Red Eye Café Confirms Walnut Street As Montclair’s New Foodie Address

by Melody Kettle

Photo Credit: John LeeBleary eyed residents of the Walnut Street area woke this morning to discover the grand opening of the Red Eye Café. Located diagonally across from Le Salbuen, Red Eye is named after the classic coffee beverage.

A Red Eye is named for the Red Eye flights from the West Coast. Late night (9 or 10pm) flights out of Los Angeles and San Francisco land in New York at about 5am. Because of the time difference it feels like 2am resulting in red bleary eyes of the travelers. When coffee wasn’t enough to recharge for a day in the Big Apple, travelers took to having a shot of espresso added to their morning coffee. The name was transferred to the beverage and has remained a classic ever since.

Like its namesake drink, the Red Eye Café is steeped in history yet uniquely its own place.  Owner Anthony Brinton, who spent more than a decade behind the bar at Montclair's iconic coffee shop, Cafe Eclectic, brings with his familiarity of Montclair’s unique customers plus the chance to add his own spin on the classics making this Walnut Street destination both new and familiar at the same time.

Billed primarily as a classic coffee shop, featuring classic lattes, cappuccinos, and Americano, Red Eye also has a substantial café breakfast and lunch menu. Standouts include “Green Eggs and Ham” – a scramble with ham, cheese, and kale. Don’t miss the potato hash with Red Eye Gravy. Here the Red Eye consists of Au Jus gravy with hot sauce and espresso that is so good I literally licked the plate. (when food is that good I have no shame but to enjoy it!) It’s breakfast comfort food!

The lunch menu takes classic sandwiches and presents them in new ways. Ham and Cheese become Ham and Gouda with artichoke, garlic mustard, and fresh spinach, Turkey is presented as Turkey and Pear with brie, avocado, arugula and herb mayo. A must is the Blue Velvet : house roasted beef with pickled blueberries and shallots, cream cheese and arugula on ciabatta. The salad menu features local produce from early June through October. 

Montclair isn’t a party town (cough cough, yeah right) but late risers don’t have to settle for lunch menus when they sleep in on the weekends. Red Eye offers the “Feel Better Brunch” weekends from 9am – 4pm. Weekdays the café opens at 7am, weekends at 9am. The café is open every day until 11pm.