The Miles Coffee Bar shuts its doors after half a decade: ‘Losing The Miles feels like losing Mario all over again’

Mario D’Agostino, the founder of Muscle Maker Grill and Miles Coffee Bar.
Photo courtesy Nicole Angelico

After half of a decade in business, artisan coffee shop The Miles Coffee Bar is saying goodbye to Throggs Neck on Saturday.

The business will shut its doors at the end of the day or until it sells out, whichever comes first, the coffee shop told the Bronx Times.

Mario D’Agostino founded the coffee shop in March 2017. The Bronxite also founded the Bronx Muscle Maker Grill next door.

“Coffee is an art form,” D’Agostino told the Bronx Times in April 2017. “There’s a science to how the plant is grown, how it’s transported, how it’s roasted and how it’s ultimately ground and put into a cup, and that’s something we take very seriously.”

But D’Agostino died from colon cancer at the age of 40 in June 2020, and his widow Nicole Angelico kept the shop going.

From Left, Ed Angelino, John Marano, Bobby Jaen, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, Mario Dagostino, ex-Councilmember James Vacca, Chris Samrino, and Stephen Kaufman at The Miles Coffee Bar ribbon cutting on March 4, 2017. Photo Aracelis Batista

“This decision did not come easy but unfortunately losing the leader and creator of The Miles during a pandemic hit us hard and we feel like we have honored his dream and legacy,” the local business posted on Instagram on Thursday.

The coffee shop, “a beautifully designed space for the borough that raised him,” was the founder’s dream come true, according to the coffee shop.

The Miles Coffee Bar declined to comment further for the article, citing a stressful time.

More than 1,900 people have signed an online petition to name a street after D’Agostino. Community Board 10 District Manager Matt Cruz told the Bronx Times the board voted unanimously on Oct. 15, 2020, in favor of naming the intersection of Miles and East Tremont avenues as Mario D’Agostino Way. Cruz said a sign would be posted alongside the existing street signs in both directions.

Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez, who represents Throggs Neck, supported the initiative when she was a member of CB10.

“Losing The Miles feels like losing Mario all over again,” the Democrat said in a statement to the Bronx Times on Friday. “This coffee shop was his gift to the community of Throggs Neck and it will be sorely missed. We have been working with his family with the date of the street conaming and look forward to sharing it with the community.”

Cruz said he has not heard from the city on the status of the naming. The Bronx Times has reached out to the Department of Transportation for an update.

“We’re sorry to see them go, but we’re happy they chose Throggs Neck,” Cruz said of the business closing. “And Mario D’Agostino and his family left a profound legacy on us and the closure of the business is really sad but they left an indelible mark on this community.”

The coffee shop not only just brought food, coffee, beers, cocktails and mocktails to Throggs Neck, but also community.

The business hosted events at its backyard patio, like art markets and poetry readings, and called itself a safe haven for Bronx artists.

Throggs Neck Business Improvement District Executive Director Bob Jaen said on Friday that the coffee joint has the best coffee he had in a long time — and he’s not a big coffee fan. He said he hopes D’Agostino’s family continues to utilize the property.

“In today’s market and in today’s business, places that we wish would stay open for 100 years sometimes do and sometimes don’t, and this is just one of those cases I guess,” Jaen told the Bronx Times. “It’s a shame to see them go.”

The coffee shop owners hinted that they won’t be going far.

“This won’t be the last you hear of any of us!” the coffee shop wrote at the end of its Instagram post announcing its closing.

Click here to read about the early days of Miles coffee and here to read about the street naming effort.

Reach Aliya Schneider at [email protected] or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.

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