NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano sipped and shopped at two stores that have their own cafes, Back in Time in Farmingdale and Sea City Vintage in Atlantic Beach. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp, Alejandra Villa Loarca

You can’t shop 'til you drop until you have coffee, tea or pastry in hand at these boutiques and vintage stores on Long Island.

A growing trend in the small business retail sector is having a small cafe in the building so customers have another reason to pop in, browse and shop.

“Now more than ever businesses are looking to create hybrid retail experiences for people who would otherwise shop online,” says Cassie Justice, co-owner of Sea City Vintage in Atlantic Beach. “You definitely need more than a rack of clothes these days.”

Justice opened Sea City Vintage with her husband, Tom, in the fall of 2022. At first, it was only a vintage store, but after months of renovations, they opened the adjoining cafe last summer. Now, they get tons of regulars for coffee, especially in the warmer months.

“It’s become a destination,” Justice says. “A lot of customers come from Rockaway or Long Beach and they make a morning or early afternoon out of it.”

The concept draws in more customers for in-person shopping by creating a leisurely atmosphere.

“I love it because that way, you can sit down, drink some coffee, and think over whether you want to buy something or not,” says Patricia Dowds 76, of East Moriches, a frequent customer at Lumber + Salt in Jamesport. “And they have great coffee, which is very important. It’s a fun place.”

Lumber + Salt, an antique and vintage architecture and design store, opened in 2020 and its cafe within the shop two years later.

“We basically saw an opportunity for us to offer something above and beyond,” says Brooke Cantone, co-owner of Lumber + Salt. “We wanted to offer an experience that was the kiss on top of the whole property, and coffee was natural. It’s really taken over.”

Shops like these tend to hold DIY workshops, pop-ups and other events that turn the stores into community spaces. Joseph DeBello, owner of Hitch and Bestea in Babylon, says that his tea bar gives patrons something to do while they wait for a crafting session or after they browse the shop.

“When customers come in, they gravitate to the gift store and if they haven’t been to the tea shop, they come in and grab a drink,” he says.

Back In Time and Elise’s Nieces Cafe, owned by a mother and daughter in Farmingdale, has a similar vibe. Customers will walk in through the front, browse the antique and vintage décor, and then end up in the cafe, located in the back of the store, for a sweet treat.

It's become a community meeting spot,” says Jenna Tomeo, owner of Elise’s Niece’s Cafe. “It’s a huge range of people that come in.”

Sea City Vintage

2001 Park St., Atlantic Beach

Co-owner Tom Justice helps customer Molly Hennck at Sea City...

Co-owner Tom Justice helps customer Molly Hennck at Sea City Vintage in Atlantic Beach. Credit: Linda Rosier

Staying true to the beach town aura, the vintage shop primarily offers “coastal curiosities and nautical vintage” items. Customers will also find midcentury modern furniture, housewares, clothing and gifts dating from the '50s to the '70s.

That’s just the vintage shop side of things. When patrons walk over to Roast and Toast, they can indulge in hot and cold teas and coffees, seasonal toasts and soups and other snacks. The avocado toast is particularly a big hit.

Vintage items are for sale at Sea City Vintage in...

Vintage items are for sale at Sea City Vintage in Atlantic Beach. The shop also features a coffee and snack shop. Credit: Linda Rosier

Starting Memorial Day weekend, Sea City Vintage will host maker markets with local dealers selling their wares every other Sunday. The shop also hosts occasional pop-up shops. This summer, there will be more regular event programming with DIY classes and other community gatherings.

More info 516-243-5147,

Lumber + Salt

5570 Sound Ave., Jamesport

Manager Nicole Barriere, left, serves Sadiya Naz-Hueffner and her daughter,...

Manager Nicole Barriere, left, serves Sadiya Naz-Hueffner and her daughter, Julia Naz-Hueffner, 9 months, at the cafe at Lumber + Salt in Jamesport. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Co-owners Cantone and John Mazur are designers who have worked on projects locally at North Fork wineries and beyond. Lumber + Salt serves both as their showroom and as a shop selling architectural salvage, such as reclaimed wood and lumber, and upcycled home décor pieces, materials, objects, and other oddities, as well as plants and flowers.

