After over 30 years in the construction world, a local company is officially branching out into the hospitality industry and will soon be bringing a new coffee, breakfast, and lunch spot to a growing neighborhood just off Newark’s Downtown.
Many years ago, a brick building at 369 Raymond Boulevard was used as a Breyer’s Ice Cream factory during the city’s industrial heyday. That company eventually outgrew the space, and Fast Construction moved into the property in recent years. Co-owners Carole DuBois and Roy Filipe have developed several projects mostly around Essex County, including The View at Lincoln Park, which is scheduled to break ground this year.
Their construction expertise came in handy when revamping the building, and unique details shine through at the café. Wood beams at the property date back to the 1800s, and many items uncovered during excavation at various construction sites were re-purposed into lamps and other fixtures. The design of the restaurant, a collaboration with C+C Architecture and Baily Li Interiors, is inspired by construction and includes a mural of blueprints from actual projects the company has worked on over the years.
The star of Blueprint Café will be their coffees featuring homemade syrups and locally-sourced Kobrick beans. The restaurant will focus on alternative brewing methods including a cold drip tower, a process that consumes three hours but creates some of the purest flavors. Deluxe donuts will be featured at the café in the a.m., and everything they serve will be locally sourced and made in-house.
The chef at Blueprint Café, Aisha Govan, is vegan-inspired and owns her own catering business, ShaRee Amour. She cooks a little bit of everything, which co-owner Carole DuBois says fits perfectly with the eatery’s vision.
“There’s some great Portuguese restaurants in the area, but we wanted something different and outside the box for the neighborhood,” DuBois says.
Entrees for lunch include a buffalo chicken sandwich with a blue cheese slaw, a hearty Kabocha squash soup, and a grilled chicken vegetable combo with coconut rice & Shiitake mushrooms. A few sandwiches like pastrami on rye and some coffee-infused dishes that feature an espresso BBQ sauce are also included on the menu, which aims to bring flavors from all around the world.
Blueprint Café, in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood, is surrounded by lots of industrial structures, but the area has seen some growth too. A new soccer field is being built directly across the street from the café, and the café is just off the first westbound exit following the Pulaski Skyway, which is scheduled to wrap its massive renovation next year.
The restaurant looks to have their soft open later this week, and their hours to start out will be from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.