Local moms and dads will be pleased to learn about a new kid-friendly Bay Ridge cafe — with a very grown up vibe.
The ambitious brainchild of husband-and-wife team Nick and Rose Murphy, The Coop (9504 4th Avenue) aims to create a hip space that can be enjoyable for parents of the under-3 set and coffee enthusiasts alike — not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, of course.
The Murphys, who own a popular restaurant and bar in Bushwick, have lived in Bay Ridge for 10 years and realized that, aside from Owl’s Head Park, there was a dearth of places in the neighborhood to bring their 2-year-old son.
Now open two months, The Coop boasts an inspired food and coffee menu, as well as an indoor/outdoor toy pen for the “chicks,” as the staff calls them.
But just because it’s kid friendly, doesn’t mean the cafe is scrimping on ambiance or taste.
“We don’t want to necessarily be known as the kids place; we really wanted the food to stand on its own, and not compromise,” says owner Nick.
Sure enough, with La Colombe on draft and cold brew coffee, the cafe is on the cutting edge of coffee brewing technology. We sampled The Coop’s latte on tap, and the cool mocha-colored liquid tasted of dark roasted beans with a frothy Guinness-like texture.
The seasonal menu is made up of elevated egg dishes and toasts — with a Mediterranean bend. One specialty of The Coop is the Murphy toast, a concoction of cheese, olives, green onions, and spices, that has been passed down from a Murphy grandmother. The restaurant also offers its own version of shakshuka, an Israeli breakfast dish made of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce.
Being kid allergy-conscious, The Coop doesn’t use peanut butter, only sunflower butter — but they also play good music and plan to soon serve wine and beer. Baked goods are from Balthazar’s, save for the signature teddy bear cookies.
The Deviled Egg Smash ($9), which we tried, is a local favorite. The organic egg salad is heaped on toasted sour dough rye, and topped with ample sprouts, olives, and capers. The result is a dish that is sophisticated, but still accessible enough to share with one’s offspring.
The kids’ menu — which includes fruit and yogurt, sunflower butter-smeared apple slices, and dainty PB&J sandwiches — is small, but reasonably priced, with each item costing between $3 and $4.
While it is rare to find a hip cafe and “chicken coop” co-existing in one space, The Coop nails it on the ambiance. A clever layout allows parents in the back to keep an eye on their roaming “chicks,” while non-breeders at the front can enjoy sunshine, music, coffee, and the tranquility of a child-free existence.