Chic cafe Coffee Lab opens in Bay Ridge

New cafe offers coffee from Williamsburg, organic milk, and high-end cookies

The Brooklyn Paper
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High-end coffee has arrived in the Ridge.

A new java stop called Coffee Lab debuted on Third Avenue near the corner of 69th Street on April 4 — complete with coffee from Williamsburg roaster Toby’s Estate, organic milk from Whole Foods’s distributor, and fancy French cookies courtesy of Macaron Parlour in the East Village.

Coffee Lab’s owners said the store will fill a major hole in Bay Ridge’s commercial fabric.

“You have a lot of great restaurants here, but what’s missing is really good coffee,” said store co-owner Dora Wu.

Wu hails from the island of Macao, off the coast of China, but her husband and co-owner Don Lee grew up just a few blocks away from the new cafe on Sixth Avenue. The couple spent years living in Manhattan, working as an engineer and a pharmacist, respectively, but recently moved to Bay Ridge to start a family — and to pursue their dream of running a hip caffeine depot.

Wu said Coffee Lab’s brew will be more like the espressos popular in Australia and Europe than the average American joe — meaning more beans and less milk per cup.

“In America, people tend to drink coffee with seven or 14 ounces of beans, and fill the rest up with 10 ounces of milk,” said Wu. “In Europe and Australia, they use nine ounces or 18 ounces. It just doesn’t taste the same.”

For now, a latte at Coffee Lab will cost $4, to remain competitive with the Starbucks at 75th Street and Third Avenue. But Wu said that the specialty ingredients might eventually force her prices higher.

“We’re all about quality, not quantity,” said Wu.

Filling out Coffee Lab’s menu are $2.50 macarons — creamy French sandwich cookies — from quirky upscale Manhattan bakery Macaron Parlour. For now, the shop has stocked the sweets in lemon, raspberry, and green tea — but could order more offbeat flavors, such as candied bacon and Earl Grey.

Wu hopes to catch a good part of the morning commuter rush, but also offers free wi-fi to appeal to those with time to linger. The cafe’s interior is industrial chic, decorated with flasks and beakers recalling Wu and Lee’s past careers.

“Hopefully, it’ll work. It’s what we really want to do,” said Wu.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

No Hip Enough from Sunset Park says:
Gentrification comes to Bay Ridge.
April 8, 2014, 5:09 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Abbracadabbazoom baby!
April 8, 2014, 5:26 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
because any good coffee or espresso I have ever had in my life in Bay Ridge just wasn't "high end". It was just good, delicious, authentic and reasonably priced, but certainly not "high end". I'll have to get down there so he newcomers can educate me on KAAFEEE! bahawwwaaaaaa!
April 8, 2014, 5:49 am
diehipster from Clotheslining Cantors says:
LOL. What they don't know is that they'll be closed in approximately 12-18 months.

Long Live $1 Actual Brooklyn Coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
April 8, 2014, 6:33 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
nnnnya more like there will be two more like it in 12-18 months, and then another in Dyker Heights and then one in Bensonhurst. Wasn't it only a few months ago that the rule was hipsters would never be in south Brooklyn? That's the power of magic for you. Kiss it baby, kiss it good.
April 8, 2014, 7:31 am
diehipster from Bludgeoning Brents says:
Wrong Eeth. Do me a favor - set a date in your empty calendar for October 2015 and take down this joke of a business's phone number and call it then. I guarantee you the person who answers won't say "Coffee Lab, how can I help you?"

How dumb are these "under the hipster influence" business owners? They are taking already over-priced trendy products and marking them up again to sell in a working class neighborhood????LOLLL
April 8, 2014, 8:09 am
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
the trend in Bay Ridge is more affluent. Yes, it is still working class, but many young people are in professional fields and moving from other parts of unaffordable the city.
April 8, 2014, 8:17 am
It is what it is from Brooklyn says:
This is the reality that Diehipster and his kind refuse to accept:
April 8, 2014, 8:21 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
I live close by.

Will check it out.

