Ad hoc home offices have popped up inside small apartments since March 2020. And while many of us found a strong-enough WFH WiFi signal in city parks and pop-up street cafes this summer, winter forced the work from home crew back to staring at the same four walls, all day everyday.
With the weather warming up, North Brooklyn has several outdoor options to camp out with our laptops for hours on end. Tip well, purchase a fresh beverage regularly and maybe download a Zoom background that doesn’t make it look like you’re working from a bar in the middle of the day at these Greenpoint spots for outdoor work.
Sweetleaf (159 Freeman St.)
The popular laptop spot is back with limited, umbrella covered outdoor tables and wonderfully strong cold brew. The Wifi doesn’t always work, but there are several networks within reach to connect to…
Maman (80 Kent St.)
This chic French cafe has cozy sidewalk and streetside seating, the latter covered with summery striped umbrellas. Wifi is available, as are a slew of pastries, beverages and daily cafe items, like quiche and sandwiches. Limited indoor seating is available as well. Open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Pencil Factory (142 Franklin St.)
Once filled with remote workers and writers wrapping up their last laptop work of the day during happy hour, Pencil Factory Bar’s outdoor area offers similar vibes when it opens at 2 p.m. Sip a cold pint, snack on the required hot dog and answer a few dreaded emails under the shade of the bar’s overhead canopy. Wifi is solid, and indoor seating is also open.
Variety (142 Driggs Ave.)
On the edge of McGolrick Park, Variety’s streetside cafe extension (142 Driggs Ave.) offers ample space for social distant meetings or solo laptop and note taking time. The free WiFi isn’t as strong on the street, so if you need to upload some files, bring a hotspot.
Le Gamin (108 Franklin St.)
The French cafe has always been a morning hub for freelancers, but a new shaded street area extends the space to sip on espresso and nibble through a croissant while getting through the a.m. email dump.
Edy’s Grocer (136 Meserole)
North Brooklyn’s first-ever Middle Eastern grocery and deli doubles as a cornerside coffeeshop with strong, well-priced coffee ($2.50 for a large) and solid wifi. A coffee window assures you don’t even have to get up for a caffeine boost.
Cafe Alula (252 Franklin St.)
Walk up to the window to order a halva latte and a slew of dips, before finding a spot at Cafe Alula’s colorful streetside cafe. A full menu is available, should you want a working lunch, and portable heaters keep things toasty on blustery days. A covered backyard garden is also a seating option, but know that Wifi is not provided.
Bagel Point (699 Manhattan Ave.)
A large, heated outdoor structure creates a new type of workspace, complete with fresh bagels, coffee and cragels (that’s a croissant bagel). Get cozy and preorder the days unsolds on To Good To Go, and you’ll leave with a goody bag of baked goods.
ACRE (64 Meserole Ave.)
Born in the pandemic, this new Japanese cafe know how to do outdoor seating. Sidewalk, streetside and heated (uncovered) backyard seating are all available, the latter offering spacious picnic tables for laptops and notebooks. Grab a coffee, matcha or pastry from the front cafe or indulge in a lunch bento box. Wifi isn’t available, so use your own hotspot or bring some notebooks to work out here for deep creative focus.
Littleneck Outpost (128 Franklin St.)
Open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, this corner side coffeeshop serves breakfast and lunch to keep you sated as you whiz your way through meetings and Google docs thanks to Littleneck’s excellent outdoor tables and Wifi. Seats on Milton St. offer semi-quiet space to take calls (presuming no motorcycle parades drive through) and the Franklin St. seating is perfect for people-watching while crossing of tasks on your to-do list. Remember to refresh your drip or espresso if you’re staking claim to a table for more than an hour.
Eleva Coffee (7 Bell Slip)
Located just steps from the water, Eleva is an excellent spot for a mid day change of scenery, especially if you can build in time to catch an East River breeze. Wifi signals are strong enough to reach outdoor tables, and the menu boasts their own roasts to make espresso drinks, drip and cold brew coffee.