Plowshares

Plowshares Coffee

Sandwiched between a convenience store and liquor store, it would be easy to miss the narrow storefront of Plowshares Coffee Bloomingdale if it weren’t for the wafting smell of freshly roasted coffee drifting out the door. Named one of the top five coffee shops in New York City by Grub Street, Plowshares is a welcome addition to the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

Opened in 2014, the coffee shop on Broadway between 104th and 105th Street is owner Anthony Kurutz’s first retail cafe. Five years prior to the Bloomingdale shop, Kurutz founded Plowshares as a wholesale coffee roasting business, providing freshly roasted coffee and espresso to cafes and restaurants in and around New York City. Working out of a small roastery in the foothills of the Ramapo Valley in Hillburn, New York, Plowshares sources, roasts, and prepares unique coffees for its growing customer base.

Kurutz has brought his love and passion for coffee to Bloomingdale and has created a place for neighbors and visitors alike to interact. In his words,

“my favorite thing about doing business in this neighborhood has been discovering how many truly talented and interesting people live in our neighborhood.”

The front awning of Plowshares is proudly labeled with the name Bloomingdale, the neighborhood monicker dating back to the Dutch settlement of “Bloemendael” in this area in the 1600s. A resident of the neighborhood since 2000, Kurutz’s favorite local business, other than his own, is Absolute Bagels, just four blocks north of the cafe.

“There has definitely been an uptick in both the variety and quality of restaurants and drinking establishments in the neighborhood in recent years, however the diversity and social fabric that makes the Bloomingdale neighborhood interesting and appealing has remained largely in tact.”

The passion and talent of the staff at Plowshares are evident when you visit — they take pride in their work, preparing and serving consistently great espresso drinks and brewed coffee. During our visit, the barista crafted a picture perfect cortado that tasted as good as it looked. In addition to coffee, Plowshares also offers loose leaf teas, and a variety of pastries from some of the best bakers in the city, including Underwest Donuts, Colson Patisserie, and Ovenly. For those with dietary restrictions, a variety of vegan and gluten-free treats are also offered from Sans Bakery and Bakerlee Bakery.

Don’t miss the Nitro cold brew, a smoother and creamier alternative to regular iced coffee. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere and delicious coffee at Plowshares Bloomingdale — it may just become your new favorite stop.

Plowshares Coffee
2730 Broadway (btwn 104th/105th)
(212) 222-0280
Coffee Shop

feature by: Emily Edwards

West End Hall

West End Hall

On any given summer day last year, people packed the recently opened West End Hall, filling the oasis-like backyard and sidewalk cafe at Broadway and 106th St. In owner Karim El Sherif’s words, on days like these at the Bloomingdale beer garden,

“the outside becomes the inside, the inside becomes the outside, and the energy is unbelievable.”

El Sherif brings more than 25 years of experience in the New York restaurant business to Bloomingdale. After managing 4-star restaurants and French bistros and brasseries for celebrity chefs such as Eric Ripert and Daniel Bouloud, he has gone on to open three restaurants of his own.

A joint venture between KES Hospitality & The Lure Group, West End Hall represents El Sherif’s most casual vision yet and his first endeavor on the Upper West Side. The beer hall incorporates great execution of food and quality service but is also welcoming to families, groups, and individuals and provides value to customers. The bar has 20 craft beers on tap and 50 bottled & canned varieties from all over the world, and the list is constantly rotating. For those less beer-inclined, the bar also serves wine and cocktails. El Sherif has recruited a well-known 3-star chef to develop an eclectic menu of high-end bar food, including International Sausages, Maine Mussels, and their famous Truffle Burger. On game days, the beer hall offers specials on buckets of beer and wings, and on the weekend, brunch is served after 11am.

Behind the bar hangs a panel of dials and gauges that look straight out of a mad scientist’s lab. This “flux capacitor” allows the bartenders to maintain the optimum pressure and carbon dioxide to nitrogen ratio for each beer, based on the precise measurements given by each brewery’s brewmaster. By recommendation of the bartender, we sampled the Flying Dog Bloodline on Nitro, and the effect of the higher nitrogen levels was clear. The beer had smaller bubbles and a smoother, creamier texture similar to Guinness. West End Hall is one of only four bars in the U.S. with one of these gadgets. El Sherif holds tastings for the staff each week and invites breweries to the restaurant to ensure that his bartenders and waitstaff are knowledgeable.

As a testament to his commitment and creativity, El Sherif also played a large role in the design of West End Hall. He wanted to achieve a “warm but unique” aesthetic, featuring reclaimed wood from Upstate New York and lush greenery cloaking the backyard patio. He has replaced the entire infrastructure of the space (new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) and added insulation to the ceiling and sound-deadening curtains to the outside area in order to be a good neighbor to nearby residents.

In choosing a name, El Sherif says that he was torn between using the name of an old New York brewery or referencing the neighborhood. Ultimately, he chose West End Hall due to the restaurant’s location at the intersection of West End Ave and Broadway. In regards to the Bloomingdale neighborhood, El Sherif says that he sees the area as “transitional” and diverse, with different “dynamics” on each block and a multi-generational population.

“Beer halls are fun and democratic… They promote socializing.”

Next time you’re looking to try a new brew or grab a bite to eat with friends, check out West End Hall right here in Bloomingdale. The beer hall features live music every Tuesday night at 8pm and trivia nights on Wednesdays at 8pm.

West End Hall
2756 Broadway (105th-106th)
(212) 662-7200
Beer Garden
130 seats inside/ 40 sidewalk cafe/ 100 backyard
Weekend Brunch, Weekday Happy Hour 4-7pm, Game Day Specials, Live Music & Trivia

feature by: Emily Edwards

Miss Mamies

Miss Mamies

Soul Food is a great draw for foodies the world over. Here in Bloomingdale, you don’t even need to leave the neighborhood for some of the best fixin’s around. Owner Norma Jean Darden runs Spoonbread Inc. one of the city’s premier catering kitchens. In October of 1997 she opened her passion project in Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too. In the years since, the Michelin recommended restaurant has become a neighborhood landmark and a proud favorite of mayors, former presidents, and neighborhood residents alike.

“The neighborhood has certainly grown since we opened and has really blossomed into one of the premier neighborhoods in New York.”

While the catering menu ranges between different cuisines, Miss Mamie’s is all about bringing the best of the south to our taste buds. They have classic New Orlean’s style flair in their Louisiana catfish and seafood gumbo. They serve a great Caribbean style Jerk as well as traditional Southern fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Norma Jean has decades of experience in our area and notes that “the neighborhood has certainly grown since we opened and has really blossomed into one of the premier neighborhoods in New York.” They have been excited to see such a thriving and diverse restaurant scene in the area and have been eager to have support all the new Bloomingdale Restaurants over the years!

Stop by their recently remodeled Southern Dining Room-style restaurant on 110th across the street from Morningside Park. Their lunch specials are difficult to beat and their famous Sunday Brunch will definitely need a reservation at the 50 seat restaurant. In fact there’s rarely a night when something special isn’t on offer, which is fitting at such a great neighborhood place.

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
364 Cathedral Parkway (110th)
(212) 865-6744
Soul Food
50 seats
Famous Sunday Brunch, Tuesday Tastings, Daily Bar Specials, Bake Sale 1/2 Price Desserts

feature by: Alex Zamudio