Coffee shop by St. Marys Hospital open, serving

If the tired old adage about real estate and location is true, then Rochester's newest coffee shop is sitting on the one of the sweetest spots on the Med City map.

Look out the big front window of Café Di Milano — formerly the Rainbow Cafe — and people walking out the ornate doors of St. Marys Hospital look back at you from across Second Street Southwest.

"T his is the best place for sight-seeing in Rochester," said Peter Pasalis , the cafe's owner, as he sat at the comfortable wooden counter by the window. "We are the easiest place to go to when you leave St. Marys."

Pasalis, well known to the Second Street crowd as the manager of the neighboring Cafe Presto (where he still works), started serving a full menu of coffee drinks as well as teas and fruit smoothies Wednesday.

He hopes to start serving custom-made cold subs next week with hot sandwiches like Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs to follow soon.


Expect all of the espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and the like to be made without the automation seen in some coffee shops. Using a shiny three-head manual coffee maker, Pasalis says, "The staff will grind the coffee, tamp the coffee by hand and steam the milk for each."

And the free-trade coffee beans going into those drinks were imported and roasted by the European Roasterie in nearby LeCenter, Minn.

On the walls, the work of local artist Gary Koenig is on display and available for purchase.

So why open a cafe 20 feet from a restaurant you already run and a block away from a Caribou Coffee?

"This is different. It is set up for speed. The nurses and doctors don't have much time," Pasalis says. "This is made for the person on the go."

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