I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the third location of third wave coffee bar Sweetleaf for months. When I heard that it would be serving cocktails from Richie Boccatto of nearby Dutch Kills I became even more intrigued. So the other day I stopped by, partly to get a jolt to ward off an M.Wells-induced food coma and partly to check out the joint. Coffee maven and Sweetleaf co-owner Rich Nieto fixed me a macchiato while I soaked up the atmosphere. The wooden bar is equally suited to downing an espresso or sipping a fine libation. Ditto the comfy chairs in the front. There’s even a design element that pays homage to the gantries which are just down the road.
Richie Boccato’s cocktail menu includes such classics as the Jack Rose and Singapore Sling. There’s also a list of signature “spirituous and caffeinated’ cocktails. Among these find the Long Island City Special, which combines blackstrap rum, house coffee liqueur, fresh lemon juice, agave syrup, and seltzer. Sounds like a brighter, less sweet, more alcoholic version of the classic Italian-American espresso soda, Manhattan Special.
The original location of Sweetleaf has what I like to call a chill-out room, complete with flocked wallpaper and a turntable for your listening pleasure. The new Sweetleaf also has an inner sanctum of sorts. It’s a cozy little room with a couch and wallpaper depicting a 19th century opera house. The latest incarnation of Sweetleaf not only combines coffee and cocktails, it also pays tribute to a neighborhood with a rich history. That’s pretty sweet in my book
Sweetleaf, 46-15 Center Blvd., Long Island City