At this cafe, everything is for sale — even the coffee cups.
A new coffee shop that opened in Greenwood Heights last week doubles as an antique store, giving the collector-turned-restaurateur behind the unconventional shop a chance to show off antique objects he’s been collecting since childhood.
“All of this used to be in my house,” said Shawn Peled, who opened Yardsale Cafe at 620 5th Avenue near 17th Street. “In my house, this is a problem, here it’s kind of cool.”
Peled has amassed his vast collection over years of digging at flea markets, estate sales and antique shops across the globe — all while working in the restaurant industry.
Now, the artifact hoarder is combining his two passions, welcoming patrons into the laid-back environment of a coffee shop, while allowing customers to browse the vestiges of his days as a relic hunter.
“It’s just my two passions,” he said. “It was the perfect opportunity and the perfect space.”
Peled’s collection lines the wall of the narrow storefront, boasting copious amounts of antique china — including bone china made in Japan, railroad lamps from the early 1900s, copper pots, historic newspapers, framed vintage prints, WWII era mess kits, and countless other ephemera.
And those looking to scoop up some interesting glassware won’t have to look very hard, as Peled serves patrons their orders in unique coffee and teacups that customers can actually buy — including collectible Norman Rockwell mugs, which are currently used to serve cups of Joe.
Yardsale’s menu features simple American dishes with influences from Israel — where Peled was born — such as a “tuna” salad that is made with mackerel.
“It gives a much healthier, fresher twist,” he said. “A lot of vegetables, a lot of color, whatever we can get at the market.”
The collector says he wants to be a source for high-quality home goods in the borough, and provide an alternative to the bargain-bin goods peddled by big box stores.
“The idea is to try to stop buying those Ikea glasses every time you move,” he said. “Buy something you can actually hold and use for many years.”
Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.
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