The Coop in Bay Ridge goes beyond high chairs and French fries to deliver a truly kid-friendly cafe that families adore. This cozy cafe has a bar-like vibe and friendly staff, delectable food and drinks, and plenty of space to sit back and relax. What really sets it apart from other cafes, though, is the kid-friendly play area in the back. The Coop welcomes parents to relax and dine while their children play in a safe and fun space—all within arm's reach. Peace for the parents, fun and games for the kids.
The cafe has food for kids...
Located around the corner from the 95th street stop on the R train, The Coop is a small cafe with a lot of personality. The play area (and the idea behind the name, according to staff) is the highlight of the place for busy moms. Parents and guardians are all welcome to bring their kids, although the space mostly attracts mothers. There is a feeling of community (in fact, many of the mothers seemed to know each other on our visit), and when the cafe gets crowded, the moms take turns watching the kids.
The play area is surrounded by a child-proof fence with a gate to keep the kids safely playing inside. The play space is fairly small, but has both an indoor and outdoor section, and plenty of tot-friendly toys. Inside is a play cooking station, soft blocks, and bins full of hard toys (no germy fabric or fur here). The small backyard is equipped with kinetic toys like rocking horses, little shopping carts, and other interactive playthings. When the kids are done playing, free disinfectant wipes are available on the nearby counter. Even the bathroom is kid-friendly, complete with a step stool to help the smaller tykes reach the faucet and a child safety seat that holds infants and toddlers up to 50 pounds.
The toys are rotated often and are appropriate for babies and toddlers who make up a majority of the little patrons. If you have any gently used toys, consider bringing them in; The Coop accepts some toy donations and will pass on whatever it doesn't use to local charities. The cafe also has a small stash of board games you can play together with older kids.
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The Coop clearly caters to little ones, but it doesn't forget to treat the parents, too. Aside from a couple of locally sourced pastries, all food is organic and homemade (even the jam!). Dishes change with the seasons, and include delicious treats like the avocado smash on sour rye or multigrain toast, and the upcoming Middle Eastern shakshuka salad. Add the cafe's signature cold brew or a hot tea for a complete brunch while the kids play nearby and you'll have some happy parents! All food in the cafe is allergen-free, making it a win for those with dangerous allergies. If your child gets a hankering for a peanut butter sandwich, try the sunbutter instead.
The cafe tends to get crowded on Sunday afternoons, and after nearby events like the nearby library's toddler reading hour. Time inside the play area is limited during busy times, so check for events in the neighborhood to help avoid the rush.
The Coop is located at 9504 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Currently, the cafe is open seven days a week, 7am-7pm with plans for longer evening hours and a beer and wine license coming soon. The cafe is also available for events and birthdays, and plans are in the works for programs and events including a baby CPR course. All in all, the Coop Cafe is a perfect place for tired mothers to get a moment of quiet in a safe, comfortable environment.
You can find even more places to play in Bay Ridge with our neighborhood roundup.
All photos courtesy of the cafe.