Milli Coffee Roasters founder dies at 34

Nick Leichtentritt was a much loved member of Charlottesville’s food scene. Photo: Martyn Kyle Nick Leichtentritt was a much loved member of Charlottesville’s food scene. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Nick Leichtentritt, founder of Milli Coffee Roasters and Sicily Rose, died February 17 at the age of 34. Pursuing a passion for food and drink, Leichtentritt left a corporate job in 2012 to open the coffee shop, followed by his cannoli shop, Sicily Rose, in 2018. Both developed loyal followings, and Leichtentritt became a beloved part of the Charlottesville food community. “Nick spent time with so many of the great tastemakers in Charlottesville,” recalls Will Richey of Ten Course Hospitality. “He was one of them after all, and he was open to all types of perspectives and experiences in a way that many are not. So many of us will miss him terribly.”

Despite Leichtentritt’s passing, both Milli Coffee Roasters and Sicily Rose remain in operation. Leichtentritt is survived by his wife, Nicole Kistler Leichtentritt, and a 4-year-old-son, whom the community has rallied to support with a fund for his immediate and long-term needs. To contribute, see the GoFundMe page Jesse’s Bright Future. (As of 11am Friday, March 1, the campaign had raised $19,000 of its $30,000 goal.)

Reservation, please

The dining app Resy, recently launched in Charlottesville, is making it easier to book and manage reservations, area restaurateurs say. Once diners register, they can make and change reservations, receive text reminders, and provide profile information regarding allergies, favorite cocktails, special occasions, and more. “It’s an awesome new platform with great analytics for users on both sides,” says Zocalo owner Ivan Rekosh.

Hardywood lightens up

Anticipating the arrival of spring, Hardywood founders Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh are launching a spin-off brand called Suncrush, a fruit-infused sparkling brew. Crisp golden ale with a hint of green tea gets a dose of crushed fruit and natural flavors, like grapefruit, Southern peach, and black cherry. Low in alcohol, calories, and carbohydrates, the drinks target outdoor-sports enthusiasts. “I’m a ginger nut,” McKay says, “and am really looking forward to Ginger Lime Suncrush.”