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LITTLE SILVER: HOT COFFEE TO GO, OR STAY

Commuters will be able to text in their coffee orders for quick pickup at Rook Coffee Roasters in the borough rail station. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Since late 2010, the concession pavilion at the Little Silver Train Station has been vacant, forcing NJ Transit riders to dash to neighboring stores for coffee, only to rush back to make their train in time.

The mad scramble for a caffeine fix is over. Rook Coffee Roasters officially opened for business Saturday at the station concession stand, filling a void for commuters and passersby alike.

Rook revamped the defunct concession stand that resided inside the borough owned train, turning it into a full-blown, neighborhood style coffee shop. Rook will serve coffee, soft drinks, juices, and snacks, along with bagels from Red Bank’s Bagel Oven and baked goods imported from NYC’s Balthazar Bakery.

Co-owners Holly Migliaccio and Shawn Kingsley tell redbankgreen they’re confident Rook will succeed in a space where multiple other coffee house incarnations have floundered for multiple reasons, not least of which is Rook’s proven track record at three other locations.

“We have had great success and a very loyal customer base at our existing shops in Oakhurst, Long Branch, and Ocean,” Migliaccio said, while showing us around her shop, “I have tons of customers who live nearby constantly asking us when we’re opening, plus commuters knocking on our door, checking if we’re open, and that’s a really good sign.”

By bringing an already established local coffee brand into a location with built-in traffic flows, the co-owners of Rook are optimistic about the new spot’s potential. Migliaccio and Kingsley also plan to to attract more local, non-commuting customers by buying eight additional, 15-minute parking spot in the diminutive parking lot adjacent to the station, increasing the number of spots from four to 12.

In an effort to cater to commuters and train riders, Rook is implementing a texting service that allows consumers on the run to order and pay for drinks and food on their smart phones, cutting the purchasing process to mere seconds – particularly convenient for those manic morning commutes.

“We’re the coffee shop for the 21st century,” Migliaccio said, with a laugh “But seriously, with the technology, extra space plus our reputation, we really think this can be something special.”

Rook Coffee will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. this week, and shifts to its regular schedule of  5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends) after the Thanksgiving holiday.

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