Blackbird cafe owners are scrambling to open their first Brooklyn locations before the end of the year, as their landlord, the nation’s first and largest privately owned African-American owned business, tries to find another buyer.
In New York, it’s been hard to get people to patronize cafes, as it’s a black-owned business that’s been around for decades.
But as the Brooklyn coffee scene begins to grow, so too is the demand.
In March, Blackbird Coffee opened a cafe in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which was a step up from its previous location in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, and now has two more locations planned.
The Brooklyn cafe will feature an open bar, a coffee shop, and a cafe lounge, among other features.
“It’s about expanding the community, making the community a destination for everybody,” Blackbird co-owner and owner of the cafe, Joseph Banda, told The Hill.
“People have a feeling that Brooklyn is a very safe and inviting community, but in fact, there’s a lot of violence and drugs going on, so it’s hard to go to a cafe for a safe experience.”
Blackbird, which is owned by Banda’s father, Joseph, is one of only two African-owned coffee roasters in the nation.
It’s also the only one in Brooklyn.
Its first location, at 775 E. 38th Street, opened in 2009 and is located on the Upper East Side.
Banda is working on opening another Blackbird in Brooklyn, which will have a cafe bar and lounge, a café lounge, and open bar.
Blackbirds Brooklyn location will be located on East 38th St. In May, Banda opened a Blackbird Café in the East Village.
That location is on the Lower East Side, and it is now serving as a cafe, lounge, or café lounge.
At the Brooklyn cafe, Bana plans to feature a variety of cuisines, including African-inspired coffee and espresso, African-themed tea, and coffee.
It’s the first Brooklyn location to feature an African-centric menu.
This isn’t the first time that Banda has opened a black coffee shop in the city.
In 2013, he opened a Banda Coffee Shop on the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn’s Battery Park, which opened in 2017.
While Blackbird’s Brooklyn location is the first in New Jersey, it will be the first of two locations to open in the state.
Blackbird is also the first black-run business to open an Italian restaurant in New Orleans, as well as the first African-run cafe to open a Thai-inspired restaurant in Seattle.
Read more at the Hill.
Cafe Landwer in the Bronx, New York is open for business.
If you can’t wait for Blackbird, you can check out Cafe Landwer’s menu, which includes: A variety of African-influenced, fresh-made, and local dishes, as featured in their Instagram feed.
A vegan-friendly menu.
Blackbirds Blackbird Cafe is open weekdays, from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.
You can follow Blackbird on Instagram and Instagram, and Cafe Landwer on Facebook.
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