The Bean

147 1st Ave(at E 9th St)New York, NY 10003
(212) 243-2900
L at 1st Ave
Daily 7am-Midnight

Sort of like a cheery indie Starbucks with worse coffee, The Bean has three locations which are clustered in the East Village and are magnets for laptop workers, with copious plugs, fast free wifi, and lots of seating.

This branch of The (somewhat ironically named) Bean is a large corner shop with walls consisting entirely of floor to ceiling windows that look out over an East Village corner that is far busier than that of its 2nd Avenue cousin a handful of blocks south. Although not as large, this branch has a similar long side-street wall, lined entirely on the outside with benches, and on the inside with a long cushioned banquette and two seat, faux marble-topped cafe tables. The abundant sunlight that slants down on the East 9th Street side during the day is both a blessing and a curse, drawing people to the outdoor benches, but also making the majority of the window laptop seats uninhabitable in the afternoon due to the heat and glare.

Similarly to the other shops, there’s a large communal table, but the space is a little too small to accommodate a plushy living room section. The counter area occupies a huge hunk of the back wall and is populated by all manner of corporate looking sweets, plastic-wrapped sandwiches, yogurt, juices, and the like, with the remainder of the wall inhabited by a laptop free zone and unfinished brick walls displaying work by local artists.

If you care about coffee at all, don’t drink it here – stick to the pre-made iced teas, which are good enough. The espresso machine is fully automatic, the drip coffee is made in a Bunn, and the coffee beans they sell at The Bean have no roast date. Music, courtesy of a Pandora station possibly labeled 1990s Dentist Office, is at a volume just loud enough to be slightly intrusive. Despite everything, we still find ourselves working at The Bean due to the aforementioned plugs, fast wifi, friendly staff, and a good looking, young-leaning customer base.

Other branches:
The Bean – East Village, 2nd Ave & E 3rd St