MIDTOWN — A duo of 24-year-olds are launching their coffee shop on the Lower East Side with some decidedly old-school touches — including no internet for customers.
Emily Conley, a native New Yorker who opened Grit N Glory in November with her friend, Veronica Cano, hopes that the space at 186 Orchard St., with its industrial concrete floors, communal spaces and lack of WiFi, will recall a time when rock 'n' roll and local artists ruled the neighborhood.
"I think that coffee shops have really been a center for ideas and conversation," said Conley.
"We were old enough to see the downfall of [the old Lower East Side]," Conley said of the early 1990s when a community of artists and unique boutiques were pushed out of the neighborhood.
Grit N Glory will use a series of communal tables with board games to start conversations between coffee drinkers. On Tuesday night the coffee shop welcomed new customers with a 15 percent discount off purchases, a live drawing presentation from artist Kirsten Flaherty, music from DJ Maxwell 57 and live tattooing from Mina Aoki.
As Conley and Cano grew up, they got tired of chain stores moving in to their neighborhood and decided to create a store that would encourage the "old" 'hood to thrive again.
“I think there is an idea that a kid can come to New York with whatever artistic skill they have and make it here," said Conley. "We are trying to create a community and conversation."
Along with the flow of Stumptown Coffee and pastries from SCRATCHbread, customers can browse a selection of jewelry, clothing, products and artwork that supports local and national artists.
Grit N Glory will hold its launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6:30pm at 186 Orchard Street.