Lackawanna Coffee | Jersey City

A place to unwind, free your thoughts, sip on some caffeine and plan your next move. A hidden gem tucked away in the center of Downtown Jersey City is the best way to describe Lackawanna Coffee, a new coffee shop in town.

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey City

Immediately upon walking in this cozy little coffee shop located on Grove Street I was drawn to the contrast of white washed walls paralleled with black tin finishings. The airy and relaxed vibes reminded me much of the cafes and coffee shops in Brooklyn where many creatives go to think, play and spend their weekends.

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey City
The first thing I noticed was how well they used each corner of their space, fresh flowers, a collection of art pieces in the breezeway and pine finishes give this space an artist clean touch. As I made my way through the breezeway I was left speechless, the patio area of Lackawanna Coffee is a secret garden for city dwellers! It has the original ivy covering its neighboring buildings, beautiful rose bushes surrounding the courtyard and a vintage rocking horse that leaves you feeling whimsical.

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey CityThe plan was just to go enjoy a coffee with my friend Taylor and take advantage of a great photo backdrop, but after noticing how much detail went into creating the serene space I wanted to know more. I immediately went back to the barista from whom I had ordered my black iced tea with fresh simple syrup (excellent by the way) and asked if I could speak to the owners, Ian and Julius. To my luck both of them were there and graciously offered to share their inspiration and journey.

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey City
Ian: So you mentioned you felt like you were walking into a Brooklyn spot? Our birth was actually in Brooklyn, we opened a pop up shop concept, our laboratory of sorts. Once we finalized this spot in Jersey City, we phased that space out.

Me: It has that feel, you kept some of the city, brought some of Brooklyn and kept that low key vibe. And I absolutely love these lights, they are just so natural and romantic.

Julius: Our architect actually suggested ground LED lights but we wanted something more intimate and free flowing. These lights give this space that feel.

Ian: We were mindful in wanting the space to look natural and not made up. For example that breezeway space before you come out here (outside) we kept the rough form and put up some simple benches and shelves. The curation is actually being done by Ronald Beginner, a Senior Photography Producer. (See here for more about this curated space)

Me: What about the history behind the name? Why Lackawanna?

Ian: So we wanted to pay homage to Native Americans without the corporate style of dream catchers and feathers. We’re not natives but wanted to acknowledge that this space was theirs, they were here, they are here. This area in particular, parts of Manhatten included was a part of The Lenape. It wasn’t theirs as they never had ownership of land, they believed the land owned them, not the other way around. We wanted to give that feeling.

Taylor: Does the name have any relation to the Lackawanna train station in Hoboken?

Ian: So in the Lenape language Lackawanna translates to the point where a body of water splits or forks, it’s the junction point. So that area was where the river split. Lackawanna literally means junction point. So we like to think  of this as a place where customers can come and think, unwind, and free their thoughts when they are at a junction point in their lives. This is your space to come and figure out where you want to go.

Me: I love that, it’s such a beautiful and positive space. I’m so excited to have a shop like this in our neighborhood. Thank you so much for your time and for bringing this space to us.

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey CityThis post was not sponsored, I was just absolutely thrilled to have such a wonderful, calming and family friendly space in town!

Lackawanna Coffee Jersey CityLackawanna Coffee Jersey City
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the inspiration and curator behind the breezeway in Lackawanna Coffee.

All photographs courtesy TC Photography.

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