Good luck to them.
April 8, 2014, 8:34 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
Very happy to see this shop open up. The northern end of 3rd Avenue is undergoing a significant upgrade, with Glow Thai, Brooklyn Beet, Olla, Burger Bistro and Le Petit Oven. Great trend.
April 8, 2014, 9:17 am
Coffee Loving Lady Seeks Same from Bay Ridge says:
This story was really under-reported. What do residents think? What about a hat tip to the other great coffee places in the neighborhood, including Caffe Cafe, which despite its name, is outstanding. I don't understand how this under-reported story slipped by the editors. That said, the number of comments means that the Brooklyn Paper still knows a hot button issue when it falls into their lap (and they've had enough coffee).
April 8, 2014, 9:29 am
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
beard boys & zoeys! Here we come! Yah!
April 8, 2014, 9:42 am
Not John from Not from Bay Ridge says:
My next name will be Anthony from Bensonhurst.
April 8, 2014, 10:10 am
diehipster from Bludgeoning Brents says:
Will Bredderman:

Please please please keep your eye on this place and do a follow up when it closes after trying to sell a twice marked up macaroon for $2.50 and over priced coffee. I beg for this follow-up.

What's ironic is that all over south Brooklyn you have tons of the Chinese bakeries and cafes that sell really great coffee and pastries for 80 cents. These kids are out of their minds.
April 8, 2014, 10:19 am
diehipster from Light & Sweet for life babe says:
I mean a Starbucks I could understand, that's real Brooklyn coffee - over roasted goes great with all the sugar and cream you could ask for, plus EXPRESSO!
April 8, 2014, 10:42 am
Daniel Fung from Flushing says:
I'm not sure why there is so much hate towards this new establishment. Prices seem fair and a macaroon for $2.50 is very reasonable. I live in Queens so I probably wouldn't try this anytime soon, but I do see potential here. Why bash this place if you haven't given it a try?

Yes the Chinese bakeries have great tasting coffee and pastries for 80 cents. But their coffee are filled with milk and loads of sugar mostly. You can still get that on the daily by all means, nobody is stopping you, but sometimes you do want quality coffee. This place might be an option to get that fix. I say let your taste buds make the decision, not your biased assumptions of what this place might stands for.

April 8, 2014, 2:04 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Daniel, we love this new cafe, are you kidding. We love the whole bohemian revolution in Brooklyn. It is a small and pathetic minority in Brooklyn that's having a hard time ... uh ... waking up and smelling the coffee.
April 8, 2014, 2:26 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Some people like diehipster just can't get enough cheap ——, so they get threatened when someone comes along selling something different. Do everyone a favor diehipster. Drink gallons of that 80 cent Chinese coffee. You'll feel more "authentic" and "working class".
April 8, 2014, 3:10 pm
Ted from Bay Ridge says:
Actually, a lot of us in the Ridge have been talking about this place. I agree with someone above, this is just the first of many to come. Finally some good coffee in the neighborhood, and I only had to wait, what, 39 years?
April 8, 2014, 3:16 pm
diehipster from Crackin' Calebs says:
John, Ted, Ethan - pick any name you'd like:

You cannot keep this experimental place alive with your comments. Real Brooklyn will dissolve this place faster than you can say "kale".

April 8, 2014, 3:29 pm
Stop Hating from Brooklyn says:
Starbucks is from Seattle. Why not support some local businesses in the community instead of the big chains.
April 8, 2014, 4:21 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Ted, that was me who said it's the first of many to come. A year from now there'll be two more in Bay Ridge and one in Bensonhurst. Bloomberg news got it right, the hipster economy is real and it's transforming Brooklyn. And sure you can get an 80 cent coffee in Bay Ridge. You can get a dollar coffee in Park Slope at a number of places. Totally irrelevant, means nothing. That's like saying Subaru will kill Mercedes because their cars are cheaper. No, this is about a new product and a whole new way of life for Brooklyn. Abrakazaaam baby.
April 8, 2014, 4:53 pm
Vito from 12th Ave says:
With all da gindaloons in Dyker you'd think we'd have at least one real cafe like in the old country. All they's got is a lousy Dunkin Donuts up da block?

