Toby’s Estate has opened its first location in Manhattan in an interesting partnership, together with beloved indie book store, Strand Books, all inside a giant Club Monaco clothing store off 5th avenue that’s lit up brighter than an Apple store. I checked out the cafe on their second day after opening, and was lucky enough to nab the only two chairs in sight inside the Strand book room (next to a faux fire place). It really is an nice space, however I didn’t see any other seating available aside from the two mainly decorative chairs — unfortunate because it has potential as an interesting mixed use space. Perhaps calculated to force you to browse or bounce.
Located just minutes from Joe Coffee’s Pro Shop, it should be noted that the new Toby’s is open later (’til 9), so if you’re in the neighborhood looking for good coffee and you find yourself thwarted by Joe’s early closing times, head on over to Toby’s. They also serve sandwiches, and if their Brooklyn location is any indication, they will be delicious. I tried their new Flat Iron espresso blend, which was a mild-mannered crowd pleaser.
I was pretty obnoxious and took a lot of pictures of the space, you can check ‘em out below — but before you do, I have an open question for you: what do you think of shared retail spaces like these? Does great coffee pair well with everything, or does it ever seem unnatural? Personally, I love them and wish brands would get even more promiscuous. But what about you?
The Flat Iron espresso blend is chocolatey, with a hint of dried fruit. I think that it was a bit on the fresh side and would be even better after resting a couple days, which is understandable given that it was the second day after opening.
What more can you ask for? There’s also a tea menu.
Another part of this collaborative space that is hard to miss – Polux Fleuriste’s flower arrangements. Take note, cafes of the world, you should have some plant life in your space.
The only seats available. There’s some customer management going on here; browse, buy, or move along.
Can’t walk by the Flat Iron building without taking a picture of it.
Toby’s Estate Flat Iron – Map, Address & Directions:
160 5th Avenue (between West 20th Street and 21st Streets) inside Club Monaco, with its own street entrance on 5th Ave.
Monday – Friday: 7AM to 9PM
Sat 9AM to 9PM and Sun 10AM – 7PM
View FRSHGRND – Global Cafe Guide in a larger map