Abraço, Bespoke Coffee in the East Village
One morning at my local, Piccino, I inquired where Jamie was. “He moved to New York,” was the reply. I was dismayed, SF had lost a prodigal barista and a good soul. Fast-forward a year, and by complete chance I walk into this tiny place, Abraço Espresso (7th street @ 1st Ave) and there was my friend! He and his business partners (also San Francisco expats) have brought ristretto perfection to the East Village.
We were greeted like old friends, crowded into the tiny space between the door and the bar; which evoked the Linden kiosk in Hayes Valley with its combination of walnut and fogged plexiglass, stainless steel and the hulking Marzocco.
We stayed for an hour and a half, chatting with Jamie’s business partners, sampling the food (and of course the divine espresso). Took photos and met new friends, got directions to a haberdashery and enjoyed the warmth of the space.
Abraço doesn’t have decaf or soy milk (they make their own almond milk from scratch for the dairy-averse). There’s no wi-fi or MP3s being pumped into the air. The music comes from an LP, the turntable perched atop a cage shelf already crammed into the impossibly tiny, but well-laid out space. Nothing feels out of place, object, patron or otherwise.
The neon sign that’s visible through the window from 1st ave: