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Starters: Avocado toast, breakfast sandwich at Public Espresso

Public Espresso has gone from roasting coffee to opening a downtown restaurant built around its brewed offerings in Hotel @ the Lafayette.

The airy space at 391 Washington St. looks out over the downtown library, and has plenty of tables and free wifi for the laptop set.

Compared to Public Espresso's former lobby digs, the former florist shop offers plenty of room to spread out.

It also offers custom-made baked goods, for the first time, and a few small dishes made on premises.

Public Espresso's new Lafayette space offers lots of natural light a full slate of coffee drinks. Owner James Rayburg is at right. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Toasted BreadHive bread is the foundation of vegetarian and vegan toast offerings ($6). Cauliflower puree, herbs, shallots and spicy peanuts bedeck the vegan version. Chunky avocado mash brightened with lemon, below, gets sprinkled with spices for a smoky finish.

Public Espresso's avocado toast is sprinkled with spices including smoked paprika. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Housemade lemon ricotta is refreshing under a payload of sliced apples, granola and a drizzle of honey.

Public Espresso's ricotta toast is topped with apples and nuts. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Housemade English muffins help the bacon and egg breakfast sandwich ($7, featured image) stand out. An oozy egg, bacon, cheddar and sauce doesn't hurt, either.

An assortment of baked goods, including vegan lemon blueberry scones, are ready for sale as well.

Public Espresso's baked goods are now made in house. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

The menu will be broadened further, to include dinner and a small cocktail menu, said owner Sam Scarcello. Kate Hey, whose food drew crowds to the Betty Crockski food truck, is in charge of the menu.

Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. Phone: 341-2150.

The sign isn't up yet, but Public Espresso's door points at the corner of Washington and Clinton streets. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)


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