There are 1,173 tiny cups hidden in this photo.Photo: Elizabeth Cline
This café-coffee-shop hybrid swung open its screen door for the first time last week (kitty-corner to a new Dunks), happily filling a small part of Bed-Stuy’s dining void. Owner and neighborhood resident Lisa Bayer is a former personal chef, and her menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches is above par (we tried a refreshing Brie, cucumber, and tarragon-mayo sandwich on a baguette), obsessive with regard to ingredients (the roast-beef-and-Fontina panini are yanked from the menu on days when the beef isn’t just-dead), and boasts waffles, French toast, and a breakfast panino during weekend brunch.
But Bayer’s Tiny Cup still reflects the neighborhood’s unfussy appeal (she says she “prefers red-velvet cake to éclairs”). Last weekend, the sign out front read “come in and meet your neighbors,” and folks did indeed line up along the cafe’s indoor picnic table for free cupcakes. The seventies-retro décor is even accidentally chic — Bayer simply went thrift-store shopping for furniture to match one burnt-orange loveseat that she loved. As for the coffee, it’s a good, strong medium-blend from a direct trade company called Intelligentsia.
Tiny Cup, 279 Nostrand Ave., at Clifton Pl., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; 718-399-9200