Higher IQ: Onetime Astor Place Starbucks Gets Intelligentsia

Photo: Daniel Maurer

If youve walked past what used to be the Starbucks at Astor Place, youve probably noticed new signage for the New York Film Academy Caf. Well, it finally opened late last week. The schools director of operations, Geoffrey Barbier, tells us the caf will serve as a student lounge for a new theater space at 51 Astor Place, and is also open to those who dont mind having to listen to the dude at the next table practicing his audition monologue.

As cheesy as the hydraulic stools might seem, the good news is this: The beans are from Intelligentsia; the machine is a La Marzocco; the scones, croissants, and danishes are from Balthazar; the juice is fresh squeezed; and the outdoor terrace seating 80 people is currently open (soon, Barbier says the garden will host nightly open-mike sessions for writers and musicians). Hours are currently from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m.; the menu will eventually expand to include grab-and-go sandwiches; and the caf will pour till midnight.

New York Film Academy Caf, 51 Astor Pl., nr. St. Marks St.; 212-228-8065