Toby’s Estate Doubles Capacity with New Bushwick Roastery Cafe

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“Toby’s Estate has opened its second production roastery in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, alongside a new cafe space with seating for 40, a daily brunch menu and a pourover bar outfitted by Saint Anthony Industries.

The New York arm of the Australian-born brand created by Sydney native Toby Smith in 2001 is co-owned by Amber Jacobsen and Adam Boyd, who first opened a Toby’s Estate roastery cafe in Williamsburg in 2012.

Since then, Toby’s Estate has opened four other retail bars throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, with a temporarily closed Flatiron location in Manhattan to be replaced this year by another Flatiron bar, according to the company.

At 8 Wilson Ave. in Bushwick, the new roastery will allow the company to double its current production capacity with the addition of a 22-kilo Probat roaster. The roastery will also be home to a new wholesale partnership initiative, through which cafes, restaurants or other wholesale partners can receive a more tailored coffee program.”

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In New York City, Restaurants Welcome Tables for One

Customers dine at Boqueria for lunch. The Spanish restaurant’s tapas, or grazing-style menu, appeals to solo patrons.

In New York City restaurants, the party-of-one is becoming a cause for celebration.

OpenTable, the online reservation platform, said that bookings by solo diners at restaurants in the city jumped by 80% from 2014 to 2018. And while OpenTable said those parties-of-one represent a very small slice of overall bookings, some restaurants said that business from solo diners can now account for up to 10% of their sales.

Even on Valentine’s Day, the most couple-oriented dining occasion of the year, New York restaurants are making room for patrons dining alone. OpenTable said that Valentine’s Day solo reservations in 2018 increased by 33% over the previous year. And perhaps for good reason: Restaurants said solo customers represent the ideal, as they are truly there for the food and experience rather than the social occasion.

“The way we approach it is that when we have a solo diner, it’s more of an honor than anyone else,” said Andrew Kuhl, the dining-room manager at Eleven Madison Park, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

Restaurants are doing their part to encourage such business. At such establishments as L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant in the West Village, and Odo, a Japanese spot in the Flatiron District, solo diners are given a free offering—say, a small serving of an off-menu item or a glass of sparkling wine. And on Valentine’s Day, some restaurants said they make an extra effort to welcome the solo crowd. For example, at Jones Wood Foundry, a food-driven pub on the Upper East Side, a communal table is set aside for party-of-one diners.

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WeWork Ventures into Coffee Retail with Bluestone Lane Partnership

WeWork coffee bar

“The popular co-working and office space provider WeWork today unveiled Made by We, a public retail concept that includes a full cafe from New York-based and self-described “Australian-inspired” coffee chain Bluestone Lane.

Located at 902 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron district, the Bluestone Lane bar stands at the center of the new concept from WeWork umbrella company The We Company, which signaled an intention to open more retail locations in the future.

While the Made by We location includes 100 bookable individual workspaces and meeting spaces for groups, it varies from other WeWork locations in that a subscription or booking is not required to enter.

In addition to Bluestone Lane, there are other vendors within the retail space offering items like snacks, apparel and digital accessories. Bluestone Lane said it is including its full extensive coffee and espresso drinks menu, along with its freshly prepared toasts, and grab-and-go items including gluten-free pastries from Husk Bakeshop.”

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Flatiron Plaza Food & Beverage Kiosk RFPs

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The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership (BID) is seeking proposals from qualified firms to manage and operate an outdoor food or beverage kiosk (“Kiosk”) in the Flatiron North Public Plaza, located at 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue, and the Flatiron South Public Plaza, located on Broadway between 22nd and 23rd Streets, adjacent the famed Flatiron Building.

Created by the by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2008, the Flatiron Public Plazas have become town squares, where countless residents, employees in the neighborhood, and visitors from around the world converge each day. The BID has a concession license agreement with DOT for the operation, management, and maintenance of the Plazas which allows for the operation and management of subconcession(s).

It is the goal of the BID to draw customers to a successfully-branded food or beverage kiosk that is successful and enhances the atmosphere and experience of the Flatiron Public Plazas and this vibrant neighborhood.

A nonmandatory pre-bid conference will be held on Thursday, January 24th at 10 am at the office of the Flatiron BID (27 West 24th Street, Suite 800B). The pre-bid conference will include a site visit to the Flatiron Public Plazas. Questions related to the RFPs should be submitted in writing to the BID no later than Friday, February 1st at 5 pm. All proposals are due by 5 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019.

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