Many shops are moving away from the cafe-as-office-space model, where people sit for hours getting work done. Pourt, a new cafe and workspace in New York City, welcomes workers with high-quality coffee, food, and ample outlets.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Pourt
We all need a place to sit in front of a computer and get things done, whether it’s writing that final paper for your lit class, finishing that job application for your next career move, or addressing the never-ending barrage of emails. As some cafes move away from providing tools like free Wi-Fi or power outlets, Pourt Cafe + Workspace in New York City decided to design its space, menu, and pricing structure around the idea of the cafe as a workspace. “Pourt is a hybrid of a cafe serving high-quality food and drinks and an hourly co-working space,” shares Matt Tervooren, founder of Pourt.
Matt, like many city dwellers, built Pourt after noticing there weren’t many welcoming spaces to sit down and do work. “We (my business partner Mike Kruszewski and I) came up with the idea after spending time as freelancers and being constantly annoyed by the lack of places to comfortably get work done,” Matt shares. “People looking for a ‘third place’ outside their home or office usually resort to coffee shops with spotty Wi-Fi, tiny desks, and uncomfortable seating.” Pourt aims to offer the amenities of a co-working space without the guilt associated with sitting in a cafe for hours trying to get work done. “The workspace has 18 individual desks and a conference room that can seat six people,” Matt says. “Each desk has personal outlets, ample space, comfy task chairs, fiber-optic Internet, color printing, and unlimited free drinks from the cafe.”
Patrons use the space on an hourly basis. The fee to use the space at Pourt is $10 an hour, capped at $38 a day regardless of how long someone stays. While Pourt goes big on the amenities, it doesn’t skimp on the food and drink offerings. “We basically wanted to take our favorite aspects of cafes and co-working spaces, combine them, and eliminate the drawbacks,” Matt shares. The cafe serves coffee from Intelligentsia, and all baristas are trained in their lab in SoHo. The food menu is carefully designed, and the drink options at night are as top-notch as what you’d see in most restaurants. “We source all of our ingredients from local purveyors,” Matt says. “We have highly curated beer and wine programs that we rotate every month or two. They will always have a theme. For example, we’re currently carrying an assortment of wines from the Rhone Valley and a selection of beers from Brooklyn Brewery.”
The cafe will still offer traditional to-go service for those looking for a coffee during their morning commute. Patrons can walk up to the bar, order their drinks, and take them to go, or they can walk through a partition and enjoy the workspace. The cafe, which is located in the East Village, has attracted workers of all types. “The workspace has been used by a wide range of people, but the most common demos have been freelancers, professionals, and students,” Matt notes. Both Cooper Union and New York University are just steps away, providing students, amongst others, a relaxing and inviting space to sit, do work, and feel welcome to hang out for as long as they need to.
Both Matt and his business partner have lived in the East Village at some point, and are excited to be welcomed by the community. “We’re loving the fact that we’ve become part of the daily routine of the people who live and work in this neighborhood,” Matt says. And their vision for a collaborative space that focuses on quality is reflected in their name, which is meant to be a mash-up of the word pour and port. “[The name Pourt] has a few meanings,” Matt shares. “Pour is pretty obvious, as in to pour a drink. Port as in something you plug into due to our workspace being quite tech-forward. Port as in a port where ships and traders gather and exchange goods and ideas. We’d like both our cafe and workspace to be areas for people to congregate and to meet new people.”
Pourt is located at 35 Cooper Square, and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.