After a month off, Everyman Espresso reopens on East 13th Street tomorrow with a fresh new look and a brand spankin’ new bar.
According to manager Sam Lewontin, the renovations were badly needed: the old bar was so cramped that two baristas couldn’t stand comfortably behind it at the same time. The new one will be graced by a custom-made espresso machine, being shipped in from Florence, that will sit low on the bar so baristas can talk shop with latte lovers. (Lewontin, you’ll recall, has a lot of shop to talk.)
Originally, owner Sam Penix had hoped to smack a decal of Everyman’s logo on the machine, but that logo, of course, is the subject of a trademark infringement lawsuit that Penix says is currently at a standstill, since the State has yet to directly ask for a specified amount of settlement money.
As you can see in the above photo, the shop is now outfitted with a colorful wall mosaic and a wooden ceiling, but it won’t have a traditional chalkboard menu. Since opening its SoHo shop, Everyman has done away with menus to encourage customers to ask about their coffee.
“I’ll never hang another menu again,” said Lewontin, who also mentioned that customers will no longer have the option of adding their own condiments to drinks. “It’s part of service,” he said, noting many customers accidentally add too much milk and often need help fixing their proportions anyway.
Another carryover from the SoHo shop will be a price bump of about 50 to 75 cents on all coffee drinks, which Penix admits he’s a little nervous about. “The price increase isn’t about gouging people,” he said. “It gives me more breathing room for running my shop and giving better service. I want to give people the hope of being baristas and staying in the service industry.”
Either way, he’s confident his regulars will return. “The neighborhood is starving for us,” said Penix. “They miss us.”