Champion Coffeemay have recently shuttered at 1108 Manhattan Avenue (due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’), but caffeine addicts have no reason to be be sad. Two new Champions are soon to spring up elsewhere in Greenpoint to replace it.
First up will be a new cafe at 142 Nassau Avenue, on the site of Sweet Fox, which has now closed down. Champion’s Talitha Whidbee tells us that “Sweet Fox owner Jean Marc was ready to get back to his catering life and away from the constant demands of a cafe so we bought Sweet Fox from him which we will remodel over the next month and re-open as Champion Coffee.” This location will be almost exactly the same as the original Champion (with a slightly pared down food menu), and will be opening around September 22nd.
There is also a second, larger space in the pipeline, at 1107 Manhattan Avenue, directly across the road from the original. “Due to its size it will be a little longer in coming to fruition, but we are shooting for end of November”, Talitha tells us. This location will have the standard Champion food and drink menu, with the addition of kombucha on tap from Mombucha and a few other exclusive beverages.
You know those times when you don’t set out to do something, but somehow it just happens anyway? Well, this is pretty much how Sweetleaf, Greenpoint’s newest coffee shop, came about.
“I wasn’t looking to set up another cafe”, says owner Rich Nieto, “I was just looking to find a space to roast.”
Rich established Sweetleaf Coffee with a friend in 2008, in a tiny shop just over the Pulaski bridge. Seven years later and there is now an additional coffee shop in LIC, one in Williamsburg and, as of last week, a new one in Greenpoint. Rich bought out his partner about a year ago and now runs the entire operation. He recently started roasting his own beans out of a friend’s loft in Bushwick, but as he started to step up production it made sense to find a roasting space of his own.
“I was looking for a warehouse of around 1000 sq ft, but it was almost impossible to find something this small, everything is huge”, he tells us as we sit sipping coffee in the brand new Greenpoint outpost of Sweetleaf on Freeman Street. “I discovered this space because I used to drive past every day on my way between LIC and Williamsburg, and although it turned out to be the smallest warehouse space I could find, it was still way more space than I needed. The building is in a great location, just off Manhattan Avenue, so we decided to use the extra space by creating a cafe at the front and having our roastery at the back.” Continue reading →
Well, depending on the extent of your hot beverage appreciation, you may wish to get along to the 10th Annual Coffee and Tea Festival which is being held at the Brooklyn Expo Center this weekend.
The event will hold over 80 stall-holders including Greenpoint’s own Cafe Grumpy and Miss Tea Organics, all offering tastings and info about their brand. Throughout the weekend there will also be seminars on subjects such as the oxidation effects of green tea, home brewing, tea blending, and cold brew coffee.
But if you do go near the Expo Center this weekend, lookout for dodgy sidewalk parking along Oak and Franklin Streets which, according to Brooklyn Paper, has started to be an issue.
The event runs 11.30pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday at The Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin Street. Tickets are $25 can be purchased here or on the door. A special ‘VIP’ ticket costs $35 and includes early entrance and a goody bag.
There’s no shortage of top-notch coffee in Greenpoint, but it’s always fun to have options and, as of last week, we just got one more, courtesy of a new cafe with the suitably caffeine-related name of ‘Early’.
Early Coffee & Sandwich Shop (967 Manhattan Avenue), held its official grand opening on Saturday, where the neighborhood was warmly welcomed in from the cold with free-flowing coffee and canapé-sized tasters of their yummy sandwich menu. Owner Radek Kucharski was cheerily doing the rounds with prosecco and hot cider, whilst cafe manager Peter Chrostowski was doling out espressos, mimosas, and sweet treats by Vegan Divas. Radek told us he’s always dreamed of opening a cafe in the area and, now that the stars have finally aligned in his favor, he’s super excited about the new venture. Continue reading →
Ooh la la! There’s a new cafe in the neighborhood and oui, vraiment, c’est Français! Recently opened on Nassau Ave, Sweet Fox Café is run by French chef Jean-Marc Hardy, and is a great spot to pick up a morning coffee and croissant, a fresh-baked baguette for lunch, or a fancy pastry for afternoon tea. Sweet treats include alluringly colored macaroons, delicate fruit tartlets, and the classic praline cream-filled Paris Brest (an item which, at the age of nine, I rated as most the sophisticated of all racy foodstuffs.) Continue reading →
Grumpy by name, awesome by nature, Café Grumpy has been one of Greenpoint’s most beloved coffee shops for almost a decade and now, with the addition of a new roastery, there’s even more to love.
Founded on the corner of Meserole Avenue and Diamond Street in 2005, Grumpy has since spread to five other locations including their most recent opening at Grand Central Station, where they triumphantly replaced a Starbucks. The cafe also brushed with fame during its starring role in HBO’s Girls.
In 2009 Grumpy started roasting their own beans in the back room of the Greenpoint cafe, but this year’s increased production demands led them to seek out a larger roasting space. Fortunately an ex-floristry warehouse just a few buildings down became available and their coffee-roasting palace was born. I met up with head bean buyer and ‘coffee educator’ Cheryl Kingan who gave me a grand tour of the roastery and the low down on the entire process of bean to brew. Continue reading →
If you ask yourself the deep questions before your morning coffee, head over to Cafe Grumpy on 193 Meserole to get your cup of Joe and slice of America while Jeremy Fink’s project The American Lens is up. What makes an icon? Where is this country headed? What’s happening to immigration reform? Am I really eating a biscuit made with kale + pinenuts + gruyere? Continue reading →