The Flatiron District’s chic coffee shop and cafe Felix Roasting Co. heads downtown today with a new location in Soho, at 104 Greene Street, between Prince and Spring Streets.
For those who haven’t been, it’s important to know that Felix Roasting Co. is over-the-top, and that it’s trying to be. The coffee shop on Park Avenue South is a place where sourdough toast with avocado can cost as much as $12 — before adding smoked salmon for $3 more — and rose water spritzes are sipped in custom banquettes under vaulted 18-foot ceilings. It’s an experience that Time Out likened to being on the set of a Wes Anderson film, while founder Matt Moinian described it as “anti-Brooklyn,” by which he means the opposite of the minimalist, exposed brick wall aesthetic at many of the borough’s coffee shops.
In short, Felix Roasting Co. is the kind of coffee shop that New Yorkers love to love or love to hate, depending on who’s being asked. Yet despite everything, it also serves one of the city’s best cups of espresso, even if it comes served in a wine glass with tonic water.
For its second store in Soho, Moinian is bringing along many of the specialty drinks that turned his first New York coffee shop into a city-wide destination. Felix’s espresso tonic — made from tonic water, lemon zest, rosewater spray, Campari reduction, and three types of basil — will be on the menu, as will staples like cold brew and iced tea. The menu also includes a seasonal selection of lattes, house-made syrups, and specialty drinks. Past drinks at the Felix in the Flatiron have included a palo santo latte — the restaurant’s riff on the inescapable pumpkin spice latte — and a s’mores latte that’s smoked with hickory chips and infused with graham cracker milk. Other coffee shop staples, like nut and oat milks, are housemade and available on-tap for customers to add to their drinks.
For all its glamor, though, Felix is also one of the few places on Greene Street where someone can enjoy a luxury experience for less than five dollars, Moinian says. “We’re design-oriented, experience-oriented, and product-oriented, but above all we’re affordable,” he says. Felix is located steps from the Soho storefronts of designer brands like Dior, Tiffany’s, and Louis Vuitton, and lacks much of the stuffiness that can accompany with those brands. “Here, people can get a taste of that luxury experience for the cost of a $3 to $5 cup of coffee.”
Like the original Felix Roasting Co. on Park Avenue South, the new coffee shop’s indoor and outdoor dining rooms have been outfitted by designer Ken Fulk. The coffee shop’s interior includes custom banquettes, an archway entrance, 18-foot-tall ceilings, and a central glass chandelier that’s been imported from Italy. The outdoor dining area has also been designed by Fulk and consists of about 25 first-come first-serve seats, separating from Greene Street using planters and trees.
Felix Roasting Co. opened on Park Avenue South in September 2018, in a neighborhood already busy with popular coffee roasters and cafes, including Birch, Seven Grams, Stumptown, and Starbucks. In its short two-year tenure, the coffee shop grew into a city-wide destination for its elaborate drinks and decor. Having succeeded under those conditions once, Moinian, who also opened Soho’s chic Hotel Hugo, seems undaunted by the prospect of opening his next project in Soho, a neighborhood that’s been besieged by record-low tourist numbers due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re the only food and beverage on this block right now,” Moinian says of the new Greene Street coffee shop. “We built a community on Park Avenue South with the first Felix and we hope to do the same in Soho.”
Felix Roasting Co. is now open for takeout and outdoor dining Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.