shining, shining, shining
Before taking my first step into this space – which is the physical version of the vintage love story told in The Dot and The Line, I stood across the street in the image driven, The Brooklyn Circus, talking with Ouigi about the history of style, the heritage of people of color and the impact of not just having a passion, but a passion that knows it’s position to culture. He’s a smart man, a very smart man. My father taught me to pay attention to smart men. And when that day comes, to marry a smart man…I’m listening dad.
So, when Ouigi asked me, “Should we go get a cup of coffee?” You know the obvious answer was a resounding Yes. While he drinks hot chocolate and I know a lot of you do too – it still counts as coffee culture – I’ve yet to go to a specialty coffee shop and not see it on a menu. And what is more, one of my sisters doesn’t like coffee at all, so I’m always on the hunt for coffee shops that can do a great chai and hot chocolate well, because I want her to experience the culture too. If a coffee shop can’t do hot chocolate well, I’m highly skeptical that it’ll be able to do coffee well. But, I digress.
So, we walked across the street. And here it was, the place that before it opened, I only knew with an ampersand on its gate. I walked in and Ouigi disappeared.
Sorry Ouigi. I immediately became taken away by so many elements; design touches that spoke to me, beautifully tiled floor, a UNIC espresso machine – don’t see those often – the music coming out of the speakers ‘don’t know much about his-to-ry,” sung Sam Cooke.🎼
While this coffee shop embodies current Cafè tropes – tile, succulents, natural light, it also played upon them, juxtaposing them with vintage cans, books, an old trolley door, reclaimed wood, Ralph Lauren Home wallpaper, imported goods like and yes, coffee, from a much loved brand in he industry, and a contemporary pioneer of light roasted coffee, Heart Coffee Roasters.
The alchemy of a lot of different things coming together is hard to pull off, trust me, I’ve been in a lot of spaces. But what brought it all together was its story, I could feel it without even being told it and the #blackbaristamagic @ihaveverythingidesire behind the counter wove it all together.
Then, this light, that illuminated the continuance of our conversation, right on those wooden seats. Why, another coffee shop one may ask in a borough full of them. Because, the divide between coffee on Flatbush Avenue and coffee on Smith Street was a gap in the market that the owners saw & now have filled.