Space of the Week: Coffee Talk

Design and furniture company Uhuru made quite a statement when it parked its flatbed truck carrying a hot-pink oversize chair outside Dumbo’s Brooklyn Roasting Company (25 Jay St., nr. John St.; 718-522-2664) last Saturday. The designers, who made their name building furniture with reclaimed wood from the demolished Coney Island boardwalk, decided that they would take their show on the road and park it in areas all over the city during New York Design Week, rather than set up a booth in the Javits Center or anywhere else. Photo: Wendy Goodman

I walked through the space with one of the owners, Michael Pollack, while marveling at the fact that everything to do with making a cup of coffee was going on right before my eyes. Photo: Wendy Goodman

One morning back in 2010, in the early days of the Brooklyn Roasting Company, Michael discovered this incredible collage on a piece of plywood covering one of the building’s windows. He learned that the artwork was done by an artist duo who call themselves “the Geisha and the Fox.” It has since remained in the back of the store, and Michael says that it serves as “the guardian of our roaster.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

This poster of the life cycle of a coffee bean hangs at the back of the warehouse. Michael explains that the company is committed to supporting the communities where the coffee beans are grown. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here’s another view of the warehouse. Michael tells me that one day as he was roasting coffee by himself a few years ago, a woman came to the door in tears. When he invited her in to see if he could help her, she told him that her grandfather had worked in this building when it was the stable and carriage house for the Arbuckle Coffee Company and that he had been murdered here. Michael had no idea that in back in the nineteenth century and early twentieth, the building had housed the biggest coffee company in the world. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This amazing roulette table in the back-office space of the warehouse was once in the private railroad car of one of the biggest meat-distributor families in the Midwest. Michael and his business partner, Jim Munson, who found it through a female descendant of the family, put glass over the original painted top. Photo: Wendy Goodman

She evidently gave the claw-foot legs a pedicure. One last note: During my visit, developer David Walentas walked in and, after an introduction and a little conversation, marveled about at all the industries and businesses in Dumbo owing to a little real-estate hunch he had back in the eighties. “And to think,” he said, ” I bought this neighborhood for $12 million.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Carl Henry Nacht (left) West Side Highway and 38th Street. After dinner on June 22, 2006, Nacht, a doctor who often cycled to make house calls to his elderly patients, was hit by an NYPD tow truck crossing the Hudson River Park bikeway. Shamar Porter Linden Boulevard near Williams Avenue, East New York. On August 5, 2006, Porter’s Little League team won its playoff game. He was struck by a minivan after leaving the field.

Space of the Week: Coffee Talk