As part of our Q&A series, Morningsider brings you exclusive interviews with neighborhood “Insiders.” This week, we interview Aaron Baird & Jeff Green, owners of Lenox Coffee.
After meeting in college at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Aaron Baird and Jeff Green crossed paths again when Baird called upon Green to work with him at his real estate company.
Opening this past December, the idea for Lenox Coffee was just a dream until the two came across the empty space on Lenox Avenue in July and envisioned the perfect space for the perfect coffee shop.
Lenox Coffee serves up a delicious menu of food and drinks in a laid back, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere that’s perfect for grabbing a quick bite or working on your laptop for the day.
Questions for Aaron & Jeff:
Lenox Coffee is a specialty coffee house located in central Harlem, at 60 West 129th Street between 5th Avenue and Lenox Avenue. We serve breakfast items including, pastries, baked goods, sweet breads, macaroons, cookies, and we will always be expanding our menu. We’re open seven days a week: 7am to 7pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday.
Our coffee roaster is 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, based out of British Columbia. They are fantastic! The coffee is rich in flavor and the espresso is a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. The shop itself has a rustic, old world charm—very comfortable with dark woods, redbrick walls, tin ceilings, decorative column, and school house lights. Several of our customers have already commented on how much they love the space; it’s perfect for spending an afternoon on your laptop or just reading a book while lounging on our leather chesterfield couch.
2. We heard that you guys met years ago, working on symphony orchestras at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. What brought you to Harlem, and what inspired you to open a coffeehouse?
We both met at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, about ten years ago. We were both working in symphony orchestras in Germany and Sweden for several years, then found ourselves back in New York—both living for some time in Harlem. We love the vibrant energy and life of the neighborhood and when presented with an opportunity to invest in its growth, we didn’t hesitate. There was a lack of a community meeting place and lack of good coffee, so we put two and two together and this is what we came up with – Lenox Coffee.
3. We read that you hope to host community events, such as open mic nights and poetry readings, in your space. Can we look forward to these events any time soon?
Yes! We have a monthly open mic night either the 3rd or 4th Thursday of every month. We will be having live music ranging from classical to jazz and other special events!
4. We love the rustic, old world charm of Lenox Coffee – especially the large leather couch, the exposed redbrick walls, and school house lights. What inspired this vision for the coffeehouse?
We wanted a place where people can go and actually want to hang out. Both of us hang out in Brooklyn and saw so many cool design aesthetics, we decided to take inspiration from there – especially Williamsburg.
5. Do you have any signature beverages you would suggest to our readers?
We serve a mean cappuccino and our chai latte seems to be very popular. We both drink our coffee black – no cream or sugar! Our coffee has enough flavor and we don’t need to spoil it.
6. Aside from Lenox Coffee, what is your favorite Harlem hot spot?
7. Anything else you would like to add?
Drink coffee and enjoy life!
60 West 129th Street
New York, NY