Delaware Dining: Featuring Restaurants Like Java House Café on Main Street in Middletown, Owned by Mark Harper and Cleo Clark and serving Mocha Java Panini

Java House Café is just what Middletown ordered.

“That took us to another level,” says Mark Harper, owner of Java House Café in Middletown. “That” is the café’s Mocha Java panini of Brie, dark chocolate and basil pesto on sourdough. It’s the kind of unexpected sandwich that has put the café on the map.

“It was a natural part of the evolution,” says Harper. “We didn’t want to be a one-stop shop.”

In a town where the best coffee came from Starbucks or Wawa, a unique place like Java House was well on its way to landmark status when it opened on Main Street a year ago. Harper and his fiancee, Cleo Clarke, keep three house brews and a flavored special fired up at all times.

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They’ve added paninis like jerk chicken with baby spinach and spicy mayonnaise on focaccia. Then there is the Mocha Java. Harper says the sandwiches are so popular, “I might have to buy another grill.” 464-1001 —Mark Nardone

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