Say you’re strolling down Park Avenue South and thinking: “I wish I could add a whimsical campfire vibe to my otherwise corporate-filled day—while also drinking a coffee.” Or you’re making your way to a train at Grand Central and think, ”Gosh, if only I had a place to forget my cares in STYLE.”
You’re in luck at Felix Coffee Roasting, an opulent and unexpected café where it’s just as easy to immerse oneself in the wallpaper as the moment. The palatial space (in both square footage and appointment) opened last fall to coffee-geek fanfare and has since attracted a steady flow of New Yorkers and tourists alike who’ve found in Felix the pastel paradise in Midtown they never knew they were missing.
The coffee service at Felix hits all the notes of serious contemporary fashion: a custom-coated blush-colored La Marzocco Linea espresso machine for the front-facing fast bar, and copper-clad Modbar units for the back bar where elaborate signature drinks are proffered. The coffee focus is on espresso, with beans sourced by Felix and roasted long distance through partners in Texas. Treats on hand, like bulbous matcha croissants or overflowing jelly doughnuts, originate closer to home, from the whimsical Supermoon Bakehouse on the Lower East Side. Tea, including a rare small-batch matcha, comes from Spirit Tea, while chai and ganache syrups, and an almond-cashew-pepita nut milk, are all crafted in-house. And that campfire you were looking for? It’s available at the back bar in the form of a hickory-smoked s’mores latte, and you won’t be ordering that one to go.
As well, Felix expanded its drink selection this year to include more p.m.-themed offerings such as beer and wine. “We wanted to focus on beer and wine that had a similar ethos to the way we approach our coffees—which is something that tells a unique story—that is really of the place that it’s from,” says Felix’s beverage program leader, Reagan Petrehn. “Our wine list is all terroir focused and from producers that are doing neat things—most of it’s natural, but it’s not really a rule.”
Beyond the highly intentional menu choices, it’s clear every decision in the space is thoughtfully informed, starting with the botanical coffee motifs that run through everything from the pastry tissue to the clothing donned in the “Victorian” portraits on the walls. Everywhere you look, it seems, is a tiny coffee-themed present hidden in the decor.
And though it’s no surprise the impressive café has been popular—Petrehn admits the clientele at 31st and Park Avenue South did surprise him just a little. “I think we attract a lot more independent entrepreneurial types and artists and not so many businessmen,” he pauses. “I expected more businessmen.”
Photographs courtesy of Felix.