The New Green Cafes
Florists and garden shops across the country are becoming neighborhood hangouts that serve single-origin coffees, microbrews, small-batch bourbons, homemade pies and even full-fledged, local-minded meals.
© John Armich
At this new 11-acre garden store in the Philadelphia suburb of Glen Mills, the masterminds behind Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters have built a café in a vintage greenhouse. It serves breakfast and lunch, plus dinner once a month—dishes like an asparagus-prosciutto frittata and gnocchi with chicken ragù. “We want to be a year-round destination, not just a place to go to during planting season,” says Terrain executive John Kinsella.
Courtesy Epoch Floral & Pie
Mike Hines, co-owner of the modernist Chicago floral shop Epoch (a supplier to top restaurants like Nomi), loves pie—so much so that Epoch now sells homemade desserts at an in-store café called Pie. Shoppers can eat in Epoch’s 5,000-square-foot garden or have the pies delivered locally.
© James Beeler 2008
At her tiny Manhattan flowers-and-housewares shop, Sarah Tallman installed a tongue-in-cheek floral “bar” complete with bar stools. Customers can pick individual stems and have them arranged in their own vase or in one for sale in the store—a handblown glass pitcher from Juliska, for instance.
© Marion Brenner
Coffee gives people a reason to come in even when they’re not looking for plants,” says Flora Grubb (left), who put a Ritual Coffee Roasters café in her eponymous San Francisco garden store. Customers can buy baked goods as well as hardy urban plants, such as succulents.
Courtesy Flatbush Gardener
At this new flower shop–cum–bar in Brooklyn, NY’s Ditmas Park neighborhood, owners Justin Israelson and Gary and Allison Jonas sell hand-tied bouquets and artisanal pottery by day and pour small-batch bourbons, microbrews and barley wine by night. Along with a daily small-plates menu—the Jonases also run the popular Ditmas Park restaurants the Farm on Adderley and Pomme de Terre—Sycamore offers a free jukebox loaded with Neil Diamond and Marvin Gaye 45s.
Manhattan florist Zezé, known for his romantic, Old World arrangements, is passionate about food. So, after moving his floral shop to a new location around the corner, he converted the original space (a former carriage house) into Zé Café. Le Cirque veterans Roberto Bellissimo and his wife, Monica, make everything from scratch, including the brioche and the pastas.