In an Empty West Village, A Lone Standout Indie Coffee Shop Slings Barista-Made Java


When wandering my neighborhood of the West Village, I sometimes think that it has one of the largest concentrations of coffee shops in the city, numbering over a dozen. Sure, there are big chains like Bluestone Lane and Starbucks, but these are in the minority. The neighborhood’s fabric is composed of indie coffee shops that either stand alone, or are links in small local chains.

When the epidemic started ramping up, say around March 10 or so, many of these coffee shops remained resolutely open, especially the local ones, even after rules prohibited sitting down or congregating in them. But gradually in the latter part of the month, these places went down one-by-one.

The Elk on West 10th Street was one of the first to go, with Cafe Panino Much Gusto on Hudson Street not far behind. Even the late-night Think Coffee up near 14th Street on Eight Avenue, a pit stop for revelers returning form Meatpacking clubs, had closed by the last week in March.

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