The New Kid in Town: Milli Joe

Posted on September 20, 2012 by


Her name is Milli Joe and she is beyond excited to show you what she’s got!

Nearly two months ago the newest downtown coffeehouse and gelateria, Milli Joe, opened her tall glass doors and welcomed in the community. Owner/head barista/waffle maker Nick Leichtentritt has been working hard to shape the space into a place were social life and true appreciators of coffee cross paths.

Starting on their 2 month anniversary, September 20th, they will be hosting live music from talented local artists – Gina Sobel, Michael Coleman, and Scott T., just to name a few. Haven’t heard of them? Well ya’ should.

milli joe music

Gina Sobel is an extremely talented jazz flutist who plays alongside UVA’s director of jazz performance, John D’earth in the Greg Howard UpTet, as well as collaborating with other talented locals in the area. But her light shines even brighter with her stunningly beautiful voice highlighting the raw emotion that is translated though her guitar based, original songs.

Ahhh…Michael Coleman. You will consider yourself truly blessed to have been audibly graced with the vocal talent and guitar skills of Michael Coleman. Often compared to John Legend, he provides a perfect blend of soul, jazz, and pop into a sound that is truly his own. Maybe you caught him at Friday’s After Five this past summer, and if you did you then you know what I’m talking about. If not, then you should come and experience what I’m talking about.

Scott T. is a singer/songwriter born and raised in New York, currently living in Virginia, and writes songs reminiscent of the Californian coast. Performing and writing pop music for over 10 years, he has a knack for producing super catchy melodies accompanied by truthful and honest lyrics that lift your soul. An elated night filled with smiles, laughs, and a few tears is to be had, no doubt.

These live music events intermingle with latte art competitions, cappy hours, and free saturday coffee tastings, which are exactly what Nick had in mind when he signed those papers for 400 Preston Avenue. I had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Nick to talk about the coffee shop which carries on the “miss-spelled” family name.


Q. What’s the story behind the name “Milli Joe”?
A. “Milli was my grandmother’s name, and now the name is kept alive with my younger sister.”

Q. How Long has “Milli Joe” been in the works?

A. “As an idea? a little over a year. As something serious with actions? about 6 months prior to opening.”

Q. What was the reason for opening up a coffeehouse in what seems to be a part of town “over-caffeinated” with coffee bars?
A. “I wanted to do real specialty coffee in a place that appreciates coffee and all that it takes to brew a great cup…and then thoroughly enjoys it. Since there is a strong coffee community here, I believe what we are doing {highlighting coffee and the experience of enjoying it} would be appreciated by the community.”


So come on down for “Cappy Hour” ($2 Cappuccino from 2-6p, M-F) and the FAUXblerone, a patron-deemed name for the gelato identical in flavor to a certain chocolate bar of Swiss decent. And now on sundays you can get an authentic in-house made belgium waffle, crisp crunchy outside with a fluffy and doughy inside, topped with nutella, strawberries and bananas {*insert mouth watering*}.

Nick and all of the Milli Joe staff work hard in their fun and sophisticated coffeeshop, making sure everyone who walks in the door has an enjoyable and positive experience, as “being a positive force in the community” is part of Milli’s mission statement.