Achilles Heel (180 West St) is near everything and nothing all at once. Anchored by the East River and bolstered by Manhattan Avenue, this coffee shop and bar plays with the duality of identities at the intersection of West St and Green St. The fair-weathered hanging sign outside makes you feel like you’ve entered a 19th century saloon where a good time is about to be had. But you soon realize that you’ve walked into a part of Brooklyn so off the development map, that there isn’t a condo or high-rise in sight – for now. You’re in the unmapped territory of cool and undiscovered.
Sadly, the uncharted location is one of the reasons the cafe will no longer be serving coffee as of Monday, August 19th.
On my impromptu visit, I was charmed by the option to take a window seat on a low lying stool, grab an L-shaped wooden bench at a centered table, or hideaway in a recessed nook and revel in pleasant solitude.
All the aesthetic elements that one would desire for a long linger over a well-crafted drink are here. It’s as if there is a story and a reason for every detail in the space. The shuttered windows let in just enough daylight to cozy up to a good book, drink in hand.
With insufficient traffic to justify coffee sales, the coffee station will be replaced by a raw oyster bar. Seeing a triad of roasters leave this intersection of Greenpoint is indeed sad, especially considering their excellent cortado made with espresso pulled from George Howell and punctuated by seamless textured almond milk. That drink alone left me wanting to take the postcard that came with my tab and send a note to all the friends I know, telling them to support his local business. So, Greenpointers, head to Achilles Heel, have a cup of coffee while you can, and linger in whichever seat suits you.