“Never Underestimate the Importance of Being Properly Caffeinated.” ~Unknown
Giving Love to My Favorite Places
I am so excited to share this post. This blog use to be heavy on travel and all my favorite restaurants, as well as fashion and self love, and as always anything and everything nautical. With the pandemic my focus shifted, as the world was shut down, and while I shared some travel, much of it were activities and places you could do outside and social distance. With things beginning to get back to normal, I thought it was finally time to start sharing some of my favorite restaurants, stores, landmarks, and tourist destinations (which are always touristy for a reason) again, especially as they are the ultimate warriors having survived the pandemic and to still be standing today.
Many of my favorite eateries, coffee shops and bars were devastated by the pandemic especially in New York City. The landscape of what I was use to with neighborhood staples on the Upper East Side and all over the city has drastically changed. And many restaurants have either had to shut down permanently (Rest In Peace Cafe Jax!) or pivot drastically (looking at you DTUT) in order to make it. Stella and Fly is one of the few places, that while they did have to adapt, have seemed to have weathered the storm, and I strongly feel part of it is in part to their business model as well as strong business smarts.
Stella And Fly
Stella and Fly which is located on the Upper East Side on Second Avenue in a new condominium complex, is an Irish coffee and wine bar. Like most places in the city, I stumbled or rather ran across it, when I was on my way back to my apartment after a run. It was only a couple blocks from my apartment and much closer then another local coffee shop I frequented, and I thought I would check it out. I fell in love almost immediately and it became my new favorite local work from a coffee shop.
The ambiance immediately won me over with the chic rustic, yet with a modern flare decor. While Stella and Fly is small, it makes great use out of its two story space with a mixture of window benches, bar seating, as well as high tops. There is also seating downstairs, with comfy chairs located in little nooks, giving it almost a cavern like feel, but yet still being modern. During the pandemic, they expanded to outdoor seating, which made for the perfect atmosphere during the summer. The staff is insanely friendly, even at six- thirty in the morning, and the music they play is a selection of covers, and classics, that make for an enjoyable background for enjoying coffee, getting some work done, and meeting friends.
Coffee Bar by Day
First of all this is not Starbucks or Dunkin which is why I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks, but their menu is extensive and you can go bougie with your order. Stella and Fly is the complete opposite. The menu is extremely basic, with an emphasis on GOOD coffee and letting the different techniques let the espresso beans do the talking. If you want a flavored coffee, this is not the place for you as the only have mocha and vanilla.
But you really do not need it. Their coffee is strong, while being incredibly smooth, which makes for an enjoyable experience. They do offer numerous milk substitutes when making lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, or even to top off an Americano, for those who prefer an alternative to dairy. They serve their drinks in the cutest cups made by a shop just around the corner from Stella and Fly. They also have a small selection of pastries from an assortment of croissants, like any great European inspired bakery, to muffins, you can enjoy and even dip into your coffee, as you work.
Cocktail Bar At Night
But they don’t just serve coffee. In the afternoon, Stella and Fly turns into a cozy cocktail bar serving up well crafted drinks with fresh but minimal ingredients. Much like their coffee, they let the spirits do the talking. Every single detail is thought out to give the patron the best experience. It might be very “cheugy” as the next generation says, but their espresso martinis are some of the best I have had, which is only fitting, given it is a coffee bar by day.
Their food menu is a little more extensive in the evening, with small bites to snack on as you enjoy your drinks. And while delicious, the emphasis is on the beverages, and not the food. They also have live music, showcasing up and coming as well as more established musicians which make for fun enjoyable evenings. They also showcase art which you can purchase.
Stella and Fly is a fun, hip, yet still classy Irish Coffee Shop and Bar that literally meets all your needs morning, noon, and night, while not being to full of frills. I love how simple the menus are and yet it feels like a home away from home, whether you are working, savoring that perfect cup of coffee or espresso, enjoying a night out with some live entertainment, or meeting up with friends. It really has it all, and you can’t beat that!
Do you have a place like Stella and Fly you go to? Do you prefer a more elaborate coffee shop or more simple?