If it’s Upper West Siders Aoommie Cutone and Leo Cutone, their new dessert shop – Mochi Dolci, located at 222 West 79th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam) – will be the new Peach Pit during after-school hours for kids. students.
“There are no places where children can go out after school, unless it’s around the corner or in the street,” Ms Cutone said, referring to their aged children. middle and secondary. “That’s one of the main reasons we opened this mochi and boba donut shop: to have a safe space for our kids to hang out after school and for all the kids in the neighborhood.”
Mochi Dolci will feature the latest trend in fine dining, mochi donuts, and the world-famous staple Asian drink, boba or bubble tea, which contains fluffy tapioca pearls and is a delight for kids of all ages. Leo, who is part Italian, and Aoommie, who is from Thailand, say they also came up with the idea of opening a store by going around several times a week to buy boba for their children.
“We saw this store empty, and here there’s no boba and there’s no mochi donuts. People tasted ours and they said they were so good, and they there’s no dessert around here,” said Parinyarat “Aoommie” Cutone, a family and children’s photographer. “For example, us adults have coffees, we take our laptops and go to Starbucks , but the kids have no place to hang out unless it’s a friend’s house.”
The main floor restaurant and dessert bar is a walk-through floor and will welcome students in the whimsical, pink and garden green setting of the front area. It will transform into a children’s disco with neon lights on the ceiling that will vibrate to the sound of music at dusk, while the rear will offer a full bar and restaurant for parents and adults. The store is inspired by a Korean gastropub, with neon lights and Asian fusion furniture and dishes, said Leo, who got very lively talking about their plans for the rest of the space renovation. The restaurant should be finished in about a week.
“It’s going to be a speakeasy out back,” said Leo, an engineer. “There will be a phone booth with a special code to enter.”
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He even bought a robot he named Eugenia that will serve customers. “She works every day, and she’s going to show up, not like this younger generation who calls when they feel like it,” adding, “We might have to get three or four if it works.” The robot looks like this.
With his experience running an engineering company, Leo seems to have thought of everything: “We installed an energy-efficient system called Clean Heating and Air Conditioning, or Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF).” He’s set up a digital kiosk for ordering ahead, ordered a ramen-making machine with robotic arms, and says they’ll be installing solar panels soon and the place will be as carbon-neutral as possible. “We’re going to have energy-efficient donuts,” Leo said with a laugh.
While business is open for boba and donuts, the full menu awaits a counter stuck on a shipping dock and an as-yet-unhired chef with Korean fusion experience.
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“People come here and there to buy boba and our mochi donuts,” Aoommie said. “Strawberry, matcha and taro are popular flavors.” They sell hundreds a day although they are not yet full service.
Mochi Dolci replaces the Greek restaurant Kefi. Boba prices range from $3 to $7 plus tax, and food items such as Korean hot dogs and Thai-style chicken wings will cost $5 to $9 plus tax to ensure student affordability. There will be kids’ classes, birthday parties and “make your own mochi donut” workshops, Aoommie said.
A resident, Bob Lamm, stopped by for a little strawberry boba on Thursday. When asked what he thought of opening the store, he answered. “It’s exciting.” And when pressed to explain, New York style, he said “What do you want, I said I’m excited.”