One of New York’s newest coffee haunts and eateries, Porcelain combines a large dash of old-world Austria with just a splash of 2019 Hollywood in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens.
After deciding to switch gears from business management to open a cafe, Mike Stamatelos found a unique opportunity in a Ridgewood space that had been one of dozens of places throughout the United States outfitted for Martin Scorcese’s 2019 movie “The Irishman.”
Stamatelos kept the broad, wooden bar opposite wood pew-style seating that were left over from the set, along with vintage wall sconces protruding from a wall running the length of the space that features wavy pink wallpaper. Enlisting the aid of New York designer Elizabeth Ingram, Stamatelos and his team incorporated the existing features into a vision for a more traditional, old world Viennese cafe.
“It was great for us because I wanted to create a cafe that embodied the vibes of the old-world European neighborhood we’re in,” Stamatelos told DCN.
Vintage tables, chairs, and red-cushioned barstools now sit around the cafe, while dark mahogany curtains adorn the front windows above lavender upholstered velvet sofa chairs. The floor of white-and-turquoise checkered tile looks up to tin ceiling panels with antique chandeliers.
Said Stamatelos, “We wanted the atmosphere and the coffee menu to reflect… something that looks like it’s been there for eighty-plus years.”
The coffee, meanwhile, is decidedly more contemporary. Stamatelos worked with coffee consultant Billy Brogan to develop a coffee program that now consists of one core espresso blend and one house drip blend that currently contains coffees from Guatemala and Colombia. Brogan, who created Redefine Coffee Consulting, said he sources the majority of coffees from importers Ally Coffee and Nordic Approach, while he roasts coffees for Porcelain offsite.
At the Porcelain bar, espresso is pulled from a purple three-group Sanremo F18 espresso machine assisted by a Mazzer Robur grinder. The drip blend is served as batch brew from a Fetco supported by a Mahlkönig EK43.
“Our roasts are medium to light,” Brogan told DCN. “They’re more balanced and have full-body — something that will mimic dark roast but with more flavor and complexity.”
After initially opening with more ambitious food plans, Porcelain has scaled back somewhat, now offering a selection of pastries, plus a soups and salads menu that includes items such as a “Curried Carrot Cauliflower Soup” and the “Pulled Chicken Fennel Herb Bowl.” Granola, baguettes and spiced oatmeal constitute the all-day breakfast menu, while a weekend brunch menu ventures into baked eggs and French toast.
With evening hours currently extending to 11 p.m., the cafe also offers a selection of craft beers and wines spanning numerous styles and regions.
“We want to attract the old school locals and the artistic community in Ridgewood,” said Stamatelos. “We wanted to offer something that would appeal to the residents — a place you come to and spend a few hours, just like you would a cafe in Vienna.”
Porcelain is located at 880 Woodward Ave in Ridgewood, Queens, New York.