For over fifteen years, the corner of Broadway and Houston has been the home of Hassan Elbaz and his coffee cart. Many New Yorkers often pay little attention to the City’s ubiquitous coffee carts, besides maybe ordering a reliably cheap cup of joe, but licensed vendors like Hassan are constantly keeping a watchful eye over the intersection he’s called home six days a week since the aughts.
Hassan is an immigrant from Egypt, and he takes great pride in his friendly service, fresh coffee and pastries, and serving the neighborhood. While there’s lots of friendly faces in NoHo, Hassan really stands out and lights up this corner in the neighborhood. From giving tourists directions, sharing information with the BID, or doing any other of the litany of things that come with being such a steady presence at a busy intersection, everyday is a little bit different. What really keeps him going, and his favorite part of the job, is the people, especially his regulars. He has nearly 100 regulars, most of whom visit the cart every single day. Over the years, he’s gotten to know this people and formed relationships with them.
The people and desire to continue serving this community is what made him come back so quickly after COVID. If you were here in summer 2020, you know they were one of the few consistent eyes on the street. Hassan jokes that he’d have come back even sooner, but couldn’t because the garage he stores his cart in hadn’t reopened yet. They ended up giving him a set of keys so he could unlock the facility and bring his cart into the city. Even though he was doing almost no business in the “dark days of COVID” as he puts its, Hassan wanted to keep doing what he’s done for decades now – serving the NoHo community.
Visit Hassan at his coffee cart every Monday through Saturday, right at the corner of Houston and Broadway. They offer pastries and baked goods, coffee, bagels, and other drinks and are open daily. Visit them from the early morning, usually by about 6:00 AM until about 4:00 PM in the afternoon. Unlike most other coffee carts, Hassan takes credit cards!