BEDFORD, N.Y. -- “Where are we going to hang out now?” was the refrain heard at Perks Coffee in Katonah in March. The shop is closing at the end of the month, disappointing its many regular customers.
Since 1996, Perks has served as the unofficial caffeine refueling station for sleep-deprived commuters, soccer moms, study groups and yoga buddies: a place to catch up, to get some work done, or to relax in a calm, cozy environment.
The small sign propped on the bar announcing the closing sparked a lot of conversation between patrons.
“It’s a nice respite from going to the office. The atmosphere is nice, the people are nice,” said Bill Barber of Somers. Barber, who works in sales, said he does some of his work remotely so he really liked coming to Perks to use his computer.
Christine Megerdichian of North Salem, who has owned and operated Perks for 15 years, explained that she could not find a buyer by the time her 10-year lease expired, but she would have liked to have found someone who would continue to run the shop themselves. There were a few interested parties, and one serious buyer, Megerdichian said, but none were able to reach an agreement with the landlord.
“This was a kind of meeting place,” Megerdichian said. “If good things happened in the community, like someone had a baby, if something bad happened, people came here to talk about it.” People from Katonah would often run into someone they knew, she said.
Patrons could come in and order lattes, teas, smoothies, frappes, bagels and pastries, and in warm weather, enjoy their coffee on the café’s outdoor patio.
Perks is the one major coffeehouse in Katonah, Megerdichian said, and it is sad to have to close such a great community hub. Megerdichian said she will be taking a break and spending time with her two young children, but may try to open another business someday in the future.