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Aussie Coffee Chain Bluestone Lane Opens Cafe in UES Church

By Shaye Weaver | July 22, 2015 4:28pm
 The new Upper East Side location is inside a church building.
Bluestone Lane Opens Sixth Shop
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Australian coffee chain Bluestone Lane opened its latest outpost inside a church on Fifth Avenue over the weekend.

The Church of the Heavenly Rest at 2 East 90th St. is leasing the space to the coffee roasters, which opened its doors on July 18.

General Manager Gianna Lott said the church's cathedral-like limestone arches make the location its most unique yet. The church, built in the 1920s by Louise Whitfield Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie's widow, is a New York City landmark.

"I think it's one of the most unique cafes in New York City, let alone in the United States," Lott said. "Not many can say they're located inside a church as beautiful as this one. We had an amazing canvas to work with. It's just grand."

Bluestone Lane is keeping its usual "collective menu," made up of non-processed foods like a watermelon salad, a "brekkie board" made of smashed avocado on toast with blueberry cardamom chia pudding, and a granola bowl with Greek yogurt, citrus curd and rainbow micro herbs.

Everything is made in-house, though Bluestone's coffee is roasted in Melbourne and shipped to its various stores, she said.

The majority of the shop's staff is Australian, adding to its authenticity, Lott added.

"New York City is populated by a lot of Australians," she said. "They say they're grateful to see an Aussie-run cafe because they know they're going to get a decadent cup of coffee."

As for the store's design, it was about "taking care of the little things" from the potted plants to the artwork and mirrors, Lott explained. Julia Sullivan of Caswell Design Group is the mastermind behind all Bluestone Lane's locations, with the new Upper East Side cafe accented with shades of blue and green.

Bluestone Lane has locations in Midtown East, the Financial District, Bryant Park, NoHo and the West Village.

The Fifth Avenue shop is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is expected to extend its hours once it gets its beer and wine license, Lott said.

"We want people to be relaxed and not rushed," she said. "Fifth Avenue is an area you can do that."