[This review of Black Gold on Court Street was written by Manny Simone, who has contributed to Pardon Me For Asking in the past.]
461 Court Street
I thoroughly enjoy my usual Sunday morning ritual of taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. Typically, this ritual involves coffee; weather I'm carrying my own or picking something up. Last minute, the misses and I decided to pop into Black Gold, the 'records-coffee-antiques' shop on south Court Street.
The interior is modest in scale but definitely a feast for the eyes and ears: walls are adored with all types of pictures, a diverse record collection, antiques as well as some taxidermy. All of this is accompanied with a soundtrack as a record softly plays in the corner. I walked up to counter and looked around, not knowing what this place had to offer and didn't see any menu or list on the counter. There were two workers there, one female one male, and I asked the girl if there was a menu or anything. She said not really, but directed me to
a small chalk board on the wall that had a list of some teas that they offered and also some pastries on the wall near it. I asked if they had lattes and was informed no (I have to admit my disappointment for a coffee shop that doesn't serve espresso). To make up for it, the shop does ground and brew each cup to order and you have your choice of the Black Gold Blend or a lighter alternative roast. I opted for the signature blend which was bold but definitely pleasant, with a slight bitter chocolate flavor to it.
If you'd like to stay a while, there's a small window seat with stools and a view out to Court Street and a bench outside. I am interested as to how this store will thrive financially with limited food and beverages options. On my brief visit, I didn't see anyone perusing through the records and I have to express a little doubt that they have strong sales of the antiques (Father's Day is coming up, anyone in the market for a stuffed deer head?).
This store is definitely an original addition to the neighborhood and with the rotating list of records and curios, it warrants repeat visits. Time will only tell if the concept of a records-coffee-antiques shop officially has a place or if it's just a passing idea.
Manny Simone is a singer, pianist, music teacher and writer from Carroll Gardens. He is also the Director of Musical Theatre with Mind The Art Entertainment, a NYC-based collaborative arts and entertainment company www.MannySimone.com