After Antonio's Prime Butcher closed in early 2011, Sound Beach had a vacancy in the business district on Echo Avenue for close two years.
That was until Adrianne Johansson found the location and opened up Is-A-Love Cafe. Something Sound Beach has been without, Johansson designed the cafe as a place where people can come and relax, without feeling rushed.
"I wanted to open up a small coffee shop with a 'Friends' [the TV show] kind of appeal, something that makes you feel really comfortable when you’re here," she said. "A lot of places it seems like you’re rushed in and out and you don’t get that feeling you can sit and relax."
Johansson, who has 23 years of experience in the hospitality business, was born in Manhattan and raised in the Catskills before coming to Rocky Point in 1998. She owned Johnny's Bar and Grill in Miller Place before selling and taking a break, working as a private chef in Pennsylvania.
She found the location on a fluke, as it popped up on her Craigslist when he wasn't even looking. She sent her daughter to look at the place, and after seeing the inside Johansson said she envisioned it right away. The name, she says, came from when she texted her husband one day.
"My cellphone four years ago used to read the text messages out loud, and it read 'I love you' as 'is-a-love', so it just caught on after that," she said.
The cafe had a soft opening on Jan. 16 leading up to the grand opening on Feb. 2 in which famed competitive eater Ed 'Cookie' Jarvis brought a crowd to the new place. Since then, she has settled on hours and used social media to promote the business.
"Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been a great tool, and they’ve been coming as far as Mastic Beach," she said. "I even have Facebook comments from Florida, it’s been great."
The cafe serves a wide array of food and drinks, offers free wi-fi and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. You can also 'Like" Is-A-Love on Facebook here.