Betting The Irving Farm: Moving To UWS

Newsflash: There is good coffee in New York City on the Upper West Side! The UWS is a largely untapped resource for specialty coffee, perhaps due to the frankly odd way of life that exists there – $6500 a month apartments directly next door to $500 rent controls! doormen that make more during Christmas than you do all year! that remarkable park, right there within walking distance, close enough to call your back yard! - but more likely on account of ludicrously high rents. Opening a new cafe there is risky, but the folks at Irving Farm are betting big by setting up a flagship space at 264 W 79th, between Broadway and Amsterdam, in the heart of the UWS. Here’s some more from the Irving Farm blog:

We’re completely reconstructing a 1500 square-foot space on the ground floor of a historic brownstone on West 79th Street in Manhattan. From the building materials and brewing equipment, to the coffee menu and food offerings, we’re designing a space that will be unlike anything we’ve built before, and a cafe experience we hope will be unlike anything you’ve ever had before!

We’re still several weeks away from opening the doors, but we can’t help our excitement as all the new components begin to fit into place. On the counter, we’ll have a La Marzocco Strada and a beatifully hand-crafted bar for our Kalita pour-over gear—all of this to present our dynamic menu of blended and single-origin coffees that Dan Streetman (Ed. note: that’s him riding the Wooly Mammoth), our Coffee Director, has been working hard to source. In addition to the coffee, our menu will feature craft beers, a small list of wines and local meats and cheeses. And, to take it all in, we’ll have a back lounge with a skylight and a 10-foot community dining table made of reclaimed wood.

Irving Farm’s new cafe is designed by the architecture firm LEVENBETTS (we understand they prefer the full capitalization), whose website is here – we dare you not to lose an hour there.

Let’s put this is New York context, shall we? To reach the new Irving Farm cafe, one takes the oft-ignored 1 train, which, if you haven’t been on it in a while, is actually quite nice – there’s usually the full dot-tracking stop service in each car, and the tone of your train will be its own whole thing, a mix of Columbia students, incognito (or accidental) billionaires, and collected sociological samples from that odd para-world that exists along the Northern finger of Manhattan Island serviced by the 1, all the way to that amazing castle-thing in Fort Tryon Park. Take the 1 and get off on the 79th Street stop – Irving Farm UWS is a proverbial hop, skip, and jump away.

Irving Farm joins Joe NYC’s space on W. 84th (Ecco) and the Momofuku Milk Bar space on Columbus and W. 84th (Stumptown) as outposts for high-end non-Starbucks coffee options on that side of Central Park. It is also worth noting that Irving Farm’s new space will be within mere blocks (and a $19 suggested donation) from the T-Rex fossil on permanent exhibition at the American Natural History Museum. We’re working on an approbative thesis now: “Good Coffee and Dinosaurs: Towards A New Duality”.

More, we say! We want more good roasters represented above and around Central Park, and we want it now! Don’t you realize these neighborhoods are chockablock with curious billionaires, surreal vistas, and all manner of cool / weird stuff to do? Coffee is such a lovely way to enjoy and explore New York, and we don’t just mean the New York below 34th Street. This very promising development from Irving Farm gives us one more excellent excuse to go see the Aptosaurus, the wooly mammoth, and the Hayden Planetarium….summer softball in the park, anyone?