space at 43 Central Street, allegedly because rent hadn’t been paid since fall.

The coffee shop, owned for five years by Mary Urban and her brother Tom Urban, was cherished by both locals and tourists for its powerful brews of single-source coffees, its range of creative hot chocolates and ciders, and a relaxed vibe that encouraged people to linger for hours. Weekend lines sometimes stretched to the door.

The building’s owner, Manhattan Skyline Management Corporation, is based in New York City. Monthly rent on the 1054-square-foot space is now $3500.

Also in December, artisan bakery Alléchante closed its 61 Central Street location in Woodstock in preparation for opening a new store in Hanover, N.H., this April. Its branch in Norwich, Vt., remains open.

The bakery’s former digs have been claimed by the Daily Grind, a bakery-café that moved into the space from down the street on January 14. Owner Stacey Velardi has hired two new pastry chefs and expanded her menu to include a full range of breakfast items, fresh soups and other hot specials. She hopes to have a beer and wine license by the summer.

“We were all very different,” said Velardi of the three coffee spots that served Woodstock’s main drag until recently. As the last standing dedicated coffee shop along that stretch, the Daily Grind has inevitably gotten busier. Despite her regret at watching businesses close, Velardi is happy to be in a larger space. “We’re going to be able to cook a lot more,” she says.

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