Three neon signs on the front window say it all—”Damn Fine Coffee.”
Everyman Espresso, a bright and cheerful new coffee shop, opened up Wednesday morning in the former Venticinque Cafe space at 162 5th Avenue (between Douglass and DeGraw Streets). This is a welcome addition as the neighborhood recently lost the Gorilla Coffee outpost that was located at 97 5th Avenue (at Park Place) for 15 years.
This is the third Everyman Espresso location for co-owners Sam Lewotin and Sam Penix, who also have shops in the East Village and Soho. When asked why they decided to make the leap into Brooklyn, Lewotin says, “We’d been looking to expand our scope. We were looking to get into some neighborhoods that we weren’t already close to…and we just like this neighborhood a lot.” A resident of Fort Greene, Lewotin adds, “There’s a lot of wonderful people around here and we get the sense walking around the neighborhood [that] these are our people, and these are the people we want to make coffee for.”
Lewotin says they are already seeing some familiar faces, even though they are across the East River from their two other locations. “There is a surprising amount of overlap. We have a number of people who live around here and commute into the city and work in the vicinity of one of our other shops. So we’ve been seeing a lot of regulars from the other shops.”
Everyman Espresso opened its first location about 10 years ago in the lobby of the Classic Stage Company in the East Village. After one of the original owners decided that the coffee business was not for him Penix took the reigns in 2008. Lewotin joined Everyman about 6 years ago.
Serving coffee from Counter Culture and pastries from Roberta’s, Lewotin says their goal is to “serve the best coffee…serve the best tea…serve the best pastry, the best of everything—and just be nice about it.” He adds, “We just want to serve awesome things and welcome people in and create a space where people feel like they’re part of the family…. This is really a wonderful, very close-knit community and we’re really excited to be able to get involved with that.”
His message to his new neighbors is simple: “Come on down. We’d love to make a cup of coffee for you and get to know you and welcome you to the Everyman family.”