Yesterday, residents at the north end of Greenpoint had their unbelievable patience greatly rewarded. Last August, the neighborhood lost one of its most beloved establishments, Champion Coffee, when the 1108 Manhattan Avenue shop closed its doors due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Luckily, the paperwork had already been signed on the space directly across the street in a former artists’ studio at 1107, and at their smaller café at 142 Nassau Avenue. The Nassau Avenue spot opened last November and now the new Manhattan Avenue flagship spot has opened its doors. And it is without a doubt one of the best additions to our coffee shop scene.
When the previous shop had to end its run, owner Talitha Whidbee hoped to have the new Champion open within a few months. But she didn’t realize how big of a job the renovation would be. The 1800 square-foot space formerly housed two artist studios and was in need of a complete gutting. The year-long renovation job included creating custom stone countertops, laying handmade concrete tiles, getting two brand new La Marzocco espresso machines, commissioning stools from an Amish company, and building in tabletop USB outlets (a move that can only be described as a freelancer’s dream—yes, there’s free WiFi too). The whole space was designed by Talitha and will include a backyard come spring. All during construction, anxious neighbors have been peeping through the glass desperate to know when the shop would finally “re”open.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. The first buildings of Greenpoint Landing are filling with new residents and some Greenpoint residents who’ve been priced out of the areas closer to Williamsburg, are moving up Manhattan Avenue. You can definitely see the neighborhood rapidly changing over, but all are welcome at the new Champion. Talitha is also very welcome to those Long Island City’ers who cross the bridge for weekend coffees (fun fact: her first coffee shop was actually in LIC which was frequented by Greenpointers headed to the 7).
Prices, hours and offerings will be the same as what we’re used to at the Nassau location. There is nitro cold brew on tap (the beans are given a 24-hour soak) and, on the other side of the spectrum, a great decaf blend. Their drip is currently a blend of Kenyan and Sumatran beans, while the espresso is Brazilian, Ethiopian and Indian, by the way. Expect delicious pastries and sandwiches to round out your café visit, or to give you sustenance before picking up a bottle at Talitha’s other venture, Williamsburg’s Vine Wine.
Champion Coffee is located at 1107 Manhattan Avenue. It is open 7 days a week, 7am – 8pm.