This time last year, the Coffee Spot made its first tentative steps into Brooklyn and the first place I published was the then Daily Press on Havemeyer Street, an oasis of calm at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge. I was therefore rather distressed to discover later that year that it seemed to have disappeared, both from the map (well, Google Maps) and from social media. I asked around, but didn’t find out very much, so on my return last month, I was determined to track it down and see what had happened for myself.
It was with some trepidation that I walked along Havemeyer Street, but I needn’t have worried. There was what I knew as Daily Press, in the same old spot, looking remarkably similar to how it had a year before. The name had changed, to Northerly Coffee, but stepping inside, everything looked very familiarly, right down to the sleek La Marzocco Strada on the counter at the back. It was the same warm, welcoming oasis of calm that I remember. There have been changes, however, and I was fortunate enough to run into Matt, the owner, who, over coffee, filled me in on the full story.
You can see what he told me after the gallery.
Since the layout, décor and seating really haven’t changed since I was first visited in 2015, I’ll leave you to read my original piece for all the details. The main changes, other than the name, have come at the business end of Northerly, which now uses Stumptown rather than Irving Farm, the result, Matt told me, of an extensive series of cuppings with various roasters. This means that the ubiquitous Hairbender blend is on espresso, while there’s a single-origin (from Finca El Injerto, a family-owned farm in La Libertad, in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala) as a permanent fixture on the bulk-brewer. The other (coffee) change is that Northerly now does induvial pour-overs offering one or two single-origins using the Bee House dripper (this was just being rolled out while I was there).
The other major change has come on the food front. Northerly still serves the same range of all-day breakfast burritos, but Matt has significantly expanded the rest of the food offering, bringing in a chef to work the kitchen until one o’clock on weekdays and three at the weekends. Looking at the menu, which included grits and avocado toast, I began to wish I’d turned up earlier than two o’clock!
As it was, I had to settle for a breakfast burrito, which made for a very tasty and filling late lunch. I paired this with a cortado, the Hairbender always going well with milk. Afterwards, while chatting with Matt about the last 12 months, I tried the bulk-brew, a solid, fruity cup, which matured as it cooled.
Matt was originally a carpenter and his involvement in coffee was, as far as I could tell, largely accidental. Daily Press started off on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn, Matt working on fitting out the original store. He then went into partnership with Daily Press’ owner, opening what is now Northerly in 2013 (Matt did all the amazing woodwork that you can see in the store).
Although both under the Daily Press name, this was always very much Matt’s coffee shop, the original being very much his business partner’s. In 2015 they decided that they would go their separate ways so that each could focus on his own business. After an interim period of being 181 Espresso (since it was on 181 Havemeyer Street), Matt settled on the name Northerly and hasn’t looked back since!
|181 HAVEMEYER STREET • BROOKLYN • NY 11211 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Stumptown (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Benches, Bench outside|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 17:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 17:00||Payment||Cards ($5 minimum) + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Yes|
|Sunday||08:00 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 6th March 2015|
|Update: 9th February 2016|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, check out the rest of New York City’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to New York City.
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