>> Thursday, December 4, 2014
RED PIPE CAFE
71-60 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
I've lived in Forest Hills for the better part of ten years. But I'm from Manhattan and I do miss it. That said, these days, it's sometimes easy to forget that I'm not there. In the past few years, Forest Hills has gotten wine bars, cocktails and craft beer, enough taxis to make midtown blush, concerts, expensive restaurants with pedigree chefs, brand-new luxury buildings, bakeries, hotter girls... Now, finally, our own independent cutesy coffee house. As soon as the 71st/Continental subway stop gets an art installation, this actually will be a Manhattan neighborhood.
Like I said. We now have an independent coffee place. Red Pipe Café (so-called because of the red pipe outside of the building that cannot be removed as per city regulations) on Austin Street. Housed in what used to be the hippyish Stoa Jewelry, you can wander in, get an organic café au lait, pop open your laptop and use the free wifi to write a restaurant review or wade through your emails while drinking your brewed goodness from a (thank Christ) non-paper cup.
It's not a huge space, and never have I seen all the tables taken, but I don't see that lasting for long. It's a shame that there aren't any cushy chairs to sink into with a book, but I make that complaint about every coffee shop I've been to since college. I know I know. This isn't my living room or the library. Still. A few cushy chairs and a fake fireplace would be awesome. I love the exposed brick and the dim lighting and the artwork (which they need more of), but there are some growing pain issues at least as of this writing in early December. No plates for your food, for one. Boxes of packing peanuts stacked up in the open for another. There's a piano taking up a lot of space on one wall that, during the day, looks like it was in someone's apartment until they decided that a coffee shop is cheaper than a mini-storage unit. (At night, it actually gets used for live jazz.)
A very welcome addition to the neighborhood, Red Pipe serves, in addition to organic coffees and teas, vegan pastries and cookies, sandwiches, juices, and smoothies. They're even applying for a wine and beer license. When that happens, I'm curious to see the changes. Maybe there'll be a poetry reading or art gallery night or something chill to mirror the jazzy music that they play.
Expect to spend about $5 for your large espresso-based beverage of choice. $2 for the small coffee.
The boxes are gone. The sofas are back.