CHIC PLACES: RALPH'S COFFEE SHOP, NEW YORK CITY


I have been waiting so very long to come here... Does anyone remember the original Ralph's Coffee shop from years back? I do. I remember seeing it on Instagram and being overjoyed about the idea of going, however, when I arrived for girls trip in Fall of 2017 I was extremely disappointed to find out it already closed. Thank goodness I had secured a coveted reservation at The Polo Bar to get my fix, otherwise who knows what fate my girlfriends would have found me in. And unsurprisingly, Ralph's Coffee came back just in time for my trip this October, in not just one but two locations, three if you count the truck parked outside Rockefeller Center. Now all I am missing is a ticket into Ralph's Club, which was sadly only available one evening, for all the fashionistas, myself not being one of them. 





I decided to visit the Madison Avenue location, given how beautiful the green floral wallpaper looked online and because I think it's a much more attractive setup inside the beautiful Ralph Lauren shop. I think most retailers should become smarter and consider combining cafes and restaraunts into their brands, many of which have and I love them all.  For example The Skinny Dip Charleston with their frozĂ© served in the upstairs bar/coffee shop, Mansur Gavriel with their perfectly shaded pink and flowered courtyardLa Mercerie with the most beautiful blue hued decor and French menu, and of course Restoration Hardware, with stately restaurants in Chicago, New York, West Palm Beach and Napa Valley. 




SHOP MY LOOK





But aside from my anecdotal retail consulting commentary, I really did enjoy my morning inside Ralph's Coffee, a perfect addition to the walks I like to do on the Upper East Side whenever I am in town. I could guarantee this would become one of my favorite morning go-to's if I lived here, given the equally adorable Sant Ambroeus coffee bar does have any vanilla flavoring for my almond milk lattes, unfortunately. So I was elated to order just that, along with a piece of cake to take home to my husband later, in this elegant little corner. 




SHOP RALPH'S COFFEE




Located in northeast wing of the Ralph Lauren women's mansion (how chic does that sound already), the coffee shop is perfectly bustling as you'd expect it to be mid-morning with just a bit more Ralph Lauren glamour than your average neighborhood spot. With a high vaulted ceiling, a forest green leather banquette, decorative molding and that oh-so-precious floral wallpaper I'd love to do a future powder room in, I can see why the barista said they have plans to expand. I can almost understand now why this iteration of the coffee shop plan is more successful, as I think it aligns better with what people really want; a beautifully decorated space to relax for a minute, sink into the loveliness this iconic American brand has created. As a shopper you often feel rushed, silently encouraged to purchase quickly and leave in most shops. But I think retailers could really use a more inviting space for their customers to relax while they browse and I could only assume it would incur more sales, especially if they sold a cocktail of some sort!




Fortunately for me my buzz didn't extend beyond two shots of espresso before I was on my way out to continue my day in New York City. I can only hope the Beverly Hills location gets a similar spot one day too, but until then I'll have to just enjoy all the perfectly branded merch I grabbed on my way out. 


-MGN
{all photography via Classy Jorge }

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