Construction Workers Open New Cafe in Bed-Stuy

By Paul DeBenedetto on March 31, 2014 1:06pm 

Slideshow
 A new cafe, pizzeria-bodega, gym and realtor all recently opened in Bed-Stuy.
Openings and Closings in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A new cafe in Bed-Stuy is proving that if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself.

Fed up with a lack of coffee options in eastern Bed-Stuy, a group of construction workers decided to take matters into their own hands and open their own neighborhood cafe.

That cafe, Kava Shteeble, opens this week at 94 Ralph Ave., according to manager Yidy Brier, who also works as a contractor for shop owner Shragie Schwartz.

"We were a whole group of people who work around here and there was nowhere to get a cup of coffee," Brier said. "So we decided to open our own place."

The location was a complete gut renovation, turned around in two months by Samuel D. Cohen, who works in restoration.

Workers replaced the storefront's entire facade with glass, outfitted the shop with reclaimed wood and removed a drop ceiling and sheetrock to expose a tin ceiling and brick wall.

The bar is made of a staircase turned on its side.

The work was all based off of spur-of-the-moment ideas with materials salvaged from dumpsters and abandoned homes in the neighborhood, Cohen said.

"When we started working on the place we had no idea how it would turn out," he said. "It was inspiration on the spot."

The cafe offers coffee from Gowanus roasters Crop to Cup and will eventually offer breakfast pastries.

"We want to try to turn this into a cozy, comfortable place," Brier said.

Other Openings and Closings in Bed-Stuy:

Grab your groceries while you grab a slice. Sam's Pizza, at 486 DeKalb Ave., has reopened as a combination pizzeria-bodega. In addition to $1 slices, you can pick up your toiletries and small food and drink items to go.

Blink Fitness, at 1002 Gates Ave., has begun accepting members. The massive, two-story complex officially opens in May, but is signing up people for a special $1 fee until the gym's grand opening.

Aptsandlofts, a real estate firm at 306 Malcolm X Boulevard, finally opened its offices, making it the latest real estate venture to open in fast-growing eastern Bed-Stuy.

The brokerage, which referred to the neighborhood as "the new Williamsburg," made headlines in December after using Malcolm X as a selling point to hire employees for its office.

Aptsandlofts and its neighbor, developer Brookland Capital, will soon be joined by Halstead Property, a Manhattan brokerage opening in the next few months at 316 Stuyvesant Ave., according to The Real Deal.

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