Simon Sips Aims to Be a Worthy Successor to Tasting Room Café

By
The Tasting Room Café Photo: Jeremy Liebman

Simon Mammon, who operated the Simon Sips kiosk near Bryant Park for over a decade before a Starbucks took over, tells us that he’s opening a new place in the former Tasting Room Café space, and he hopes it’ll be right up there with Café Grumpy and Ninth Street Espresso. In fact, he’s aiming to trump them with his wines, three craft beers on tap, and a Greenmarket-driven small-plates menu designed by consulting chef Ronna Welsh. The espresso will be made with what Mammon calls the Rolls Royce of machines, La Marzocco (yes, the one Abraço has), and the house coffee will be French press. Mammon is fixing up the old Tasting Room space so that it’ll be upscale but cozy by the time the place opens, hopefully on January 17 — but he assures us, “Everything’s going to be priced so people can go out and not have to watch their wallets.” Meanwhile, another East Village coffee spot has just been opened by a couple of ex-models!

Per Ost Café’s Facebook page, via Eater:

The cafe is the brainchild of local husband-and-wife team Aaron Hagedorn, a Veteran of the US Navy, and his wife Katarina, an ex-model originally from the Slovak Republic, who partnered with Alex Clark, a stand-up comedian and Lenka O, another Slovakia’s model export. From the layers of history evident in its Hapsburg Empire-meets-OstBlock décor, OST is just the sort of warm, welcoming home away from home that the East Village has been crying out for.

Welcome to the neighborhood, both.