After years of peddling coffee in Austin, Texas, followed by a gig at Champion Coffee in Greenpoint, café manager and barista Allison Stuart decided it was time to open her own shop. She looked all over Brooklyn for a space until finally settling in Bed-Stuy. “I was kind of done with Greenpoint,” she tells us. “So I thought, Let’s roll the die and try something else.” Her boyfriend, Brady Dollarhide, a visual artist who designed the interior of the café, says, “It’s nice to be in a place you can watch move up.” (Bedford Hill is joining Sweet Revenge, Nice Pizza, and Bistro Lafayette on the block.)
With salvaged dark wooden doors used as paneling, mismatched blue tiles, vintage wallpapers, a cork-top bar, and warm lights, the café feels as much like a home as a place of business. Furniture and building materials were either purchased on the cheap from Build It Green, or they were found (one wall uses construction board ripped down by Brooklyn’s last tornado). Meanwhile, pastries like brown-sugar blueberry muffins and scones with blue cheese and pecans come from the new bakery Ovenly. Bagels from wholesaler New Yorker Bagels can be purchased with honey-walnut, garlic-herb, and cucumber-dill cream cheese. And the beans are shipped in from a Milwaukee roaster, Anodyne Coffee. Eventually, you can expect egg dishes, sandwiches, salads, beer, wine, and later hours (for now, the shop is open from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m.).
Bedford Hill, 343 Franklin Ave., at Greene Ave.; Bedford-Stuyvesant; 718-636-7650