2. Bluestone Lane at the Church of Heavenly Rest
Bluestone Lane opened its seventh location in the Church of Heavenly Rest’s chapel on the Upper West Side in 2015. Previously, the Church housed a small coffee shop cleverly called the “Heavenly Rest Stop,” but the Church eventually approached Bluestone Lane in 2013, hoping to create more of a cafe and food-service-type venue in their beautiful chapel space.
Today, the church’s Bluestone Lane is an extremely popular destination, packed with tourists and locals alike at any given moment. It’s a even a favorite haunt of Australia’s prime minister. The church’s elegant Gothic Art Deco architecture, made of smooth limestone, creates a mood of peace and tranquility, but the calm atmosphere is interrupted by the brilliant blue subway tiles that comprise the counter, adding a hint of the world outside.
The cafe offers an array of beautifully curated lunch foods, such as salads and avocado toast, as well as coffee and lattes complete with artful foam designs. With both indoor and outdoor seating, this little hideaway is the perfect place to refuel amidst the buzz of Museum Mile.
The Church of Heavenly Rest believes the cafe aligns with the Christian imperative to “practice hospitality to strangers.” By incorporating a cafe into its facilities, the church provides a sanctuary for many people who otherwise would not set foot inside. Faith, after all, does not have to be all about names and groups, and sometimes open-armed hospitality and community are the most important methods of worship of all.