April 8, 2014, 8:32 pm
The Duke from Flatbush says:
I hope they do pour overs. If not, I'd just as soon do it myself at home.
April 8, 2014, 10:02 pm
The Chooch from from his grandmother's garden in Itlie says:
That's why we're here, Vito. To bring the good life back to Brooklyn. To bring real food and real coffee to a borough that tragically forgot how to cook, and sold out to the Colonel and the Clown.
April 8, 2014, 10:38 pm
Bkdude64 says:
They are Asian, give them a pass
April 9, 2014, 3:06 am
Anthony from Bayridge says:
It's about time something practical opened in that spot. For all you who wrote negative comments would you rather another bodega, nail salon, 99 cent store or a maybe bayridge's 1000th hooka lounge? I much rather see a decent coffee shop then vacant store front covered with grafitti. Bayridge's north end of 3 ave is dead and unless you need a haircut or a 99 cent set of cheap tubberware that's all north side 3 ave good for. Good luck to the coffee lab, just wish you would open earlier i pass by at 640am sure could use your coffee then.
April 9, 2014, 6:12 am
The Chooch from Choochinello's Deep Dark Bohemian Roast says:
Anthony, I'll spread the word in the W-burg/B-wick coffee belt. I'm sure we get a few more artisanal jernts up and running at all hours in Bay Ridge.
April 9, 2014, 7:40 am
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
"Coffee from Williamsburg"? So Wburg now is a primary bean-growing country?
April 9, 2014, 10:10 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
In a word, Ed, yes. Wmsbg is the pivot-point of the foodie movement and the hipster diaspora. So you'll see a lot of coffee and gentrification pinwheeling out of Wmsbg.
April 9, 2014, 12:54 pm
Ethan W. from Bay Ridge says:
I'm a transplant to Bay Ridge. Lived in Manhattan and it was too spendy so I moved to Brooklyn, a little further out than I wanted but the rent is better (well, comparatively, not compared to where I rented in Flandreau.

Anyway, I'm really excited about this place and can't wait to check it out. I work from home and live fairly close so I can bike over in the mornings, hopefully work a bit from the cafe, get a coffee and a "nosh" and head back home. Sounds like a great day in the making!

Anyone know if they'll have wifi?
April 9, 2014, 1:42 pm
Heinz 57 from Fort Greenery says:
Coffee Lab?

Hey, at least it's not a meth lab.
April 9, 2014, 8:08 pm
hookated says:
Who even uses those hooka lounges? It's not us real brooklynites (I'm from Bensonhurst). It's typically the middle eastern folk (nothing wrong with them, just pointing it out).

News for yall, Bay Ridge aint real brookly any more than williamsburg is. Real BKs is long gone. The holdouts lost a while back and the place is better off because of it. I love new brooklyn. THAT'S real brooklyn.
April 10, 2014, 3 pm
Soured from Red Hook says:
Funny comments coming from Bay Ridge, which aspires to become what Hoboken is.
April 11, 2014, 7:08 am
D Trains from South Brooklyn says:
The $64 million dollar question is why would a pharmacist ditch a 6 figure job dealing drugs to grind coffee beans? You would think this asian is smart. But going through 6 years of school to realize your dream was to hand out espressos instead of Norco's? Congrats! You win the Darwin award!
April 11, 2014, 9:48 pm
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
I just stopped in for a large americano.

It was wonderful.

I'll be back. Welcome to the neighborhood, guys.
April 12, 2014, 3:12 pm
Alex from Bay Ridge says:
This is great for the neighborhood, and I will definitely check it out. Happy to have interesting new businesses on this end of 3rd. Ave.
April 17, 2014, 9:18 am
ted born and raised in Brooklyn from Bay Ridge! says:
I welcome the shop with open arms! I commend them for taking the time and the risk to provide that corner of my hood with something special! Good luck guys! I wish you endless success, those who know anything about opening a small business understand the plight!
April 18, 2014, 7:13 am
ciccio from bensonhurst says:
ay dese a hippas not a tat bad dey gotta soma funni axsents buta wadda ya gonna do no hurta nonebudy dey needa tu chainga dare cloths dow yu noa fitta in geta da pusha back harecut anda difarent shooes we starta ther anda no time dey a reela brook
April 19, 2014, 6:28 pm
Em from Bay Ridge says:
It's October 2015 and coffee lab changed it's name due to trademark belonging to another, new name, coffe rx, same owners, same great coffee. They appear to be doing well and Bay Ridge neighbors love the coffee rx. Earlier poster was wrong in thinking they're be gone.
Oct. 15, 2015, 6:53 pm
Maria from Bay Ridge says:
March 12th, 2017. CoffeRx still open, great coffee, great Nutella Monster, great place to study when the library is closed :)
March 12, 2017, 2:23 pm

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