Kyoto, Japan-based specialty coffee chain% Arabica has opened its first roast and retail store in the United States, in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
Officially opened on June 11, the New York Outpost is the brand’s 87th retail store to date, adding to company-operated and franchise locations in 16 countries in Asia, from Europe and the Middle East.
Basic coffee offerings across all sites are consistent around the world, though in each new market the company partners with a local bakery for fresh baked goods, including New York-based SOHO-based Balthazar Bakery.
Occupying approximately 1,500 square feet in a new single-story development in Dumbo’s historic Fulton Ferry district, the new store was co-designed by% Arabica founder Kenneth Shoji and French design studio Ciguë.
“[Shoji] saw value in their transdisciplinary approach bridging craft, science and poetry, which he said closely monitored his ‘minimal but determined’ approach he had for the brand, ”said Joshua Dittmer recently, Managing Director of% Arabica in the United States. New. “Context, function and matter instinctively guided the way they conceptualized space, merging art and utility.
About a third of the space is taken up by roasting, which is overseen by Dittmer with the support of roasting and quality control by Abbi Young. Production centers on a 1920s UG 22 Probat roaster for larger batches, while a Japanese-made Tornado King electric fluid bed roaster with a 1 kilo capacity handles roasts for customers on demand.
The Probat is a focal point of coffee. It is echoed by a brushed aluminum front counter, above which hangs a blown glass lamp over 20 feet tall, custom-designed for the store by Italian studio Viabizzuno. A custom branded Slayer espresso machine is also the eye-catcher in the coffee bar.
Elsewhere in the boutique, lighting maintains the brand’s obsession with the Chemex brewer’s shape while glowing warmly on the natural and industrial-style surfaces of red brick and reclaimed wood.
Founded in Hong Kong in 2013,% Arabica opened its first outlet in Tokyo the following year and now has a coffee farm in Hawaii, in addition to its dozens of retail stores.
The company is the sole exporter of Tornado King roasters and the sole Japanese national distributor of Ninety Plus Coffee’s Slayer espresso machines and green coffee.
Dittmer told DCN the company is looking to open additional locations in New York City, as well as other U.S. markets.
“We have an eye on LA, San Francisco, Hawaii, DC, Miami, Houston, Austin, Portland, Denver and many more for the next several years,” Dittmer said. “We hope to deploy 100 stores over the next 10 years throughout the [U.S.]. “
% Arabica is now open at 20 Old Fulton St. in Brooklyn, New York. Tell us about your new coffee or roast here.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.