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Café for the grumpies

It’s easy to understand why so many people have fallen in love with Café Grumpy, a gem in the midst of Midtown’s chaos. The open setup and wooden school table-style seating offers rustic comfort and an inviting atmosphere. Before you head to the counter to place your order, you notice the paintings decorating the walls. The artwork is done by local artists, and some pieces are available for purchase. Your eyes fall on a sign that reads “No Internet,” and for a moment you consider finding another spot for coffee. But then you realize you might actually enjoy unplugging, if only for a moment.

You head to the counter, where Jessica greets you and takes your order, but not before flashing a warm smile and asking if you’d like a scone to accompany your coffee. Katherine — the manager — asks what you’re having, and scoots off to prepare your order. While you’re waiting, she describes the cafe’s direct relationship with the coffee farmers and hands you a postcard that tells you a bit about the source of the beans, whether it’s in Guatemala, Honduras or Ethiopia. As you turn to grab a seat, Jessica says a lot of writers, artists, and creatives come to the café to enjoy real conversations and not iMessage. You smile and nod, grab your latte and head toward the table. You reach into your bag and pull out your Moleskine. It’s been too long.

In a busy city like New York, everyone deserves their little secret hideaway where they can go for a much-needed moment to themselves. For Cafe Grumpy customer Patty, the shop on 39th and Broadway is her secret getaway. When Patty walks into the shop she’s transported back to her time living in Belgium. The café is her little place to enjoy the simplicities of life. She said she visits the café for some time alone with a good book and a good cup of coffee. Occasionally she’ll invite a friend or two, but for the most part Café Grumpy is her spot, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.


Photos by Jorge Quinteros, an avid photographer based in Brooklyn. Visit his website here!

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