‘Kopitiam’ Malaysian Cafe Revived with Larger East Broadway Presence
Kopitiam is still closed, but will soon return.
The Canal Street snackshop has been out of commission since the end of December after a short tenancy of two years.
Their two-year lease expired at the end of the year, and the landlord reportedly jacked the rent. A purported 25% increase that Kopitiam could not absorb. (Prior real estate listings noted the monthly dole at around $3,000.) So, chef-owner Kyo Pang instead decided on relocating to a larger space elsewhere on the Lower East Side. To continue on and aid in the “expansion,” the business kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo, yet found a new business partner when it failed.
Said spot is just around the corner at 151 East Broadway, a ground-floor space that is four times larger than the original. Interior build-out of the 35-seat establishment is currently underway, with the goal of reopening later this spring. It’ll be an all-day eatery, including breakfast menu and booze options (pending SLA approval).
Kopitiam is exactly that. Broken into parts, the word is a blend of “kopi,” Malay for coffee, and “tiam,” Hokkien for shop. A veteran of the foodie market scene (e.g. Hester Street Fair), Kyo Pang opened the brick-and-mortar store at 51B Canal Street at the end of 2015. Its menu included a host of sweet and savory treats, such as Kaya Butter Toast, Malaysin Seafood Spring Rolls, sticky rice, and coconut cake.