These days there are so many new coffee shops in Harlem, it can be hard to stand out. But Common Good Harlem, a cafe set to open in July on Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 149th Street, has a sure plan: it will be the first spot in Upper Manhattan to serve not just La Colombe coffee, but its deliciously creamy draft lattes as well.
Karina Paz-Oshiro, who owns the shop with her husband, Dalen Oshiro, says they decided to use the Philadelphia roaster's beans after being dazzled by its cool outpost in Fishtown (a section of Philly commonly compared to Bushwick). They promptly ordered the special machine that makes the draft lattes–a tap, basically–to bring the super frothy, ice-cold espresso-and-milk concoctions to Harlem.
Photo: Common Good Harlem via Instagram
With the goal of being as inclusive as possible, Common Good Harlem will also offer a basic cup of La Colombe coffee for $1.50 (the ones in the local bodegas go for $1). Paz-Oshiro, who lives around the corner with her husband and their young son, says she wants the space to feel homey and intends to make some of the food herself, including blueberry corn muffins, avocado toast, and overnight oats.
There are big plans for the evenings as well. The corner cafe, whose decor she describes as "rustic, industrial, worn-in" (one wall is exposed brick), will double as an event space hosting everything from birthday parties and baby showers to flower-arranging and candle-making classes. As a former event planner, Paz-Oshiro is clearly very excited by the endless possibilities come 4pm. "That's more my thing," she admits with a smile.