LOCAL PROFILES: Steven Brisson - Love Bug Cafe & Play (5.9.18)
For those readers with children or socialize with friends and family who have kids, you know that it can be hard to find a place that is pleasant for both kids and adults alike. Recognizing the need for a space that is welcoming to patrons of all ages, Love Bug Cafe & Play (opening later this year) in Tribeca has designed a playspace merged with a cafe for the young/young at heart. They'll also be making their debut at Taste of Tribeca this year to celebrate their pending opening.
We spoke with Steven Brisson, CEO and Co-Founder of Love Bug Cafe & Play, to learn more...
Tell us about your space...it's quite unique!
Love Bug Café & Play is an entertaining, educational and imaginative playspace for kids ages 0-6 blended seamlessly with a comfy, upscale café and grown-up haven serving gourmet coffee, healthy food and snacks for all. Simply put, it's a place that is equally appealing to adults and children alike—something that's been sorely missing from this neighborhood. As parents to a 4 year old boy, we know this firsthand—we've brought Camden to virtually every restaurant in Lower Manhattan—and too often the extremely limited kid's menu is filled with fried, fatty or bland options. We set out to change that by working closely with our buyers to find locally-sourced, organically grown products for our culinary team to develop a single menu that offers fresh, healthy dishes.
What inspired you to get involved in Taste of Tribeca?
Our mission at Love Bug Café & Play is simple: we fuel imaginations. We believe in the power and importance of play to inspire creativity in adults and children alike. Given the Taste of Tribeca's proceeds directly benefit the Arts & Enrichment programs of PS 234 and PS 150, we saw it as a tremendous fit with our brand's purpose and value proposition. Further, one of our core beliefs is that good business is better business—not only are we huge proponents of equality, diversity & inclusion in the workplace, from day one we committed to donating a portion of all proceeds to the local community and national charitable causes that are near & dear to our hearts.
From a personal standpoint, having lived in big cities most of our adult lives and attended dozens of outdoor food festivals, we were thrilled to discover how beautifully organized and executed the Taste of Tribeca event was when we first attended in 2016. Last year's event was once again filled with delicious bites, thousands of friendly faces, and just a great time overall. Against that backdrop, we couldn't think of a more apropos place to launch the Love Bug brand to the neighborhood and give back to the community that's brought so much joy to our lives.
What will you be featuring at Taste this year?
New at the Taste this year is an exciting area that we've sponsored—the “Family Zone”—located right outside the Washington Market Park entrance. We'll be featuring family-focused activities like a massive outdoor photobooth and loads of other fun (and FREE!) surprises! We've also sponsored a second food booth nearby to provide both hot gourmet coffee and cold brew, as well as locally-grown organic fruits and some truly decadent sweet treats. We're hopeful everyone stops by for a family photo so we can chat and celebrate our new location coming to Tribeca later this year!
What is it like being a part of the Tribeca community?
We're such huge fans of the Tribeca neighborhood. We think people outside of Manhattan often have a misconception that the entire city is filled with hustle, bustle and congestion—Tribeca is anything but that, with lots of open green spaces enveloped in such a welcoming and friendly community. My wife (and Love Bug co-founder) Laura and I always remind each other that we've made more meaningful friendships in the three years we've been living in Tribeca than we made in the last 10+ years living in Chicago and San Francisco. It's truly just a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We couldn't be happier to be giving back to the very same community that has so warmly embraced us.
What should locals know about your restaurant?
We're incredibly happy to be providing a comfortable, community-focused café and workspace sanctuary for grown-ups blended seamlessly with an imaginative, educational & interactive playspace for kids. Love Bug enables children to socialize, snack, play & learn while parents, family, co-workers or caregivers enjoy gourmet beverages, heathy food & great conversation. While we (and our amazing team of advisors) are finalizing details on our Tribeca location and continuing to raise additional investment capital, we encourage folks to visit our website atwww.lovebugcafeplay.com and enter an email address to get early access and updates on our upcoming Grand Opening (later this year) and other Love Bug news and promotions. You can also follow us on Instagram (instagram.com/lovebugcafeplay), Facebook (facebook.com/lovebugcafeplay) and Twitter (twitter.com/lovebugcafeplay) or call us at 480-LOVE-BUG.