The recalculated red hotness of Red Hook came in the form of a Fall food and drink preview dedicated strictly to the neighborhood in last week’s Time Out, written up with an ersatz, vaguely Swedish alphabet meant to evoke IKEA label kookiness. Among the umlaut-heavy listings was one for Stumptown Coffee’s first New York store, which will reportedly open in the former heating and air conditioning place seen here, at 219 Van Brunt Street. Some time back, the old lettering on the storefront was unrelatedly and strategically repainted to memorialize its humble machine shop beginnings: It now reads “Eating and Art Conditioning.” It’s a funny welcome for a coffee shop known for taking good care of its beans, and equally for displaying works by local artists.
Duane Sorenson, owner of the Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Company, is opening up shop in Brooklyn sometime this fall. In Red Hook he’ll roast small batches of beans in Probat Roasters, and in early 2009 Stumptown will open its second New York location at the soon-to-open “grunge-modern” Ace Hotel (formerly the Breslin). What sets Stumptown apart from other beans is their “holy grail of coffee” style beans, their first-name-basis relationships with coffee growers, and special training Sorenson requires of his wholesale customers.
Stumptown coffee (or Stumpy’s) has a lot of fans, so a new shop one block from the Brooklyn waterfront might end up creating a sea change for New York coffee. Time will tell. Coffee made from Stumptown beans can already be found in a few locations, like Boerum Hill Food Co., Brooklyn Label, and Ninth Street Espresso.