When I enter, Tristan, a newly hired barista here is playing a Pandora mix called Souls of Confusion. It feels like an urban romantic melody is being scored as I see her chat and crank espresso, cuddle steel pitchers and command milk with the control of a steam wand.
Interestingly enough, there isn’t signage on the door alerting visitors that they’ve arrived. When Basquali opened in 2006, he couldn’t afford a banner and the lack of one has been part of its charm ever since.
Instead, colorful lights and lively chatter is its own beacon of sound attracting all who seek such a place as he once did. So, those preferring a near noiseless space won’t find it here and gladly so.
Before Brooklyn, Basquali lived in Darlinghurst, Sydney and was a regular himself at a café called Tropicana. “I went there every day for ten years. It was an amazing place – a center of community where regulars gathered and socialized, from filmmakers to writers and the homeless. And it had really good coffee.” Ironically, he’s just described Smooch.
When I return later in the evening, there’s Danny – B multi-tasking behind the coffee bar pouring a beer, a red, then pulling a shot of Sumatra espresso in a spot on British accent. And, as I take a sip from my flat white, there’s so much to love about this side street coffee house. I can’t hold it in; I’m ready to kiss and tell.
Smooch sounds like The Andrews Sisters | Near You