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Architecture August, 19 2013

Look Inside AP Café in Bushwick, Brooklyn

“A Place”, “Advanced Placement”, “Awesome People”… A few of the titles that Brooklyn shop co-owner, Wes Mapes, explains his cafe “AP” could stand for. During our sit-down, Mapes likened the interchangeability of the name to the dynamic nature of the renovation project and neighborhood. Every detail in the space from the steel front door to the deep sky lights in the ceiling appear to have been meticulously designed and attended to. So it came as a surprise to hear that the intended vision is still a ways away.

Photography: Thomas Welch/Selectism.com

Six months ago, the venue was an unassuming metal shop run by four artists and friends from California and New York who worked contract jobs, creative commissions and other personal projects… Not atypical to other spaces along Troutman Street in the Bushwick neighborhood in north Brooklyn. An opportunity arose to transform the workshop into a storefront, an ongoing  project the four could all contribute to. Everyone has backgrounds in food, design, construction and art, so this joint project was a no brainer.

The interior was totally stripped and renovated from the ground up. It is apparent that their previous experience in metal and contract work came in handy. We were told that apart from an electrician and concrete crew, the entire project was done in-house from the design and construction to sourcing the food and drink offerings. AP now functions as a cafe/coffee shop and serves some of the best iced coffee topped off with a shot of espresso — Very strong stuff. They offer anything a typical gourmet coffee shop would provide, but with that extra detail that breaks into new culinary territory. But AP’s real distinction is in their physical space. Our photos speak for themselves. It’s apparent that this is truly a place of passion and the work of master craftsmen.

As mentioned, the project is just now getting started. The goal is to be somewhat of a European-style cafe were one could have a beer, glass of wine, accompanied by tapas style dining. After our talk it’s clear that there is not much of a limit on where the space and offering can go. What you might be chewing on Friday was probably a whim earlier on in the week. In the near future, look for a fusion of foods from Jamaicain, Vietnamese, Mexican, Caribbean. We suggest a trip out to Bushwick to check out some real pioneers of the neighborhood. Interesting eats.

AP Cafe
426 Troutman St.
Brooklyn, NY 11237

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