NYC’s Bluestone Lane serves up premium coffee drinks in a relaxed, authentic cafe environment that reflects its Australian influence. Tucked away in a cozy corner in the West Village sits the Collective Cafe, which serves healthy, locally-sourced breakfast and lunch dishes in a casual yet sophisticated cafe environment. We talked to the team at Bluestone about their food philosophy and about their favorite cafe items.
Tell us about the origin of Bluestone Lane. Why did you start the café?
Bluestone Lane is inspired by the cafe culture found in my home town Melbourne Australia, where premium coffee experiences is a way of life. We wanted to bring such a special part of a Melbournian’s daily life to New York, where people can have a wonderful experience where it’s more than solving a need for caffeine, it’s about waking into an oasis, with warm and welcoming service matched with healthy cuisine and premium espresso coffee. We want people to feel like this is their local place.
What is the food and coffee philosophy at Bluestone?
The food and coffee philosophy is to be as authentic as possible to what you would find in a typical premium cafe in Australia. We use the highest quality, seasonal, natural ingredients to bring out the purest flavors. We don’t use heavy cooking methods as we like to serve most of our meals in a raw, clean, holistic, yet artisan way.
What’s unique about Australian coffee culture, and what are you hoping to bring to America?
Our coffee is focused on providing a wonderful texture and taste, and is primarily served in smaller portions for a more fuller flavor. We serve quintessential Melbourne espresso drinks such as Flat White, Magic, Long Black and Australian Iced Latte (has a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream in it).
Australian coffee culture is about a total experience and ensuring it’s so warm and welcoming that you feel like a local. It’s not just about a coffee product, it’s about the service proposition, the aesthetic, the environment and then the intangibles like how the barista recognizes your face, knows your name, knows your order. That connection is really special and that is Australian coffee culture.
What was the inspiration behind the food?
The inspiration about the food was to be as authentic and true as possible to the typical food menu you would find at premium Australian cafes. It’s sophisticated cafe fare with strong use of natural and raw ingredients. We like using high nutrient grains, organic vegetables and try to keep dishes as clean as possible.
What are some of your signature coffee drinks and what makes them unique to you?
Signature coffee drinks include the Flat White, which is the most popular espresso coffee beverage in Australia and New Zealand. It is a bit like a latte except has a very thin layer of foam and is typically never served larger than 6-8oz. We also offer both a Magic (a short flat white) and Piccolo Latte (a short latte) which are short espresso drinks. We also have an Australian Iced Latte which is like a regular iced latte except it includes a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
If you had to eat one thing at Bluestone every day, it would be…
Coconut quinoa porridge or Corn Fritters topped with AvoSmash, a single poached egg and wrapped in prosciutto!
What do you hope your customers experience at the café?
We hope to provide an oasis, respite from the concrete jungle with all the wonderful noises and action that is New York. We want guests to disconnect from life, from their phones and just relax and enjoy the experience whether that be whilst catching up on your favorite magazines or the newspaper, or with a friend. Coffee is such a beautiful and humble medium to use for a catch up.
Do you cook at home? If so, what are your favorite things to make?
I don’t cook regularly at home as my fiancé handles that and otherwise I eat at Bluestone Lane which is around the corner from our apartment in West Village!
What do you love about living and working in New York?
The energy and vibrancy of New York is unparalleled. I love having options to do something new, something more likely than not that’s world class, at any time of day or night. It’s so rich in history and layers, I love the eclectic mix of cultures and passions where business meets art meets fashion meets hospitality. It’s just an inspiring place to live. However, it’s very different from the life of a regular Australian, particularly one from the perennially voted World’s Most Liveable city that is Melbourne Australia.
What’s next for Bluestone Lane?
We are opening another 3 Bluestone Lane locations over the next 6 months, located in Bryant Park, NOHO and Upper East Side. We are so grateful for all the amazing support we have received and are so greatly humbled that there’s a few people out there that appreciate the coffee and cafe experience we create. We are incredibly excited about the next chapter and can’t wait to bring it to life.