Coffee Time: 3 Cool Cafes For Next Time You're In The City

Coffee, coffee everywhere! So many places for a cuppa joe in NYC, maybe that's one reason why 'they' call it the city that never sleeps? Nicknames and sleep disturbances aside (For the record, I can drink an espresso at 9 or 10pm and fall into a sound sleep an hour or two later.), yesterday we were in Soho for a blog conference (You can spot the natives because they're the ones suited up in sneakers, raincoats, and umbrellas. Only out-of-towners are trying to channel street style stars, especially on rainy, gray days.) and had the opportunity to scope out a few of the kewl-est ones, cafes you'll def want to frequent on your excursion there. So, let's explore!

Birch 

Not to be confused with the award winning Downtown PVD (RI) restaurant, Birch Coffee has recently opened an outpost in Soho and we popped over yesterday for a bit. Our drinks - an iced and a hot chocolate - were smooth and delicious and we even had a muffin (It's ok, really, you'll walk off any carbs in the course of an afternoon.), but be warned, there's absolutely no WiFi. In fact, they actually encourage you to sit and talk to someone else while you're there, instead of gazing into your phone and scrolling on repeat. (The NEXT big trend in coffeehouses? Stay tuned.) Also, the neat rustic aesthetic, perfect for pics, reminded me a lot of another gem back home - The Shop in Fox Point. 

Happy Bones

A popular haunt in the area that the locals swear by is a small spot that you might miss called Happy Bones. The interior is minimal (Think white brick and subtle lighting.), but there is this cozy undercurrent running thru. You can buy one of their t-shirts (Newsflash: Everything 80's is back again in a ginormous way, including t-shirts with names or slogans worn under blazers.) or park yourself and indulge in hot or cold drinks until you are sufficiently buzzed in this coffee bar. Our drinks were made quickly and we probably could have hung out for at least another half hour to an hour, but it was on to the next location...

Cha Cha Matcha

Cha Cha Matcha (Uh, that name!) was hopping when we showed up to sample the menu. At this point, we were getting pretty coffee'd out, so we decided to try their matcha latta (Matcha is supposed to make you feel so darn good that you'll put every damn health guru to shame with your vitality. You can get a java jolt here as well tho.) instead. Our service was fast and no fuss and we were lucky enough to score a table for two during an obvious late afternoon rush. While we were waiting, and congratualating ourselves on our good fortune, we had a chance to admire the kitschy pink and green decor (Think retro 60's inspired, check out their Insta for more of their aesthetic) and take some snaps. 

Team Patty J

 

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com

Stay Shady: 6 Reasons To Leave Your Sunglasses On

Yesterday, we did some shopping for sunnies* because everyone needs a sunglass wardrobe. It also got us thinking about the many ways they make our lives so much better. Sure they shield eyes from harsh glare and harmful rays, but have you ever considered these advantages and benefits:

  1. They help hide our brows while we're growing them out to look like Olivia Culpo's. (She has the best eyebrows!)
  2. Forget fried foods or Gatorade, putting them on somehow makes a hangover less painful. #magic
  3. It's easier to look like we care during a conversation when we're wearing them. (They camouflage eye rolling really well.)
  4. Next best thing to makeup if we're just not feelin it. Oversized ones and lipgloss are our besties then. 
  5. Always look pretty in pics, especially selfies. Don't believe us? Check out the accounts of Insta Superstars like Something Navy, Sincerely Jules, and Egg Canvas
  6. Save money on fancy (also super pricey) eye creams and spend less time smoothing out eye crinkles with Facetune (Yup, there's an app for that!) because less squinting means a lot fewer wrinkles - If they're big enough, and you always have to go BIG! 

Team Patty J

 

*From the archives: This post originally appeared on PattyJ.com in June of 2016.

The Best Tap Room You Haven't Heard Of Yet

Last October I was lucky enough to get a personal tour of Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket. It's a new partner brewery with more than strong ties to Narragansett Beer. Since then, the amount of work that has gone into the facility is vast. As a partner brewery, the entire idea behind IBG was and is still to boost the production of medium to large breweries in the area. 

This weekend "The Guild" had a soft open of its brand new tap room, a great behind the scenes atmosphere bar open Thursday through Sunday. Standing feet from the enormous stainless steel tanks, at the bar, you can enjoy one of four on tap brews that are all solid representations of brewing here. That number will evolve into an eight tap system very soon, giving an even wider range of IBG’s capabilities.

Having seen the before and experiencing the after is really an exciting experience. Watching the development of an environment into a neighborhood hangout is something you don’t get to be a part of frequently. Now is the time to check out The Guild and secure your place as a regular because it will quickly become the go-to tap room/bar in town. With an atmosphere I haven’t quite seen yet and a quality of beer that is hard to come by in the area, I can see The Guild will absolutely be one of my favorite spots to hang out.

The on-tap selections will be rotating soon, as is the norm in most tasting rooms. This weekend happened to be heavy on IPAs. While there, I was able to try three separate beers: It’s About Time, an American IPA from Narragansett. Brewed in celebration of the famed Rhode Island born beer coming back to the Ocean State. It’s the first ‘Gansett brewed in RI in 35 years. With a nice floral tone and balanced hops profile, this beer starts hoppy and finishes off smooth. The Temple, yet another in the Lovecraft series of beers, had a comfortable amount of hops which finished off a bit sharp. Even though it’s not technically a double IPA, if you’re a fan of those, you’ll definitely dig this one. Finally I couldn’t leave without trying Isle Brewers Guild Test Batch #1. This West Coast style IPA ran high on the hops and high on the ABV. Even though I’m typically a port or stout guy, this one was clean and very well made.

To recap, if you’re someone who loves “local” vibes or the “next big thing”, head over to The Guildri.com for hours and directions. The staff and owners are such genuine people that it’s hard not to feel at home. I say this because I’ve been in the industry for awhile now and I know how to tell the genuine people from the just greedy ones. Keep in mind this place is still growing, so start going now and I promise you will watch The Guild get packed over the coming summer months.

Thanks for reading!

+      Colin Carlton

 

More About Him

Colin is a local author and freelance writer.

For more from him, please check out:

colincarlton.com

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Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Colin