Coffee and fashion have long been intermingling disciplines. We’ve seen barista collabs, coffee-inspired footwear, Expo fit checks, coffee as textile, a Hypebeast cafe, even a streetstyle coffeemaker. The intertwining of coffee and lewks runs a broad gamut, and the tradition continues this fall in New York City with an all-new pop-up cafe. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, menswear brand 3sixteen has opened Wilson’s, a temporary cafe in their Nolita flagship store, and featuring a host of coffee roasters from around the nation.
The pop-up is a “dream come true,” says 3sixteen co-owner Andrew Chen, who along with fellow owner Johan Lam, would use cafe visits as a means for exploring cities when their work would take them to new places around the globe. Through their travels, they made connections with coffee professionals across the country, many of whom are making an appearance at Wilson’s.
To bring their temporary cafe dreams to life, Chen and Lam tapped Jaymie Lao, formerly of Go Get Em Tiger and Intelligentsia Venice, who over the last nine months has “designed the buildout, secured equipment, developed drink recipes, and established service standards,” per a 3sixteen blog post announcing the pop-up. This includes a full roster of espresso-based drinks—prepared via La Marzocco Linea Mini and Mazzer grinder—as well as drip, cold brew, and a few specialty drinks paying tribute to the owners’ Vietnamese and Chinese heritages, including a Cà Phê Sữa Đá and a Yuenyueng “made from a proprietary tea blend flown over from Lam’s family-owned Hong Kong diner.”
At the foundation of these drinks are single origin coffees created specifically for Wilson’s. Over the course of the monthlong pop-up—going from Monday, September 18th to Sunday, October 15th—roasters will rotate in for weekly guest spots using their own single origin roast, which will be served on bar as well as sold retail. A total of four roasters will take turns, starting off with San Francisco’s Sightglass Coffee, followed by Greenway (Houston), Portrait Coffee (Atlanta), and ending with Go Get Em Tiger (LA). They’ll also be serving Bo Lo Bao Toast and a Portuguese Egg Tart from neighboring Potluck Club.
“The parallels between making quality clothing and sourcing, roasting, and preparing quality coffee are pretty easy to connect once you think about it,” Chen tells Sprudge. “The foundation of what we make takes quality raw materials that will get better with time. But the raw materials alone don’t cut it; you also need to develop good fits, and you need a factory that can cut and sew your materials into well-made garments. After that’s all done, you need to photograph it and present it thoughtfully and finally, you need a solid retail experience whereby customers can understand what has gone into the garment in a comfortable, non-intimidating way.”
While the pop-up only lasts through mid-October, Chen says that there is room for something more permanent in the future. “There are some hurdles to making Wilson’s a permanent fixture here in NYC, but it’s not insurmountable. We’ll see what this month holds for us and figure things out at the end.” For now, though, Wilson’s will be open everyday from 9:00am to 5:00pm until October 15th at 3sixteen’s Nolita flagship at 190 Elizabeth Street. For more information, visit 3sixteen’s official website.
All media courtesy of 3sixteen