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Imagine, if you will, your perfect coffee shop. Does it include floor-to-ceiling windows, indoor and outdoor seating, the option for breakfast or lunch along with coffee, beer or wine (because we all have those days), and maybe even some yoga? Yeah, that’s what we imagine, too. So starting in March, you’ll find us holding meetings and catching up with friends at The Boro in Cross River.

Named after the town of Lewisboro, The Boro’s founders John Swertfager and Skaz Gecaj, owners of Apex Fitness in Cross River, are hoping to create a welcoming space where people can connect. The men, who passionately build community in and out of their popular gym, are transforming a formerly nondescript building on the corner of North Salem Road and NY-35 into a modern, lively cafe.

“The building is over 100 years old,” says Swertfager. “We’ve completely ripped off the siding and taken out every single window and every single door, but were trying to keep a lot of its guts as we rebuild it. It’ll be very unique. The finished product will have massive windows, massive panorama doors, a 1,900 square foot café, a deck and a patio – it’s going to look incredible. You won’t even recognize it.”

In addition to redesigning what you’ll see, they’re also committed to changing what you won’t see.

“We’re also making the whole building eco-friendly,” says Gecaj. “We’re replacing the boiler with a heat pump, and down the road, we plan to have solar panels on the roof. Plus, we’ll also have electric charging stations in our parking lot.”

Then there’s the food. While The Boro will be managed by Gecaj’s mother and wife, Swertfager and Gecaj are visiting their favorite bakeries in the Hudson Valley and Fairfield county to sample all the breads and pastries personally – everything served must be exceptional, and everything will be organic. That includes the coffee, juices and smoothies, as well as their variety of vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free foods. And on your way out the door, you can purchase a pre-prepped meal that Gecaj says will be “high protein with good carbs and good fats.”

If that’s not enough, you’ll also be able grab an alcoholic beverage with friends – there will be local beers on tap and wine by the glass. And for the oenophiles among us, The Boro will have a full wine cellar in the basement.

“My father-in-law owns Crabtrees Kittle House in Chappaqua, and he’s planning to keep the bulk of his private collection in our wine cellar,” says Swertfager. “So, we’ll have seasonal bottles that we’ll serve by the glass, and well also sell his bottles, which includes everything from a nice $20 bottle to a six, seven or $8,000 bottle. Now, you won’t have to go to a nice restaurant to enjoy a bottle like that; you can sit outside for a couple hours with your wine, a cheese plate and relax with a friend. Theres really nothing like what we’re doing.”

The Boro will also have a dietician (Swertfager’s wife) on the first floor and a yoga studio with classes on the second floor, featuring a 25-foot cathedral ceiling with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace.

The only downside, in our opinion, is that The Boro will close around 5:00 p.m., transforming into a private event space. But there won’t be events every night, and Swertfager and Gecaj have plenty of ideas of what they’ll do when it is available, like bi-monthly evening bonfires, high-end car shows, an annual Christmas tree lighting (they’ve already planted a 30-foot tree), a book club, tailgating before high school football games, a Halloween party, and more.

Their ideas, it seems, are endless. And we’re here for it.

This article was published in the January/February 2023 print edition of Katonah Connect.

Editor-in-Chief at Connect to Northern Westchester | Website | + posts

Gia Miller is an award-winning journalist and the editor-in-chief/co-publisher of Connect to Northern Westchester. She has a magazine journalism degree (yes, that's a real thing) from the University of Georgia and has written for countless national publications, ranging from SELF to The Washington Post. Gia desperately wishes schools still taught grammar. Also, she wants everyone to know they can delete the word "that" from about 90% of their sentences, and there's no such thing as "first annual." When she's not running her media empire, Gia enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, laughing at her crazy dog and listening to a good podcast. She thanks multiple alarms, fermented grapes and her amazing husband for helping her get through each day. Her love languages are food and humor.