Irving Farms Coffee Roasters Talks About Its Takeover of 88 Orchard

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 at 6:41 am by
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Earlier this month, we exclusively reported that Lower East Side cafe kingpin 88 Orchard cashed out after more than a decade on the block. Proprietor Erica Harrison and company decided to sell the business to local roasters Irving Farms. The new owners appeared before Community Board 3 to retain the restaurant wine license, and secured approval. New regime equates to more of an evening hangout with slightly extended closing time (12am), but no happy hours.

Meantime, the folks at Irving have officially broken silence on the matter. According to a recent blog post on the company website, 88 Orchard will not keep its address namesake, instead taking on the identity of its mothership. Full transition should be complete by early summer.

Like our other cafes, what we love most about 88 Orchard is its interaction with, and sense of belonging to, the neighborhood around it. As a fixture both in its streetscape and in our hearts, we’ll be careful to preserve the most wonderful things about 88 — while building on its great menu and atmosphere with an even better, more beautiful interior and an improved coffee program that will knock the neighborhood’s socks off.

And here’s a rendering of the proposed facade. Not much change except for some window leafing.

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[Photo: Irving Farm Coffee Roasters]For the record, here are the stipulations set forth by CB3. Full board meeting is tomorrow night:

  • It will operate as a coffee shop cafe, serving food during all hours of operation
  • Its hours of operation will be 7:00 A.M.to 12:00 A.M. all days
  • It will close any façade doors and windows at 10:00 P.M. every night
  • It will play ambient background music only, consisting of recorded music, and not have live music,DJs, promoted events, scheduled performances or any event at which a cover fee will be charged, and
  • It will not have “happy hours”
  • It will not commercially operate any outdoor areas

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