PHOTOPHILE- Balancing act: New coffee shop goes east

For years, the east end of the Downtown Mall got the short end of the stick. While the west end basked in traffic brought in by the Regal theater, the Ice Park, and the first Mall crossing, the east end struggled with the Post Office and City Hall as anchors and with a dearth of parking. On the west end, coffee shops such as the Mudhouse and Café Cubano have long drawn masses looking for a caffeine fix. But now that the Pavilion's arrived, the transit center's well on its way, and Fourth Street is a second vehicular crossing, the east end is finally getting its due, and Java Java coffee shop– with one location in Ivy– opened a second store this week in the former Glaze n Blaze spot to help keep the Mall balanced.

Featuring comfy chairs in intimate alcoves, the living room style seating is clean and cozy. Baristas are friendly and happy to chat about about music, football, regional colloquialisms, and, of course, coffee.  

"We kept the bar open and low so people can interact with us," owner Ervin Santiago pointed out. 

Owner Ervin Santiago makes a drink.

A gourmet style etched latte

Ryan McSweeney (left) and Simon Jolly (right) enjoy espressos.

Core Knowledge employees Rachel Wright (left) and Rachael Shaw (right)

Nashima Gokani (left) and Dev Manseta (right) toast to the new Java Java. "The coffee is good!" Manseta exclaims.