Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thanks Joe.

If you are not a resident of New York's Upper East Side you generally only find yourself in that neighborhood for a few reasons. Visiting friends, doctor appointments and museums. This is not a dig at the UES. We New Yorkers are a provincial bunch and tend to stay in our own neighborhoods. We are happy to venture up to the UES because the friends, doctors and museums are all world class. Sadly, with a few exceptions, the UES food and drink scene is not. You venture uptown to visit your friends. They come downtown to have dinner with you.

I was recently at an appointment uptown and wanted a cup of coffee. Followers of this blog know I hoped to avoid going to a Starbucks and would not venture into a DD. A quick search revealed an outpost of the fine Joe : The Art Of Coffee. Joe has had three spots downtown for some time and is one of the fine independent coffee chains in NYC. Excellent coffee and a progressive ethos are two hallmarks of Joe. I was curious to see what a Joe's outpost on 75th and Lexington would look like. Any concessions to the neighborhood? Nope.

The UES Joe's is a small spot with a clean, minimalist decor. Four seats at the front window and a communal table for 10 people. A small coffee counter and two little nooks in back. It could be on the LES or Brooklyn. They even ask you to bus your own dishes, a novel idea uptown. The coffee is great, and I was struck by how friendly the staff is. They truly go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable.

Unless I am mistaken, Joe's is the first of the coffee culture purveyors to open on the UES. On their website Joe sells a poster by the artist Charrow that is a Coffee Map of Manhattan. As you study the poster, you notice that the UES does not have one spot listed. Time to update the poster.

I hope this is this the first of many independent coffee spots uptown, not just for visitors like me but for my friends who live uptown. Support your local coffee joint, people. It is nice to visit uptown. It is even better to have a reason to linger there.

Joe : The Art Of Coffee
1045 Lexington Avenue for other locations


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