The small but powerful Oslo Coffeehop on Williamsburg's Southside has risen from the ashes today, more than four months after fire tore through the popular caffeine peddler. Owner J.D. Merget confirms the Bedford Avenue location is open for business this morning—sort of. "Everything's free," a triumphant Merget told us last night, before correcting himself. "Actually, not everything—just the coffee!" The coffeeshop will close early today, at 2 p.m., and reopen with regular hours tomorrow.
In the wake of the fire, Merget—who owns the Oslo roasting company that provides the beans to his three locations (there is another Oslo in Williamsburg and one on the Upper East Side)—wasn't immediately sure he'd rebuild. But in an interview with DNAinfo, he said that a groundswell of support from the local community convinced him to keep the 7-year-old location. A fundraiser at nearby bar Lucky Dog raised money for his out-of-work employees, and Merget says, "As much as I've had a hard time with the neighborhood's growth and changes, it reconnected me with my neighbors."
The finishing touches are still being put on the place—Merget still has to get some more chairs and a new table for the center of the room to hold all the unwanted New York Times sections, but the coffee and espresso is flowing freely once again. In fact, one thing that hasn't changed is the espresso machine, which survived the fire intact. (And if you're wondering how the fire got started in the first place, one source tells us it started in the duct-work at the laundromat next door.)
Oslo is located at 328 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn