Though it may not look like it, Downtown Binghamton’s Chenango Street is home to one of the most hidden gems of Binghamton, Midtown Cafe?. Unfortunately, with the Dec. 22 Midtown Mall fire, a majority of the street is currently closed for construction. Despite this, Joy Jackman has kept her head held high and her store open, hoping for more people to discover it.
The cafe is located at 34 Chenango St., between City Hall and the Binghamton Junction, so it’s pretty accessible for students living Downtown or those planning to take a bus home.
The store is small, fitting only a handful of tables, but it is definitely full of flavor; Jackman is sure to use only fresh ingredients. She orders rolls from Endicott that don’t have preservatives and heads to Ithaca every sum- mer to hand pick her own blueberries. All of her soups are made from scratch, and patrons insist they’re also made with love.
Midtown Cafe? is open Monday through Thursday until 6 p.m. and even later on some Fridays to host live music.
One of her best lunch options is the chicken salad ($4), which like everything else in the store is homemade, and for dessert, you should probably go for the carrot cake ($3.50).
Though Midtown Cafe? doesn’t have a large customer base, the customers it does have are loyal ones. Getting people to stop in, however, has become a challenge, especially with the recent road construction. Jackman is still determined, though — she habitually chases passersby with her homemade cookies asking them to try just one.
“Once they come here, they always come back,” Jackman said.
The restaurant has been around for about two years now, but she has big plans for the cafe?, such as having pre-made sandwiches readily available for students on the go.