Third wave coffee bars are no longer the ultimate symbol of status, signaling the inevitable trajectory of upwardly mobile neighborhoods. Nowadays, any district worth its soaring rent increases must house an ostensibly Australian café as well, offering wheat free muffins and cappuccinos alongside avocado smashes and flat whites.
So it only stands to reason that DUMBO—perennially the poshest, and home to the most expensive real-estate of all Brooklyn precincts—should boast a branch of the most elite Aussie brand of all, Bluestone Lane; which crouches comfortably at the base of 100-million dollar “tech hub” transformation of the Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower compound. And until other food and drink-focused tenants fill in around it (Untamed Sandwiches, Dig Inn, Taco DUMBO and Glaze Teriyaki are still unrealized shells), Bluestone is tasked with single-handedly sustaining the denizens of WeWork and Etsy, whose global headquarters are situated directly across the street.
In fact, it’s able to catch them coming and going; as it operates from eight a.m. in the morning until nine o’ clock at night. The only branch of Bluestone with a full-on liquor license, many after-work bevvies require the partnership of both bartender and barista; the latter pulls shots of Melbourne’s own Niccolo espresso for The Kremlin (a vodka and Kahlua martini, capped with a trio of burnished beans), as well as Orange is the New Black, which is layered with Godiva chocolate liqueur, Grand Marnier and intricately patterned foam. A streamlined, Japanese-style slow drip coffee maker is employed for the Take Your Best Shot, which combines the company’s exclusive Flagstaff blend with a jigger of whiskey and a dollop of milk.
Yet the non-coffee cocktail selection is just as deep. Comprised of brunch-friendly basics such as Bellinis, Sangrias, Aperol Spritzes and Bloody Mary’s—an ideal accompaniment to avocado toast—it also incorporates refurbished classics à la the Tito Palmer, made with Tito’s vodka, simple syrup and fresh iced green tea. Then there’s the Signature Old Fashioned, which artfully marries the two lists, featuring Bulleit rye infused with roasted coffee beans.
It’s an especially effective delivery system for a one-two punch of caffeine and alcohol—which means that tech workers should watch their step when navigating DUMBO’s shabby chic cobblestone streets.
55 Prospect St., DUMBO
All photos by Liz Clayman