04.27.2016 | posted 2 years, 27 days ago
Jack’s Coffee Gives It a Stir at The Roxy Hotel
If you don’t know Jack, it’s time you got up to speed. Allow us to introduce you.
“The coffee landscape has changed a lot since I started in New York 13 years ago,” says Jack Mazzola, owner of Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee, which was the first organic,fair trade coffee shop to open in New York City. “It became more precious, with good coffee on every corner. Over the years I’m realizing that it’s not just about the coffee. It’s about the experience!”
Inspired by his invention of the Stir Brewer, a device that oxygenates coffee grounds to lower their acidity as they brew, Mazzola opened his first shop on 10th Street in the West Village in 2003. The coffee, and the sense of community the shop created, drew a number of devoted fans. Briana Stanley, design director for Soho Grand and The Roxy Hotel, was one of them. To this day she considers Jack’s to serve the city’s best cup of joe, which is why she called a meeting with the shop’s team to discuss bringing it to The Roxy. It turns out that Mazzola bartended at Soho Grand’s Grand Bar, years before opening that first shop on 10th Street. Fast-forward to 2016, and Mazzola is back – with oxygenated coffee grounds in hand, and that same quality, consistency, and service the hotels are known for.
The latest Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee location is now open on the ground floor of The Roxy, offering the everyday caffeinated standards plus custom, cheekily named inventions. Mazzola recommends a semi-sweet latte made with cinnamon – a great pick-me- up he calls the “Happy Jack.” In case you’re looking for a snack as well, there are plenty of vegan baked goods to satisfy any appetite. Pick up a dozen donuts, or grab a scone or biscuit with your beverage. Jack’s offerings can be found in The Roxy Lounge, or through the shop’s public entrance on 6th Avenue.
We sat down with Jack to talk coffee and hear some of his favorite memories from over the years. With this next chapter upon us, we can’t wait to see what stories brew here at The Roxy.
The Loraine Special
“Loraine Wilbur celebrated her 95th, 96th , and 97th birthdays at Jack’s on West 10th Street with friends – many of them friends she met by coming to Jack’s every day, and I was proud to call myself one of them. Her health took a turn for the worse as she approached the end of her life, and she moved into a nursing home once she was unable to take care of herself. We saw each other less and less, but she told me that her 97th birthday wish was to spend it at Jack’s with a birthday cake, a lobster roll, and a half-caffeine stir brew with cream and sugar. If that’s what she wanted, that’s what she would get. On her 97th birthday, my friend JP and I broke Loraine out of her nursing home on the Upper East Side. We headed downtown to celebrate her birthday at Jack’s, with all her friends in attendance. She had the best time, and we managed to sneak her back into the nursing home without too much fanfare. I went back to visit her the next week only to find out she had passed. It hit me hard, but I was so grateful we all got to celebrate her life one last time at the shop. In her memory, we created a discount for seniors – aptly named The Loraine Special.”
Cold Roses Collage
“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge music fan. At Jack’s on 10th Street, you’ll find a really cool collage hanging in the back, which was gifted to me by Ryan Adams. He created it while recording his 2005 album, Cold Roses, at Electric Lady Studios on West 8th Street, which is how we got to know each other. Ryan became a regular at Jack’s during that time, and always ordered the Mad Max – a stir brew coffee with a shot of espresso. We had great small talk that blossomed into a really nice friendship (and free tickets to his incredible sold out show at the Apollo.) He’s since left NYC for Los Angeles, but we’re still in touch to this day.”
There Will Be Blood… but There Almost Wasn’t
“Daniel Day-Lewis and his family became regulars at Jack’s over the years, and we became friends. I loved seeing Daniel in the shop, and as an actor myself I’ve always had tremendous respect for his work. I remember a period when Daniel and Paul Thomas Anderson came into the shop everyday for weeks – they would sit and talk for hours – but one day in particular stands out the most. Paul was in town working on planting the seeds for “There Will Be Blood” with Daniel, and the three of us were sitting outside on the bench in front of 10th Street. As they smoked cigarettes and sipped coffee, the two talked about whether they could get funding, and if the film would even get made. I think everyone knows how this one ended: the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture. Daniel Day-Lewis won for best actor. It’s safe to say things worked out.”