This week in Bushwick, a new artisanal coffee shop opened on Wilson between Stockholm and Stanhope Streets. Called rather un-ironically The Coffee Shop, the spot is the creation of Michael Avila who curated every aspect of the shop down to its custom coffee blend, roasted in Italy. They’ll serve fine espresso drinks, drip coffee, an assortment of gluten-free treats, and feature local art and music. While Avila establishes the needs of his customers, they will be open Monday through Friday 6am – 8pm, Saturday 7am – 8pm and Sunday 8am – 8pm. This first week they’ll be running a 2 for 1 coffee special (mention this article and you’ll get a free gluten-free muffin as well)! Still not convinced you need to check it out? Michael Avila’s backstory might convince you to give it a try.
The Bushwick Michael Avila grew up in would not have been the prime locale for an artisanal coffee destination like The Coffee Shop. “At the time it was a horrible neighborhood, and our mom worked hard and got us out of here,” Avila recalls. But some of Avila’s family remained in the neighborhood and he kept coming back. “It’s always been an artistic neighborhood, even then,” Avila says. “I’m happy to see it turn around. It’s interesting being hispanic here. I have a very progressive outlook–I think all of this is so good for everybody if they would get involved.” Avila hopes to bridge local communities at The Coffee Shop– housing local art and music, serving homemade, gluten-free baked goods, and holding Latin nights in the near future. “I’m giving this away to the artists of the community and New York,” Avila says.
A year ago, 31-year-old Avila was working at a jewelry store in Manhattan, a job he had held for ten years. But, after coming down with a bad flu and feeling obligated to go in to work anyway, something clicked for him, and he decided to turn his early and lasting passion for coffee into his occupation. Avila is Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Ecuadorian. “They’re big on coffee,” he says, “they’ll feed it to their kids even! I had it first when I was five years old, and it was a breakfast treat. It’s not about the caffeine. For me it’s a comfort food.” Avila’s jewelry customers told him he had to meet Giovanni Finotto, a fellow aficionado who recently opened I Am Coffee in the East Village. Finotto mentored Avila in selecting his custom blend–a mix of Panamanian, Sumatran, and Javan beans–roasted by Finotto’s brothers in Italy, and helped Avila find his high-end Italian equipment at good prices. With the Finotto brothers’ help, Avila has brought his dream to fruition in a little over six months.
Avila’s commitment to the artistic community that has defined Bushwick over the decades begins this week with an art opening Thursday night featuring artwork by Ocean Clark and a live DJ set by Edwin Ferrer from 7pm – 11pm, with beer and wine served on a donation basis. Clark’s work includes musician portraits and photographs of painted nude bodies, and his paintings will cover the walls of The Coffee Shop for a month. Then on Saturday, there will be live music by accordionist Erica Mancini from 6pm – 7pm with live comedy to follow. Like The Coffee Shop on Facebook to stay posted on upcoming events and drop by this week for their events or at minimum to collect on their opening deals!
The Coffee Shop is located at 203 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick,between Stockholm and Stanhope Streets. For now it’s hours are Monday through Friday 6am – 8pm, Saturday 7am – 8pm and Sunday 8am – 8pm.
UPDATE on October 2, 2014: After anti-Semitic statements appeared on The Coffee Shop’s Instagram account, we no longer wish to endorse this business. More info here.