At 160 Fifth Ave. (between West 20th and 21st Streets) in Flatiron, this third retail location from Toby’s is on the street level of Club Monaco‘s flagship global store, which opened last month. Just past the long bar and up a few stairs is a hub for independent book seller Strand Books, further inviting shoppers along the street into the space.
The Toby’s team told Daily Coffee News that the new location wasn’t meant to resemble the coffee company’s popular Brooklyn bar in look or feel. Instead, it is meant to reflect its posh surroundings inside the clothing store and on the streetscape. “We did not want to reproduce our Brooklyn café,” says Amber Jacobsen, who co-owns Toby’s along with Adam Boyd and Toby Smith. “Instead, we considered the history of the Flatiron district, the culture of Club Monaco, the surrounding neighborhood stores, and came up with a brand new Toby’s Estate Coffee concept.”
The defining visual element of the bar is a custom-designed La Marzocco Strada espresso machine, with white powder coating and walnut paneling. The rest of the shop, says the Toby’s team, “is designed to evoke the feeling of an artifact and specialty shop from the Gilded Age. Featuring pressed tin ceilings, honed Carrara marble countertops, glazed tiled walls, and traditional hexagon patterned floors all in shades of white and grey, the architecture of the café is based on materials and details quintessential to the Flatiron District style.”
Oh yes, and they have coffee. Led by Toby’s head roaster and green buyer Deaton Pigot, the team created a custom Flatiron Espresso Blend, and an Ethiopia Korate espresso is also currently available. The coffee program includes two filter coffee offerings, with a rotating menu of pour-over coffees from Honduras, Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil and a Geisha from Panama. A small pastry and sandwich menu includes baked good from local producers throughout the boroughs.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page located at the bottom of this site for contact information.