Williamsburg’s Tar Pit (135 Woodpoint Rd.), a cafe run by motorcycle enthusiasts, has closed and been replaced by another coffeeshop called Larry’s Cà Phê, run by a Vietnamese adoptee. 

Earlier this month, the storefront that was home to Tar Pit closed for a few days for minor renovations, and on June 18, it reopened as Larry’s. On Instagram, Tar Pit’s owners announced the change of ownership and wrote, “Sunday it will be opened fully under new ownership! Don’t worry though. The same great staff and treats are still there.”

Tar Pit was a unique neighborhood spot as a women of color-owned coffeeshop that was run and frequented by motorcycle riders. The shop had been serving the neighborhood for 12 years, almost exactly, as June 23, 2023 was their twelfth anniversary. “It has been an amazing run,” Tar Pit wrote on Instagram. “These last 12 years have been nothing short of incredible.”

Motorcycle riders outside of Tar Pit. Photo: Tar Pit’s Instagram

The ownership of 135 Woodpoint Road stays in the family, as the owner of Larry’s Cà Phê, Tuan Nguyen, first worked as a barista at Tar Pit before buying the shop.

In December 2022, Tar Pit introduced Nguyen as the shop’s newest team member on Instagram, and more recently wrote, “I am so happy to hand the reins over to @larryscaphe and let Tuan take care of you. He is passionate and has many years of experience. He will take good care.”

Tuan Nguyen, the owner of Larry’s Cà Phê. Photo: Tar Pit’s Instagram

Larry’s Cà Phê comes with its own unique story. The shop is named after Nguyen’s adoptive father, Larry Hilton, with the latter part of the name translating to coffee in Vietnamese.

The coffeeshop’s website describes Hilton as “a dedicated high school math teacher” who adopted two children from Vietnam. Hilton taught at a public high school in Bushwick for twenty years, and following his retirement from teaching, he ventured abroad to Bolivia and Vietnam, “spreading his knowledge and passion for education.” Unfortunately, in 2019, Hilton passed away, so he is unable to see Nguyen’s dream fulfilled.

“Having personally witnessed the power of human connections fostered by the café industry, I have always aspired to own a café of my own,” Nguyen wrote on the shop’s website. 

Nguyen describes Larry’s Cà Phê as a place where “teachers, adoptees, and the community come to enjoy delightful cups of coffee, fragrant teas, and delightful small snacks.”

Larry’s is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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