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By JANEL BLADOW| Last week was big for firsts on Peck Slip.
The new Peck Slip School, P.S. 343, on Wednesday opened its doors to 161 kindergarteners
through third graders after a $58-million overhaul of the former U.S. Post Office building.
Across Water St., at Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar (21 Peck Slip), managing partner Nicholas Berti stood by the doorway, waving and welcoming parents and neighbors Sept. 9. The Italian bistro, a neighborhood fixture since 1999, had officially opened for the first time in the morning (7:30 – 11:30 am) for breakfast – continental style.
The day before, the cafe had a soft opening for its morning service Tues., serving coffee, croissants, muffins, bagels and other pastries. As a breakfast stop, it was an immediate hit.
“The response from the community is very good,” said Berti, noting that about two dozen parents stopped in Wednesday.
“The first day of school, everyone is in disarray,” he said. “Good to have a place to come to and relax over a coffee.”
From coffee Americano to a zippy Espresso, Acqua uses only the Italian brand Anèri Tricaffe, one of only ten wood-roasted coffees in the world. Ceci Cela Bakery and Patisserie in Brooklyn supplies chocolate and butter
croissants and other pastries. They are then baked each morning in the restaurant’s own ovens. House-made biscotti and baguettes also fill the air with the sweet smell of fresh baked bread.
The next day, neighbors Alicia and Chris Saddock stopped in for coffees and muffins before dropping their two children off for their second day of school.
“The school is beautiful and teachers wonderful,” said Alicia. “And we really like being able to stop for a moment with the kids. We’ll be back.”
While some locals took advantage of the free Wi-Fi at the tables, others gathered for coffee and conversation at the bar. Anne Jackley and David Richter, who both live along Water St., gave two thumbs up to the idea of an early morning place to chat and meet with neighbors.
“It’s one of the best things that happened to the neighborhood since Sandy,” joked Richler.
For those who can’t stick around, Acqua serves the coffees and goodies to go.
Berti has big plans in store for mornings at Acqua. He plans to buy chargers so people can not only recharge themselves but also their phones and tablets. He also expects to add ice coffees, and fresh yogurt and granola parfaits to the menu.
And that bread that is so popular with lunch and dinner customers? He’s talking about selling those too – around $2.50 a baguette.
Acqua Restaurant & Wine Bar, 21 Peck Slip, Monday-Friday, 7:30-11:30 am, 212 349-4433