New Kid on the Block: Blank Street Coffee

The local chain’s 20th outpost opened a couple weeks ago on Church and Warren and it is great to have that stretch of Church activated again, especially at the subway entrance. Blank Street Coffee is a simple place, offering the usual coffees, a few summery drinks along with and a small selection of baked goods. But it’s got a nice, clean design and the folks in there are lovely.

The summer menu is out now — I got an Arnold Palmer and it was delish. But since I’ve never had a cup of coffee I will leave it to you pros to rate. A large filter is $3, a cold brew is $4.75 and a latte is $4.25.

The cookies are from the Brooklyn company King Street Baking, and the croissants are from Pain D’Avignon, the 30-year-old bakery out of Cape Cod that now has a huge baking operation in Long Island City. They usually offer breakfast burritos from King David Tacos, but since Los Tacos No. 1 is across the street, they are deferring to their neighbor in the burrito department.

Blank Street was founded in 2020 and was quickly snatched up by the venture capitalists — Forbes reports that they raised $7 million in seed capital and $25 million in series A funding all in a few months last year. From Forbes: “So what makes this Brooklyn-based startup that launched only a year ago such a darling among large institutions? Cofounders Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha conclude marrying ‘high quality products, ultra convenience, and fair prices’ is what has made the company overall successfully carve out a sweet spot in a very saturated coffee space, adding how Blank Street’s top-line revenue has increased by 15 times since January 2021.”

The idea behind it originally was small locations that saved in rent — the first outlets were operated out of 5 x 10 carts — plus technology applications in coffee brewing and ordering. The brick-and-mortars are still small — ours has six barstools along the edges.

The espresso machines are automatic, which the company argues is easier on the barista, and the minimum wage is $23 an hour. Of course there’s an app; signing up gets you a free drink.

Blank Street Coffee
125 Church | Warren & Murray