Welcome to Brooklyn, mates!
Australian coffee shops are taking over the County of Kings! The owners of Lil’ Sister, an Aussie pop-up cafe that opened in Park Slope earlier this month, say that the shops are more than just a place to grab some joe — they are little slices of the land Down Under, filled with calm and good vibes.
“Your local coffee shop is a local extension of your life, you know the owner intimately, know the barista by name,” said Ryan De Remer, who lives in Bushwick. “It becomes an experience. The vibe and energy is a huge thing.”
De Remer and his co-owner, fellow Australian Luke Woodard, also own the Williamsburg coffee shop Sweatshop. The pair have taken over the ground-floor Flatbush Avenue storefront until October, where they plan to sling caffeinated beverages and host art events, talks, and meditation classes, said De Remer.
“We were given the opportunity to have the space until October and go crazy with it and really have this kind of experience. We want to do a variety of things — we also want to do cultural events, wellness, and a meditation studio,” he said. “Come and have a coffee — it’s meant to be feel-good vibes all around.”
Australian cafes are not just a place to grab a little picker-upper from Down Under — customers are welcome to sit, chat, and enjoy their beverages. They are also known for having healthier options to munch on rather than sugary snacks, said Woodard, who lives in Greenpoint.
“Traditionally, in New York and other parts of America, the coffee is very good but it’s hard to find something that isn’t a donut or pastry to pair with delicious coffee,” he said. “If you go to any cafe back in Australia, they’ve all got top-of-the-line kitchens and chefs. It’s more of a dining experience.”
The Flatbush Avenue pop-up will serve up popular Australian drinks and dishes, like the millennial favorite Aussie Avo Smash (avocado on toast), granola bowls, flat whites (like a latte, but with more espresso and less foam), and a drink called the sparky, which is a double shot of espresso mixed with fresh tonic water, said De Remer.
Lil’ Sister joins several other Australian coffee shops that have already made their home in the borough, including Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists, which opened in Gowanus last fall, and Bluestone Lane, which started brewing in Dumbo in 2016.
All of these Aussie cafes have been surprisingly supportive of each other, rather than competitive, said De Remer.
“New York City is such an amazing melting pot, we can be proud of bringing our flag,” he said. “We’re all in this group together, all want to bring this experience, all doing the same thing. No competition, just rocking it — team Australia!”
Lil’ Sister (336 Flatbush Ave. between Sterling and St. John’s places in Park Slope, www.lilsister.nyc).
Open 7:30 am–4 pm through October.