Sprudge.com is first to report that Urban Outfitters is preparing opening its first-ever specialty coffee bar, located inside their 5th Avenue store in New York City. Starting October 7th, you’ll be able to sip on a cup from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters out of Viroqua, Wisconsin, while shopping for the perfect accessories to go with your “Hail Satan & Drink Coffee” Muscle Tee.
The coffee bar, tucked into the back corner of Urban Outfitters' shop at 5th Ave & E 43rd, is the first in a line of planned New York City service concepts, which include a bar/restaurant in their upcoming Williamsburg shop, and a café in their planned Herald Square retail fantasia.
This is actually not the first food-service/retail concept for the URBN lifestyle brand conglomerate. Their Westport, CT fancy garden supply store Terrain hosts the farm to table Terrain Garden Café, and their Philly headquarters has opened up their upscale cafeteria to the public with Shop 543. The 5th Ave coffee-bar will be similarly separately branded, with a yet-to-be announced name.
Ben Schleif, their Manager of Coffee Concepts and an eleven year veteran display designer at the company, spilled a few of the deets for this shop exclusively to Sprudge. They’re going to be rocking Kickapoo Coffee using an array of industry-standard quality gear: La Marzocco GB5/Mazzer Major combo for espresso, Fetco hot coffee, cold-brew, and pour-over, alongside a rotating selection of quality pastries. Mr. Schleif first got into quality coffee while working with friends on the Kickstand Coffee project, and he plans to showcase a rotating guest roaster on the bar in addition to Kickapoo’s Organic, sustainable-focused offerings.
The coffee bar will feature a dedicated barista staff, and their aim is to bring quality coffee to a busy part of Midtown Manhattan, where they'll be joining neighborhood standard bearers Culture Espresso, as well as the Irving Farm and Joe Coffee outposts in Grand Central Terminal. As they get up and rolling, Mr. Schleif plans to offer a streamlined drip, cold-brew and pastry service out of the store’s vestibule from 7-9am before the store itself opens. The cafe's clever modular counter system on casters was built expressly for this purpose.
It’s exciting to see Kickapoo Coffee on offer in New York City, and this project is clearly a huge score for this humble, quality driven roastery located in rural Wisconsin (Viroqua's population is just over 5,000). But it's also a sign of the times: Urban Outfitters are a multi-national arbiter of mainstream consumptive “cool”, and they're planting their flag in the specialty coffee world with a quality-focused first location in one of New York City's most iconic, highly trafficked, and wildly expensive neighborhoods. This whole specialty coffee thing? Yeah, not slowing down.