Astoria, Coffee, Featured, News, Small Business Owners Spotlight
Oct 13, 2015

Astoria Small Biz Owner Spotlight: Dennis & Liz of Astoria Coffee

We’re excited to feature another great business in our “Small Biz Owner” Spotlight series. When Astoria Coffee hit my corner, I was so excited to have something cool, interesting, and (…)

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We’re excited to feature another great business in our “Small Biz Owner” Spotlight series. When Astoria Coffee hit my corner, I was so excited to have something cool, interesting, and serving great caffeinated beverages and food in a space that had been really lame stuff previously (MetroPCS, a campaign head quarters, etc).

Astoria Coffee has gained a loyal following not just because of their rotating coffees, affogatos with Ice & Vice, and matcha lattes, but because of their dedication to becoming a true community gathering spot, hosting everything from Meetups like the Astoria Creatives Meetup, readings, stand up shows, Drunk Vocab Bees, and more.

As a friend of Dennis and Liz, I’m super excited to highlight them here and share their story and why they love Astoria!

 

Shop:

Astoria Coffee

Owned by:

Elizabeth Wick and Dennis Lee

Year opened:

2014

Address:

3004 30th Street

Known for:

Specialty coffee in a neighborhood shop

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

How long have you lived in Queens?

Almost 5 years

How did you end up here?

We are both from Ohio originally but ended up in NYC after college. When Dennis’s job making guitars was relocated to Long Island City we knew we would need to move out of Brooklyn. Neither of us really knew anything about Queens and because of the requisite NYC lease chaos we had to decide what we were going to do really quickly. In one day we rented a car and drove through Astoria and then LIC, we stopped at diners in both neighborhoods and at the end of the day decided Astoria was really the place we felt more at home. We’ve been here, in the same apartment over bustling 30th Avenue, ever since!

What made you decide to open a store front in Astoria?

When we started planning for the shop there weren’t many specialty coffee options in the neighborhood. In New York in general we didn’t really know of any coffee shops that gave you that comfortable, “this is my spot” kind of feeling that we’d been looking for ourselves. Having lived in the neighborhood for several years we felt at home in Astoria and felt good about putting down roots here. We always wanted to do something together, and as we began looking into creating Astoria Coffee, we kept getting all of this positive feedback from the community about the concept, that’s when we decided that we’d go for it.

You just celebrated a year, what’s been one of your favorite moments of the past year?

This whole year has been such a whirlwind, with so many joys and surprises it’s really hard to pick out one specific moment! A few of our regulars have used the shop to propose; being a part of those nights has really been an honor for us personally. We also had a great time putting together the line-up for Make Music NY this past June. We would love to support more local musicians at Astoria Coffee in the future so that day was especially fun. We’ve also been lucky enough to collaborate with some other amazing local businesses and organizations; the Drunken Vocab Bee with Astoria Bookshop, TriviaNYC and Beth Parker PR has been wildly popular, and of course being able to host the Astoria Creatives has been a great experience for us as new business owners.

 

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

What’s your favorite item?

Nothing better than the classic; a hot black coffee.

Most popular item?

People who are coming to hang out will order espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos to stay. During the summer though, iced coffee was king.

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Astoria Coffee

What’s your personal fav place to grab food when you’re working?

We have been loving Lots-O-Bagels recently because they have hash browns, and they’ll put them in a breakfast sandwich for you, which is classic Dennis. The tuna melt is also excellent.

Hidden Astoria secret you feel like people don’t know about that you live by?

Emilia’s Pizza & Authentic Mexican is a block away from our apartment and serves really fresh and delicious Mexican food. The huevos con chorizo is Dennis’s go to, also any of the nacho orders will blow your mind. No one we talk to knows about this place, but it is a great Mexican option in Astoria.

Favorite place to grab a drink?

We really like the vibe at Diamond Dogs and their beer selection is awesome. William Hallet is an across the street stand-by, we have had a lot of fun times there over the years.

If you have friends or family visiting Astoria, where do you take them?

Typically to Il Bambino or to Milkflower. Both for their excellent food, service and atmosphere.

How have you seen Astoria change since you’ve been here?

We know we haven’t been here for that long relative to many, but it feels like there have been really dramatic changes to Astoria even in these few short years. The most apparent thing to us is seeing the Astoria coffee scene just start exploding! We are meeting new customers who are coffee enthusiasts and people with a lot of coffee knowledge every day. It’s very exciting to see!

Thanks to Dennis & Liz for taking the time to chat with us!

Do you know an awesome business owner in Astoria? Nominate them for the series in the comments!

Astoria Coffee (30-04 30th St)
astoriacoffeeny.com | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2 Comments

Wendy Rosen

Domenico & Anthony Sacramone grew up in Astoria; their 90-year odd mother still lives in Astoria; they’ve owned & operated their small business in Astoria for 25 years; and they have more insight regarding the radical changes Astoria has experienced the past decade.

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