The New Museum is pleased to house the Hester Street Café, a collaboration with the venerated Lower East Side community market, Hester Street Fair, known as a launching pad for small, independent businesses and artists. The partnership between the New Museum and Hester Street Fair evolved from an existing collaboration fostered by the IDEAS CITY Festival, a biennial event in downtown Manhattan exploring the future of cities.
Hester Street Café at the New Museum offers New Yorkers and tourists alike a taste of some of the most creative food entrepreneurs in the city, providing a platform for these local food artisans to present their products in a museum environment.
Like the New Museum, Hester Street Fair established itself in the storied neighborhood of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was founded in 2010 on the historic grounds of New York City’s largest pushcart market at the turn of the century and was the brainchild of New York–based siblings SuChin Pak and Suhyun Pak, with Ron Castellano and Adam Zeller. Like the Fair, the Café at the New Museum will be an ever-evolving mix of provisions anchored by Intelligentsia Coffee and baked goods from Café Grumpy. The goal for each of the items on the menu is to introduce visitors to small, specialized, and passionate food entrepreneurs.
The menu for the launch of Hester Street Café was created by East Village food connoisseurs Duck’s Eatery and will include goods by: Juisi fresh-pressed juices, Melt ice cream sandwiches, P&H Soda, McNulty’s Teas, Pain D’Avignon breads, Saxelby Cheesemongers, Heritage Meat Shop, and dessert by Baking Soda Shop. The vendors are organized by the Hester Street Fair team and will rotate throughout the year.
The forty-seat café features communal tables as well as intimate settings for conversation, enhancing the New Museum’s Lobby as a gathering place for visitors and the creative community. The tables and stools were commissioned especially for the New Museum by Brooklyn-based studio Uhuru (ooh-HOO-roo), a furniture collective merging avant-garde design with a commitment to environmental sustainability. Founded in 2004 by Rhode Island School of Design graduates Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf, Uhuru builds each piece by hand in their Red Hook, Brooklyn, studio. The stools are made from scraps of hardwood collected from local wood shops and the tables are crafted from high-percentage, postconsumer recycled steel and aluminum, and finished with a zero VOC powder coat. Visitors will notice the shape of the New Museum building playfully seeded in the top of each puzzle-like “Stoolen.” The New Museum selected the award-winning Arper Leaf Chair because the Italian manufacturer has a company-wide commitment to minimize environmental impact at every stage of the chair’s production.
The Hester Street café is located on the ground floor. Museum admission is not required for entry to the café.