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Java Jolts Downtown

If you thought Bartaco opened with a bang last spring — just wait for the Java buzz.

Actually, it’s already begun.

The 1st out-of-state outpost of the Idaho-based coffee-and-all-day-breakfast shop opens officially on Monday.

But curious Westporters trickled — then flooded — into the Church Lane store yesterday.

Java could give downtown Westport the jolt it’s needed for years.

The new Java fits in handsomely on historic Church Lane.

Owner Todd Rippo already runs 5 Javas: 2 in Boise, 1 each in Ketchum, Hailey and Twin Falls. Westporter Brad Berk discovered them while skiing at Sun Valley. He pestered Todd to consider a cross-country trip (as in scouting a new location here — not skiing).

A year ago, Todd came east. He loved the town, and realized the opportunity. Todd and Brad partnered with David Waldman, who was already redeveloping the rest of the road, from the very popular Spotted Horse to the soon-to-be vacant Y.

When the Wild Pear building — before that, it was Chef’s Table — became available, Java was juiced.

Todd Rippo can’t wait for his Westport adventure to begin.

Westport is “an adventure,” says Todd. He’s brought his Boise manager here, to train the staff. They’re young, hip, and they love the Java vibe.

In Idaho, Todd says, the most popular item is the Dirty Hippie Breakfast Burrito (2 steam scrambled eggs and cheese, black beans, green chilies, chopped tomato, green onion, housemade verde crème fraiche). There is plenty of fruit, plus “clean, hearty, homemade” oatmeal.

Lunch features soups (Todd loves the homemade tortilla), sandwiches, quesadillas, salads — and hummus.

Everything — including baked goods like muffins (raspberry/chocolate chip low-fat sour cream!), scones (orange/honey walnut!), cookies and breads — is made daily from scratch . “With ingredients our mothers would be proud of,” he notes.

A small sampling of Java’s breakfast and lunch menu.

The favorite drink, Todd says, is Bowl of Soul: direct trade espresso, imported Mexican chocolate (ground in-house), homemade whipped cream, and brown cinammon.

Take that, Starbucks!

Todd sounds pretty caffeinated, as he talks about Westport. Though there’s a lot more traffic here than in Idaho, the clientele is “similar to Sun Valley.”

Sophia McConnell, Elizabeth Colwell and Meghan Lonergan get a jump on Java’s opening.

He is “ready for an adventure,” he says. “And I’m getting it.”

So will Westport. Our java choices just got much more interesting.

(Java will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. For more information, click here.)

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