Spotted via the most-excellent Lower Manhattan neighborhood blog Bowery Boogie, there's new today that Irving Farm has purchased the cafe formerly known as 88 Orchard, located at the intersection of Orchard & Broome in New York City's Lower East Side.
More from Bowery Boogie, and by more, we mean we're copy & pasteboarding pretty much the whole article:
Seeing the 88 Orchard coffee shop listed on the SLA agenda for next week’s Community Board 3 meeting was certainly interesting. Especially since their current wine and beer license is active through November 30, 2013. The reason for the new application – the business was reportedly sold.
Indeed, it appears local mini-chain Irving Farm Coffee is the lucky new owner of the popular corner cafe. The familiar notice to neighbors pasted to the doorway seems to confirm this latest development. 88 Orchard would mark the fourth city location for the Hudson Valley roasters, co-owned by Stephen Leven and David Elwell.
This will be Irving Farm's first foray into the Lower Manhattan retail game, and adds to their portfolio of cafes on Manhattan alongside locations in Chelsea and the Upper West Side. The now-departed 88 Orchard cafe was fairly well-regarded, actually, with this nice write-up by NY Mag and a fair 3.5 star Yelp rating. They served Irving Farm's coffee previously in a wholesale capacity, and the cafe itself is located right across the street from the well-regarded Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which means lotsa foot traffic especially as we get into tourist season.
It's worth mentioning that 88 Orchard is huge by NYC cafe standards, with a full floor of downstairs seating. In a city full of espresso bars but largely devoid of “cafes”, here's another one from Irving Farm, whose similarly enormous-for-Manhattan spot on the Upper West Side offers ample room to stretch out, plus salad and sandwiches, all just blocks from the park. Seriously, the back room at that place is like a cram session fever dream for the grad school we never attended.