"I'd been looking for a spot in Northport for five years," said Mark Boccard one recent morning as he stood in the middle in the newest Southdown Coffee, on Main Street in the village. "I always thought it badly needed a specialty coffee shop."
It is a curious absence in the heart of Northport where, in fair weather, the streets are thronged with passerby — especially on weekends, when the lockdown-weary descend on downtown for grazing. The nearest espresso purveyors, Caffe Portofino and Martoni Gourmet, are about a five-minute walk from the harbor, blocks from the heart of the action.
Boccard opened his first cafe in Huntington in 2014. A second, smaller spot followed in Oyster Bay three years later. The Northport location, in a petite storefront adjacent to LICS Ice Cream, differs from its predecessors in that there are no seats, save for a wooden bench in the front window.
Instead, the focus of the space is a rustic wooden counter and a glass case stocked with pastry such as cinnamon buns and scones. A wall menu lists a roster of drip coffee (from rotating regions), espresso drinks, pour overs, matcha lattes and hot cocoa, ranging from $3 to $6 and decanted into paper cups to take away. A fridge is full of cans of "snapchilled" coffee, and bags of roasted beans line the shelves, sourced from farms in Costa Rica, Oaxaca (in Mexico) and elsewhere. (In 2019, Boccard took 3rd place in a national roasting competition, the same year Food & Wine magazine anointed Southdown one of the best coffee shops in the country).
Though pastry is the only food on hand for now, Boccard said the cafe will eventually add avocado toast and other savory bites. Also on deck, but not for Northport: The biggest Southdown Coffee of them all, set to open soon inside a historic Glen Cove house that recently was covered in street art, murals and artful graffiti. It will become the roastery for the entire operation.
Southdown Coffee is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at 72 Main St. in Northport. southdowncoffee.com