Coffee is hitting the big stage. That's right, after honing its craft for some years off Broadway, coffee is finally getting its chance to shine on the Great Flat White Way with the opening of Apes & Peacocks Coffee Roasters. Next door neighbors to the Broadway Theatre, Apes & Peacocks is the roasting operation behind NYC's Underline Coffee, but with this new space, they are a cafe in their own right.
With King Kong ending its Broadway run in August, it's safe to say Apes & Peacocks will be bringing the largest amount of monkey business to the famed New York City road. And in this case, that business is coffee.
As told to Sprudge by Brandon Tully.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Debra Marcoux and Brandon Tully are the independent owners of Underline Coffee, located under the High Line in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC. Three years ago, they started roasting under the name of Apes & Peacocks Coffee Roasters, and are super excited to open the first Apes & Peacocks retail location this summer.
Founder Brandon Tully brings 20 years experience in the coffee industry, from working behind the bar, to roasting, to sales and marketing.
Duke Ellington’s “Queen’s Suite” concludes with an episode entitled “Apes and Peacocks.” The Suite was written for Queen Elizabeth II, and Duke drew the title from a list of tributes Queen Sheeba was said to have presented to King Solomon. We look for coffees that celebrate the beautiful and the proud and roast them as tributes to all of the kings and queens that walk through the door.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Apes & Peacocks is a mom and pop team stepping from the shadows and side-streets of Underline to Broadway (not figuratively, the next door neighbor is the largest broadway theater in NYC).
The build out on a relative shoestring. The build out cost is only a little more than the Underline location, but with a better idea of where and how to spend. As with the first location, Tully, a previous designer and builder of mid-century inspired furniture, is doing all of the cabinetry and millwork.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to sourcing and roasting is to find beautiful coffees and roast in a way that highlights the variety, the terroir, and the processing of the green bean. In general that means roasting in a way that minimizes the influence of the roast process and focuses on developing and seizing a roast to showcase the inherent sweetness and acidity of the coffee. As we grow we do intend to expand our offering and roast profiles to both share a broader range and adhere to the name Apes and Peacocks.
Our in-house coffee preparation focuses on the basics of sound brewing principles and measuring the results. We train baristas how to use the tools, and understand the fundamentals, and taste the results, so they can manipulate and create delicious coffee.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
How is your project considering sustainability?
Our biggest focus is on waste and we are in the process of designing and transitioning to compostable or at least recyclable materials for all of our serving items (cups, straws, coffee bags, etc.) at both locations. We are making thoughtful choices in the buildout process where we can. Local sourced hardwood, Richlite paper composite, low to 0 VOC water-based finishes.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
September 1, 2019
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Oh no, thank you!
The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.