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Santiago says he’s always here when the night shift ends and the day crew arrives. “We line the entrance as the night crew leaves, clap and cheer them all the way out. Because they’re the unsung heroes.”

And the Cronut? Next time I pass Donut Bar, it’s late afternoon — I’m heading for the Fifth Avenue trolley station — and I see this guy inside cutting circles out of square chunks of dough on the flour-dusted counter behind the display cabinets. Have to ask what he’s doing. Turns out he’s from 7th Café, around the corner. Javier Jiménez. “Santiago and I are working together on this,” he says. “It’s our version of the Cronut. We’re calling it the CroBar. The pastry’s got eight folds in it, to make it feathery like a croissant. It’s taken a lot to get it right.”

They only make them when they have time. Then they bake them overnight. In the morning, the CroBars are usually the first to go.

Promised one of those suckers for Carla. Means I’m going to have to get up even earlier. Sigh. The things you do for love.

  • Prices: Donuts, $1–3; Coffee, $1 and up
  • Hours: 7:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., or till they sell out, Monday–Friday; 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., or till they sell out, Saturday–Sunday
  • Buses: All downtown
  • Nearest bus stop: Sixth and Broadway
  • Trolley: Blue Line, Orange Line
  • Nearest trolley stop: 5th and C

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