“You don’t know what you’re going to find — windows, doors, lamps, pieces of architecture that can be made into other things,” Dowds says.

Patricia Dowds, of East Moriches, and Michael Zentman, of Manhattan,...

Patricia Dowds, of East Moriches, and Michael Zentman, of Manhattan, sit in the cafe area at Lumber + Salt in Jamesport on April 20. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Popular menu items at Lumber + Salt’s cafe are the blackberry almond latte, pistachio latte, matcha latte and chai tea latte. The cafe only serves items from Jamesport-based companies: coffee from Jamesport Sourdough & Coffee Co., baked goods from Main Road Biscuit Co., and herbal tea from Herb Loft. Lumber + Salt plans to hold events involving creatives in the community this summer.

More info 215-704-6588,

Hitch and Bestea

37 E. Main St., Babylon

Grab a tea while you shop at Bestea by Hitch in...

Grab a tea while you shop at Bestea by Hitch in Babylon village. Credit: Michele Kats

Debello calls Hitch “a giant Etsy that came alive,” a description that makes perfect sense when you’ve seen the wide array of handmade items from vendors who apply to have their wares sold there. Hitch has everything from trucker hats to charm bracelets, soaps to sun catchers and luxury handbags to pins and patches. Other products include pop culture prayer candles, embroidered apparel, and cards and stationery with cheeky sayings.

Participants mix up soy candles with essential oils during the...

Participants mix up soy candles with essential oils during the crystal soy candle class held at Hitch in Babylon. The shop sells Long Island-themed apparel, quirky gifts, greeting cards, jewelry, bags and more. Credit: Steve Pfost

A door in the middle connects Hitch to Bestea, so customers can walk freely between the two spaces. Bestea offers a variety of flavored teas, which are available by the cup or in packages for sale to make at home. There are some creative tea drinks, such as the sparkly Taylor Swift-inspired “SwifTEA” which comes with a special gift. The tea bar also partners with The Hungry Gnome, selling the Long Island City-based baker’s scones that were featured on the HBO Max show, “The Big Brunch.”

Hitch and Bestea host frequent events such as macrame-making workshops, candle-making workshops, paint nights, and monthly book clubs. Upcoming events include book club, candle making, paint night, and workshops on beach cover ups, tie dye techniques and DIY designer wallets. The store will also launch its drop-in service, Getting "Craftea and Bestea," where customers can walk in and craft.

More info 516-519-2494,

Back in Time and Elise’s Niece’s Cafe

441 Main St., Farmingdale

Jenna Tomeo, left, owner of Elise’s Niece’s cafe in Farmingdale,...

Jenna Tomeo, left, owner of Elise’s Niece’s cafe in Farmingdale, helps customers on April 28. Credit: Linda Rosier

Back in Time is a vintage shop selling unique home décor pieces. Customers can find just about any kind of housewarming gift there, from kitchenware to pillows to soaps to antique furniture.

Behind the vintage store is Elise’s Niece’s Cafe, which is fully ready to serve your sweet tooth. The cafe experiments with all different kinds of homemade cookies, cakes, brownies, Linzer Tarts, cupcakes and other pastries.

Joanne Stochla, of Bayville, shops at at Back in Time...

Joanne Stochla, of Bayville, shops at at Back in Time with an iced coffee from Elise's Niece’s in Farmingdale on April 28; Brandon Thomas and Kim Tierney shop at Back in Time, which is attached to Elise’s Niece’s cafe in Farmingdale on April 28.

The two spaces, which also include a courtyard, outdoor Cobb’s Corner Bar, and barn just outside the cafe, are equipped to partner with the community to host events. In the past, they’ve held cake decorating workshops and high tea parties.

More info 516-586-8443,


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