Photos by Michelle Gillan Larkin
There’s a new coffee shop in town, and it’s a Metro North commuter’s caffeinated dream come true.
You can always find plenty of coffee to fuel the morning rush in Bronxville — with a certain bustling pumpkin spice latte place just steps from the tracks — but, until now, there’s been no Joe right at the station for chronically late commuters (ahem).
Newly constructed inside the eye-catching Spanish Mission-style walls of the circa 1916 depot, BXVL Coffee House offers coffee and artisanal tea drinks, pastries, overnight oats, pressed sandwiches, and hand-churned fruit popsicles to travelers (few and far between due to COVID) and a hearty, local lunchtime crowd that sits for a spell on original waiting room benches that line the space and serve as clever companions to petite, marble-topped bistro tables.
BXVL is the passion project of Bronxville resident and ex-Wall Streeter Charu Rana, an upbeat, creative, and tireless host who emigrated from Delhi two decades ago and gave up on the corporate America grind more recently. “New York has given me so much, I want to pay my dues and do my part in my community.” Open seven days a week, Rana, age 40, is a near-constant presence at the shop, with her lawyer husband helping out as barista on the weekends. “I pulled him into this, poor guy.”
Calling herself and her other half, “self-taught people,” Rana is the culinary brains behind all of the blackboard noshes, including the ciabatta of Jambon de Bayonne, provolone, and roasted bell peppers with house chimichurri sauce, along with many of the Rishi tea blends, too, like the Strawberry Matcha and Spice Hibiscus tea lattes. She relies on her husband’s “fine taste” to get her to the final stage of kitchen creation as she lost her sense of smell several years ago, though it’s slowly coming back.
With a nod to the era in which the station was erected, the couple is renovating an adjacent space within the building for a “speakeasy” of sorts, with handcrafted cocktails and small plates for the afterwork crowd. If plans stay on track, the so-called Station Master’s House will open in the Spring.
BXVL Coffee House
2 Station Plaza