Image courtesy of @reidschlegel

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.

Cafe manager Peter brews an Early espresso

The space, which used to house Atlas Phone Cards, has had a complete overhaul and feels fresh and inviting, with exposed brick down one side, gleaming white tiles down the other, and an attractive wooden bar in the middle. Seating is limited as the cafe seems to be geared to grabbing a coffee and bite on the run, but it’s well worth sitting in if you can pounce on the window seat and watch the world go by for a while.  Or you can perch below an attractive flowchart-style mural tracking the bean from roastery to Early coffee cup.

At Saturday’s opening the long counter was laden with bite-sized sandwich samples, highlights of which included the ‘Greenpoint’ (brie, apple, caramelized onions and pesto on baguette), the ‘12 Hour’ (pulled pork with bbq sauce, red cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeños on brioche) and the ‘R.B’ (pepper-crusted top round beef, gruyere, sweet & spicy pepper and mayo on sourdough).   Aside from lunch sandwiches, there are also three egg-centric breakfast options available until noon. We tried the ‘B.E.C’ (caramelized bacon, scrambled eggs, sharp cheddar and chives on a brioche bun) with the hint of sweetness from the bacon and brioche combo making it a real brekky treat.  All sandwiches range between $7-10.

12 Hour Pulled Pork on Brioche © Early

Coffee is by local roasters  Toby’s Estate, and as a nod to these Aussie coffee purveyors Early even has a flat white on the menu (and we would clearly rather get one here than from Star*ucks who have recently been trying to lure the weak-hearted with a flat white of their own).

Drop in for a coffee when you’re next passing and, if it’s the window seat you’re after, remember…it’s the Early bird that catches the worm (schnarfle).

Early is at 967 Manhattan Avenue (at India Street)
It’s currently open 7am-7pm daily.

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