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Here’s a Look at WatchHouse Coffee’s First US Location in Manhattan

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Inside the first U.S. location of London, England-born specialty coffee chain WatchHouse Coffee. All images courtesy of WatchHouse Coffee.

London, England-based specialty coffee chain WatchHouse Coffee opened its first location in the United States in New York City, serving coffees by day and cocktails in the evening in a clean, modern and high-traffic space on Fifth Avenue.

The approximately 1,500-square-foot shop in Midtown Manhattan seats just over 20 guests on the ground floor of a recently redeveloped high-end office tower owned by Brookfield Properties. In keeping with WatchHouse’s UK locations, WatchHouse 5th Ave focuses on espresso, locally baked pastries and grab-and-go foods during daylight hours, transitioning into cocktails and lite bites as the sun descends.

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The 10-year-old coffee company worked with Brooklyn-based studio Carpenter & Mason to create a soft yet sophisticated environment with warm, sandy earth tones and rounded edges. Red shelving provides a pop of color that is echoed by red upholstered banquette seating at the opposite end of the shop.

As part of a $400 million redevelopment of the 67-year-old, 39-story building, the cafe space was reoriented to allow access for tenants directly through the lobby, as well as for customers from the street.

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“New York was the obvious choice for our overseas debut because it is to me, the center of the world, where tastes, trends, and cultures converge,” Roland Horne, founder and CEO of WatchHouse, told Daily Coffee News via email. “It presents an unparalleled opportunity for us to showcase the premium ‘modern coffee’ experience that WatchHouse offers. Additionally, New York’s size and critical mass of consumers provide an ideal environment for experimentation and growth.”

Coffees for the New York cafe are currently roasted on a Loring S15 Falcon at the Shared Roasting co-roastery in Brooklyn. Profiles echo those created in London, where WatchHouse Coffee Head Roaster Nikol Novotná helms a refurbished 1959 Probat UG22 roaster for all of WatchHouse’s 17 UK locations.

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“Our beverage offerings in New York closely mirror those in the UK, with a commitment to consistency and quality across both markets,” Horne told DCN. “While we strive to maintain uniformity, there are occasional adjustments necessitated by logistical constraints. Nevertheless, we endeavor to replicate our UK menu, ensuring that iconic offerings such as our Rarities menu, featuring rare coffees sourced from around the world, remain key to our distinctive proposition in the New York market.”

WatchHouse Coffee was founded in London in 2014, in a 266-square-foot corner of a 19th century structure built to shelter guards of the graveyard of St Mary Magdalen’s Church. The company later opened its flagship roastery, training center and headquarters on Maltby Street.

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The New York opening comes on the heels of the opening of WatchHouse Cabot Place, a location in London’s Canary Wharf development that opened in February.

“If we are going to do what we plan to do with our team, the U.S. plays a big role in our journey,” said Horne. “2024 will continue to be an exciting year for the business as we expand into new communities like London’s Hampstead Heath as well as some even more iconic buildings in New York City.”

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WatchHouse 5th Ave is located at 660 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here

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