For folks who can't decide whether to kick their morning off with an espresso or a Cabernet Sauvignon, there's River Coyote, the Lower East Side’s newest coffee and wine bar. The casual neighborhood spot, which opened last weekend, is the brainchild of owner Jay Nir, who was inspired by cafés in Amsterdam where patrons enjoy both beverages throughout the day and night.
The coffee is sourced from Nobletree Coffee’s farms in Brazil and roasted in Red Hook, and emerges through copper taps connected to under-the-counter espresso machines. The setup is intended to foster conversation between customers and baristas, who aren’t hidden behind countertop machines. Coffee drinks include $3 espressos and $5 nitros.
Starting as early as 11 a.m.,16 wines from Europe, South America, and the U.S.—eight reds and eight whites—are available on tap ($9-14 per glass). (Everything else is served starting at 8 a.m.) Also on draft are a handful of beers, ciders, and kombucha ($7-12), served in frosted mugs.
Nir told Bedford and Bowery he wanted to strike a balance between upscale and cheap, so he has the $7 beers and $3 espressos as well as nice wines. "I need to be a part of the new, a part of what’s coming, but at the same time I don’t want to be a part of that, let’s say, gentrification where we’re just targeting the million-dollar-condo owners," he told the website.
There are also bites: Daytime fare includes Dough doughnuts and cheeses from Saxelby Cheesemongers around the corner. In the evening, a dinner menu of small, shareable plates by chef Alberto Parra includes Branzino Crudo ($14), housemade gnocchi ($13), and hanger steak ($18).
The 125-year-old space has a cozy bar vibe and features an exposed brick wall, dark wood floors, and a minimalist white marble and ebony bar.
River Coyote is located at 121 Ludlow St. between Rivington and Delancey streets on the Lower East Side (212-477-0100, rivercoyoteles.com).