After three years at 137 Avenue A, Three Seat Espresso is planning its departure by the end of 2019 here between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.
[Photo by Steven]
The owners made the announcement on Instagram yesterday:
Three Seat Espresso will be closing for good. Not immediately but before years' end. Halloween marks our 3rd and last birthday. We have tried to serve the community as best we can, however, ultimately we can no longer do so.
Thanks to everyone who has supported and continued to support us — staff, investors, customers, friends, family, vendors and partners.
Please stop in when you can, as the staff and I would love a chance to say our goodbyes before throwing you back into the coffee abyss!
Aaron, the founder, added more background about the closure this morning in an Instagram post:
Three Seat wasn’t perfect. Nothing ever is. A lot of shit went down in those four walls. Starting as a cafe and barber concept, along with the barber aspect came physical fights between barbers in front of cafe customers, theft, police involvement, plus more. Barbers and barber shops are a culture unto themselves. I could write a book on this!
At the same time, the cafe was pretty busy and it made sense to expand into the barber shop area, removing the barber service.
It didn’t work. Over the last year, the cafe has only become quieter and quieter, significantly reducing sales — our Achilles heel. The Shitbucks effect has hit hard and they have only become busier and embraced by the community. They opened approx 50 feet from me. I have people say to me every day 'I just don’t get it, why would people go there?' Fact it is, it doesn’t matter. People do and increasingly so. There is nothing I can do about it, having tried so many things already. The mega-billion-dollar-shit-in-a-cup-boheimouth has worn my business down and now out. This is a case of where having the best coffee, the best aesthetic, the best service, the best music etc. doesn’t matter.
But, what an experience it has been! Working with staff and investors who have become dear friends, customer who have become mates and wonderful cafe and hospitality partners. When thriving, Three Seat was a wonderful part of the East Village community.
Per EVG reader Nick, who shared news of the closure: "I enjoyed going there of the past few years — they were always very nice and friendly, and the coffee was good. Curious to see what will be next."
Another reader who chimed in about the pending closing wondered what impact Starbucks, which arrived a few storefronts away in August 2017, may have had.
After two-plus years of life as a coffee shop-barber combo, Three Seats expanded the cafe in place of the barber last November.
The previous tenant here, the always-busy Top A Nails, moved next door to No. 139 in May 2016.