If you sipped an espresso at Hearth or Gotham Bar & Grill in New York City in the early 2010s, then you are already indirectly acquainted with Mitchel Margulis. In 2008, longtime roaster Margulis co-founded Stone Street Coffee Co., and his robust blends ended up in many high-end restaurants, as well as markets such as Fairway.
Now no longer connected with Stone Street but with an itch “to be part of a community,” said Margulis, the Syosset native has settled back into his hometown for his latest venture, an airy lounge and roastery called Mongo Coffee that takes up residence inside a 4,000-square-foot former warehouse on Michael Drive.
Mongo has all the requisite components of a coffeehouse: High and low tables, a case full of baked goods (some from Grassroots in Glen Head and Emilia’s Bakehouse in Melville), a few savory items (think avocado toast, beet and goat cheese salad, and sandwiches) and free Wi-Fi. What sets it apart: Staying open until 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, some nights with live music. “I want people to come in and chill,” said Margulis.
The centerpiece is coffee, espresso, cold brew and the like from beans roasted here in a majestic Probat roaster than can handle “55 pounds of coffee every 12 minutes,” should it come to that. It may come to that, as Margulis is starting to wholesale his roasts to restaurants and markets. Rather than focus on trendier single-origin coffees, he mostly blends beans from different regions in medium and dark roasts, he said. His Serengeti blend, for instance, brings together beans from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya.
Among some of the highlights on the in-house coffee menu are nitro cold brew, pour-overs by the pot (for $8), matcha lattes and frozen coffee drinks such as the mongo, which combines chocolate milk, a shot of espresso and regular milk. Most single hot and cold drinks fall between $2.50 and $4.50; salads and sandwiches are $6.25 to $8.
Margulis has spent his entire professional life in coffee, once working at Lavazza, but as a group of women play cards at a table and office workers trickle in and out, he seems very content. His visage, a goatee and glasses, serves as Mongo's logo, but chances are you will see the real person when you stop by.
Mongo's Coffee Roastery & Lounge, 170 Michael Dr., Syosset. 516-584-6464. mongoscoffee.com