Opening a new business is a lot of work, but opening during the coronavirus peak is even harder. A new barista bar opened up on Genesee St in Utica. And if you order some of their fancy Italian drinks, you won't want to put them down.
Joseph Putrello's Coffee Barista Bar followed through with their plans to open last week, despite the pandemic. The project began a few years ago, but they made adjustments for safety. They have a glass wall surrounding the barista bar and they offer many to go products. But their coffee is what makes them unique. The owner, Joseph Putrello, says "All the drinks on the menu are authentic Italian drinks that you would find in Italy. Some that you've never heard of."
This is what has been drawing in customers. Even with the coronavirus restrictions, the owner says that they have been doing really well. This is because it gives the community something new to try. Mr. Putrello says "The velvet coffee, that's very popular. It's the velvet coffee duo is the one that I created. It has milk in it, whipped milk. Normally it's just pure espresso whipped with ice, with a syrup. It's served in a martini glass. I'm going to have them make that for you."
I got to try some of their most popular drinks for myself and I can see why they have been attracting so many coffee lovers. But the owner says the one challenge is the seating limitations. Mr. Putrello says "You can get it to go, but the ultimate experience is getting it to stay. That's why it was difficult for me to open during this because it was like man I'm going to really have limited seating. But you know, so far so good. Everybody's been very, you know doing what they have to do. Everybody's wearing a mask."
The tables were spaced according to CDC's guidelines and everyone must wear a mask to enter the building. But even with the coronavirus safety measures, the communities support has helped this small business.