Deep in Chinatown, the team behind Forgtmenot and Kiki’s Greek bistro is putting down new roots–today they open Little Chair, a homey coffee shop on Monroe Street, under the Manhattan Bridge. The entrance is decorated with hanging greenery and potted flowers, like a rustic farm stand in the country. They also have a brand-new Mediterranean restaurant in the works next door.
When you live in a tiny apartment, the city tends to become your living room–and Little Chair literally looks like it belongs in someone’s cluttered suburban house, with a couch and TV, plus mismatched tables and chairs that would feel at home in your kitchen, bookcases for your browsing pleasure, an old organ and funky knick-knacks. The little chairs hanging from the ceiling are vintage-hunting finds that inspired the name.
Though Little Chair is one of the first hipster coffee shops in the area, the Forgtmenot family has a knack for chill vibes and creating lived-in space that locals love–none of the slick pretentiousness of mustachioed baristas or marble counters here (though the coffee beans do come from La Colombe). Pull up a chair and get to know your neighbors. “This is a working-class neighborhood and we want to keep things cheap, ” said Andy Baum, who will run Little Chair. “We’re trying to create a place for everybody– a place where people feel comfortable to come hang out and have coffee and have small bites.”
To that end, everything on the menu is less than $10. There’s a mix, from cheap drip coffee, fancy espresso and cold brew, along with small sandwiches, salads, bagels and $3 ham-and-cheese croissants, plus a few Greek specialities. And that TV isn’t just for show– plenty of Forgtmenot regulars are soccer fans and Baum hinted that you can likely count on this establishment for Eurocup and Copa Americana viewing. So pull up a chair and grab a remote– no need to start apartment searching out in Queens when you’ve got a hangout down the street.
Little Chair, 47 Monroe Street, open every day.