Photo by Adobe Stock | smspsy
Led by a gifted mechanic, the concept coffee house in the Western Catskills serves up excellent java alongside old-school autos.
Jared Lamanna, 35, opened Churchill Classics, his repair shop and dealership, in a former hardware store in 2016 and quickly built a reputation as a gifted mechanic for vintage vehicles. Last August, he opened Churchill Classics Coffee right in the showroom. His passion for classic cars can only be matched by his appreciation of — and reliance on — a really good cup of joe. Lamanna’s cappuccino maker, a 1960s Faema E61A, is a relic of engineering itself: it’s the first-ever espresso machine with a volumetric pump. It’s eye-catching, a little finicky, and delivers a consistently smooth shot.
“We consider ourselves artists here, we work on a lot of fine British and Italian cars,” says Lamanna. “I love that [the espresso machine] is from the same era as many of the vehicles in our showroom. It seems to work well with how we approach classic car restoration. I love the aesthetic of it.”
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The shop is about a half hour from Monticello, and a short drive from fun, scenic hiking trails (the Monguap Pond Loop in Willowemoc Wild Forest is stunning). Lamanna has plans to launch a rental service out of his parking lot. “I’ve got a few truly epic overland trucks I want to share with people,” he says. The vintage trucks, outfitted with backcountry camping gear, are perfect for a weekend exploring the Catskills.
“Ultimately, my long-term goal has always been to turn this place into a gathering spot for the community,” says Lamanna, who also intends to host monthly openings for local artists.
For now, car geeks and coffee snobs alike can sip and stare in this unusual showroom.