New Kid on the Block: Blue Bottle Coffee

This is the neighborhood’s second branch of the Oakland, Cali, chain (it’s actually now majority owned by Nestle) — the other is in the Walker Hotel on Broadway and there’s one in the World Trade Center and on Broad Street — and it’s a lovely, light-filled space (and will be even more so once the sidewalk bridge comes down). They have taken over what was to be a Dr Smood’s until the pandemic wiped out those plans, on the northwest corner of Hubert and Greenwich.

Their hook is they make the coffee cup-by-cup as a pour-over; the beans are mostly organic; the bags are compostable; they have a light touch on the roasting.

(And I have to give a shout-out to their lovely staff who were particularly friendly and clearly photogenic as well.)

I’ve always included Blue Bottle in the TC Shopping Guide at the holidays because their coffee-inspired merch has a great aesthetic. (The Walker branch seems to have more items, and some that are not branded). And they apply those Scandinavian clean lines and crisp colors here. There’s not a square corner to be seen — even the backs of the chairs are cylinders.

The founder was a clarinetist from San Fran: he started roasting beans and selling them from a cart in Oakland in 2002; he opened his first shop in San Francisco in 2005. The company expanded with investors over the years, came to New York in 2010, and Nestle took a majority stake in 2017.

All their cafes have the same design palate: “Our cafes are designed to draw focus on what matters: good coffee, daydreams, conversation, and the coffee professionals that make it all possible. In service of that aim, we keep the colors in our cafes elemental, focusing on just three: Blue Bottle Blue, Fog Grey, and blond wood.”

HOWEVER! for this location they used navy blue for the first time ever, to connect with the Hudson. Exciting stuff.

Blue Bottle Coffee
408 Greenwich St at Hubert
Seven days, 7a to 7p