Editors’ Note: This is our second post in a series about solo dining. Here’s our first post.
Perhaps the most obvious spot that comes to mind when one thinks of restaurants most suitable to the individual is a cafe. Dotted with open chairs opposite a single patron hunched in front of a laptop or over a book, the scene of predominantly lopsided tables is a familiar one in North Brooklyn any day of the week. Here’s my guide for where to go to get your work done by day, and in some cases even linger into the night.
For the same reasons I think a seat at the bar is the best seat in the house, I frequently find myself at the counter of Eagle Trading Company(258 Franklin Street) where the sweet server knows I’ll be having the Coronation Chicken (mango chutney, raita, arugula $7 as sandwich; or as salad over spinach and arugula $8) as I get work or “life admin” done while enjoying refills of iced green tea and a breeze from the Franklin Street-facingwindows. If I’m there for breakfast (served until 4pm daily), it’s the B11 breakfast sandwich (eggs, jack cheese, avocado, jalapeños, tomato, onion, cilantro $7) with lots of hot sauce as I launch into productivity. Continue reading →
Maman’s original SoHo cafe opened in early Fall 2014 without much fanfare. That is, until people tasted their Nutty Chocolate Chunk Cookie and that cookie alone should make you want to stop at their newest location at 80 Kent Street (between Franklin and West). Luckily, the southern-France-chic bakery has plenty of attention-worthy treats beyond the cookie to make it a welcome addition to our neighborhood! Continue reading →
I remember the time that I first noticed Polka Dot. I was walking down Manhattan Avenue, undoubtedly heading toward Peter Pan to satisfy my apple crumb donut addiction. Thankfully, I spotted the happy script across the street that was this little Polish cafe’s new sign. Many of you may not know that Polka Dot is in fact the reimagining of what was once the Polski Meat Market. Opened in 1996 by Marzena Parys and her husband, it’s evolved with the neighborhood into the gem that it is today. Continue reading →
Champion Coffeemay have recently shuttered at 1108 Manhattan Avenue (due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’), but caffeine addicts have no reason to be be sad. Two new Champions are soon to spring up elsewhere in Greenpoint to replace it.
First up will be a new cafe at 142 Nassau Avenue, on the site of Sweet Fox, which has now closed down. Champion’s Talitha Whidbee tells us that “Sweet Fox owner Jean Marc was ready to get back to his catering life and away from the constant demands of a cafe so we bought Sweet Fox from him which we will remodel over the next month and re-open as Champion Coffee.” This location will be almost exactly the same as the original Champion (with a slightly pared down food menu), and will be opening around September 22nd.
There is also a second, larger space in the pipeline, at 1107 Manhattan Avenue, directly across the road from the original. “Due to its size it will be a little longer in coming to fruition, but we are shooting for end of November”, Talitha tells us. This location will have the standard Champion food and drink menu, with the addition of kombucha on tap from Mombucha and a few other exclusive beverages.
You know those times when you don’t set out to do something, but somehow it just happens anyway? Well, this is pretty much how Sweetleaf, Greenpoint’s newest coffee shop, came about.
“I wasn’t looking to set up another cafe”, says owner Rich Nieto, “I was just looking to find a space to roast.”
Rich established Sweetleaf Coffee with a friend in 2008, in a tiny shop just over the Pulaski bridge. Seven years later and there is now an additional coffee shop in LIC, one in Williamsburg and, as of last week, a new one in Greenpoint. Rich bought out his partner about a year ago and now runs the entire operation. He recently started roasting his own beans out of a friend’s loft in Bushwick, but as he started to step up production it made sense to find a roasting space of his own.
“I was looking for a warehouse of around 1000 sq ft, but it was almost impossible to find something this small, everything is huge”, he tells us as we sit sipping coffee in the brand new Greenpoint outpost of Sweetleaf on Freeman Street. “I discovered this space because I used to drive past every day on my way between LIC and Williamsburg, and although it turned out to be the smallest warehouse space I could find, it was still way more space than I needed. The building is in a great location, just off Manhattan Avenue, so we decided to use the extra space by creating a cafe at the front and having our roastery at the back.” Continue reading →
There’s been a whole lot of comings and goings amongst Greenpoint’s bars and restaurants recently. Here’s a round-up of a few changes that are on our radar…
Brooklyn Barge Bar (3 Milton Street) – This novelty floating bar has been a long time in the making and it’s looking like they’ll miss the boat with the summer crowd if they don’t get things going soon. Time Out are throwing a ‘first look’ party ($25 for unlimited beer and oysters) on the barge on August 26th, so it’s quite likely that this will be their opening night. Let’s hope they don’t have to cancel like they did with their 4th July celebrations. But, if they do, at least it means that Transmitter Park will stay a haven of tranquillity for a little longer.
Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin Street) – A sign in the window of this popular brunch spot says ‘closed for renovation’, along with a request to renew their sidewalk liquor license. However, it’s just been confirmed by the owners that the business is actually being sold and will be re-opening as something different in due course. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
As I strolled past Sharkey’s Driving School at the top of Bedford Avenue on Sunday evening, I noticed it was NO LONGER a driving school but instead some kind of pop-up gallery/shop. The guy inside told me that the space is about to be taken over by Five Leaves with view to an expansion and we can now confirm that this news is indeed absolutely true!
Five Leaves co-owner Kathy Mecham tell us “We are upgrading the entire restaurant: bigger kitchen, bigger room, bigger bar. This also means we will also be able to up our catering so it’s really exciting!” Continue reading →
Ooh la la! There’s a new cafe in the neighborhood and oui, vraiment, c’est Français! Recently opened on Nassau Ave, Sweet Fox Café is run by French chef Jean-Marc Hardy, and is a great spot to pick up a morning coffee and croissant, a fresh-baked baguette for lunch, or a fancy pastry for afternoon tea. Sweet treats include alluringly colored macaroons, delicate fruit tartlets, and the classic praline cream-filled Paris Brest (an item which, at the age of nine, I rated as most the sophisticated of all racy foodstuffs.) Continue reading →
Grumpy by name, awesome by nature, Café Grumpy has been one of Greenpoint’s most beloved coffee shops for almost a decade and now, with the addition of a new roastery, there’s even more to love.
Founded on the corner of Meserole Avenue and Diamond Street in 2005, Grumpy has since spread to five other locations including their most recent opening at Grand Central Station, where they triumphantly replaced a Starbucks. The cafe also brushed with fame during its starring role in HBO’s Girls.
In 2009 Grumpy started roasting their own beans in the back room of the Greenpoint cafe, but this year’s increased production demands led them to seek out a larger roasting space. Fortunately an ex-floristry warehouse just a few buildings down became available and their coffee-roasting palace was born. I met up with head bean buyer and ‘coffee educator’ Cheryl Kingan who gave me a grand tour of the roastery and the low down on the entire process of bean to brew. Continue reading →