First impressions illustrate much about who we are. It could be as simple as a handshake, a meeting of the eyes, or a smile. If you happen to be conducting a business meeting away from the watchful eyes and prying ears at your office, selecting the right venue in New York, a city rife with great venues, can be just as important when it comes to making a good first impression. You may not want to run into someone you know at a place that is overrun with techies or colleagues. Think of venues where words like ‘low key,’ ‘semi-private,’ and ‘distinctive’ are likely to spring to mind. This is Manhattan, after all, where we always prefer to have options for everything. Here are five cafes that will impress and define the tone for your future business dealings in one of the hottest restaurant/café/startup capitals of the world:
La Colombe. 270 Lafayette Street. 212.625.1717. NoHo.
Located on a busy street, this Scandinavian designed café stands out from the rest. It is eerily reminiscent of a train station, with lofty ceilings supplied with fans, crème walls, and large windows. The tables and seats are tiny, but intimate. There is a marble bar and a row of wooden stools, which directly overlook the actions of the coffee artists doing their thing. This might be the perfect place for an informal discussions and/or brainstorming sessions over your newest startup idea. Coffee and pastries are the only things served. Open until 6pm.
Kaffe 1668. 275 Greenwich Street. 212. 693.3750. Tribeca.
This is a fun choice because of its coziness. There are over 25 types of herbal tea and every coffee concoction you can imagine. The Yelp reviews speak for themselves. This could be the spot if you are ironing out costs incentives. Go alone for the celebrity sightings. Open until 10pm.
Café Gitane. 242 Mott Street. 212.334.9552. SoHo.
The only people you will probably run into here are tourists, models and hipsters. It is small, but has a European feel, with its music and kitschy vibe. The staff is professional and doesn’t hover. This just could be the spot for signing contracts over Couscous and Avocado Toast with freshly squeezed lemonade. Full menu and drink options. Open until midnight.
Peels. 325 Bowery. 646.602.7015. Bowery.
This is a beautiful restaurant, with its modernist décor and cozy ambience. Peels offers communal tables and large white benches, perfect for setting up your laptop and files to discuss projection costs and anticipated revenue. This is an ideal place to grab a meal without anyone nearby stealing your insider secrets. Breakfast is served until 4pm.
Coffee Foundry. 186 West 4th St. 646.535.5220. West Village.
This popular haven has granite counters, free internet, television screens with financial news reports, and the energy of other business hopefuls. Coffee concoctions are made to order in front of you. They even have beer. This might be the best spot to end an early afternoon with a potential investor. Open until 6 pm.
Don’t overanalyze it. If you’re not a café aficionado, seek tips from friends and acquaintances. Avoid dull franchises. Get out there, explore what this island has to offer, and remember: everything is negotiable.