When Kevin Brennan bought his first vinyl at the age of 7, he dreamed of a future that would somehow revolve around rock 'n' roll. Brennan's entrepreneurial spirit led him on a quest for the next "big thing" as an adult, and he dabbled in various ventures before having an epiphany while traveling in 1989. He was in San Diego, and he visited his first coffeehouse.
Kevin fell in love with the simple coffeehouse concept and had a feeling that gourmet coffee shops would soon become a craze across the nation. He instantly knew that he had found his calling, but it wasn't until he sipped coffee while watching an Asia concert that he knew what would set his establishment apart from the rest: rock 'n' roll.
Today, his trio of shops showcases the marriage of a laid-back coffee-shop vibe with rock music and memorabilia, creating a caffeinated love child in a Led Zeppelin onesie. Each location also features rock-inspired drinks, such as the Van Halen and the Dark Side of the Moo, joined by sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily.
Terra Tea Salon offers both full-service and à la carte afternoon tea. Visitors enjoy a lovely spot for tea from China, Guatemala, India, Japan, Kenya, or Sri Lanka. The experience includes all the simple pleasures of teatime, with large pots filled with brewing fair-trade leaves and nibbling on finger sandwiches, scones and sweets, made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. While sitting in the cozy tearoom at the Montclair Public Library, visitors sip from a huge selection ranging from ambrosia-plum white tea to golden-lily oolong.
Juices headline the menu at Manhattan Juice Bar & Cafe, but these aren't just any juices. These raw varieties are created mostly from organic wheat grass, healthy vegetables such as kale and carrots, and though fresh apples and citrus fruits lend a tinge of sweetness. Fresh fruits also show up in the juice bar's smoothies, which are blended with protein powder and non-dairy milk, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and organic flax milk.
But Manhattan is so much more than a juice bar. The cafe's lunchtime menu includes healthy wraps and paninis, many of which feature vegan toppings such as house-made hummus. The desserts are just as tantalizing and healthy, with options such as gluten-free vegan energy balls and bars.