Where to Camp Out With Your Laptop in the Village

By Danielle Tcholakian on April 22, 2014 6:49am 

Slideshow
 Even with neighborhood favorite 'sNice closing, there are still plenty of places in the Village for laptop-toting coffee shop devotees.
Laptop Hotspots in the Village
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WEST VILLAGE — When 'sNice cafe closes its Eighth Avenue location on Friday, regulars won't just miss the smoked tofu wraps — they'll also lose a friendly spot to set up their laptops.

Therese Dizon, a New School student who frequents 'sNice, said there are few cafes that welcome students who want to camp out for hours to write papers and do their homework.

"It's hard to find places like this that make people like us feel comfortable," she said. "I just fell in love with this place."

Marc Auerback, 43, said he's been coming to 'sNice to get work done for the past seven years — and now he's going to move to a more formal co-working space called Wix Lounge on 23rd Street. The new spot is free but it doesn't have the same vegan food selection and relaxed vibe of 'sNice, Auerback said, adding that he's sad to see another Village cafe close its doors.

"There's not many independent ones left," he said.

DNAinfo New York rounded up some of the remaining laptop-friendly options near 'sNice:

Think Coffee

73 Eighth Ave., between 13th and 14th streets

Open weekdays 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., weekends 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Think is the most spacious of the 'sNice alternatives, though often packed with java junkies using the coffee shop's free wireless Internet. Space tends to free up early in the morning and later in the evening, regulars said.

Grounded

28 Jane St.

Open daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Grounded, also just a block or so away from 'sNice though in the opposite direction of Think Coffee, will appeal to 'sNice's health-conscious clientele, as well as those seeking meals rather than cafe pastries.

All of Grounded's coffees and teas are organic, and their sandwiches, ranging in price from $7 to $9, include "The Rupert," with corned beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing.

The cafe is packed with trees and hanging plants, along with laptop users taking advantage of the free wireless Internet, though a posted sign indicates an hour-and-a-half time limit.

An employee who requested not to be named said that rule is rarely enforced.

"If we see people walking out because it's too crowded and there's nowhere to sit, we may make an announcement," the employee said.

Roasting Plant

75 Greenwich Ave.

Open daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The recently opened coffee shop is low on food and space, but ideal for coffee connoisseurs. Customers can taste up to four varieties of coffee, served by knowledgeable but unpretentious baristas.

Roasting Plant offers free wireless, but seating is limited. 

O Cafe

482 Sixth Ave. near West 12th Street

Open Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

O Cafe has free wireless and a staff that is not bothered by people who stay for several hours, despite the relatively small size of the space.

It primarily offers baked goods with a small sandwich selection, all under $7. 

Outlets are accessible from a few seats. O's major disadvantage is that it lacks a restroom for customers — which may be why the staff doesn't feel the need to enforce a time limit for laptop users.

Joe

141 Waverly Place

Open weekdays 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekends 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Joe has no wireless Internet — but for people looking to get work done without distractions, that could be a plus.

Other than the lack of Internet, Joe is a great spot for the laptop-toting crowd, with accessible outlets and plenty of seating despite the relatively small space, including two well-placed benches on the sidewalk.

Joe also has some good snacks for 'sNice's vegan devotees, including a vegan salted chocolate chip cookie that draws non-vegans to the coffee shop, too, staff said.

Whynot

14 Christopher St.

Open Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to midnight.

Coffee shop by day, wine and beer bar by night, Whynot is connected to a below-ground jazz bar. Cafe staff play records all day and offer a wide variety of coffee drinks and a small selection of baked goods and sandwiches.

Whynot keeps the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows open in warmer weather, and can get so packed that the benches outside are full. But when there is room, it's a haven for those seeking free wireless — and alcoholic alternatives to coffee. There's no time limit, but a posted sign says that after 8 p.m., customers must make a minimum purchase of $10 to hang out at any of the tables or the cushy couches in the back.

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