Most mornings, getting a cup of coffee usually involves waiting in a long line and getting just enough caffeine to start your work day.
But Café Renis doesn’t just want to give you your caffeine fix; the new shop, located on 30th Avenue in Astoria, wants to take you on a mini escape from the city.
The café, which opened on July 24 at 47-14 30th Ave., has three unique sitting areas with carefully crafted details and decorations everywhere you turn, down to the colorful cups and saucers with gold trim and golden spoons.
“Astoria has nothing like this,” said the café’s owner, Renis Fusha. “I just want people to feel like they’re in a different place every time they sit down.”
Outside, the café has a large pink awning, charming mint green tables and chairs, and a sign with their daily specials. Walk inside, and you’ll see that Fusha brought art, color and careful detail to every inch of the space.
The café is not his first business venture, but it was one of his dreams to open a space like Café Renis — so when the space became available, he jumped at the opportunity to finally get started on the café he always envisioned.
He designed the place himself, with help from family and friends, as well as some talented artists like Gabriele Perici and Caryn Cast, whom he hired for some of the café’s artwork.
The final result has a living room setting, a seating area among a beautiful flower wall, and a “sunroom” that is designed to look like a garden, complete with flowers, green plants, a fountain with the peaceful sound of flowing water and a skylight.
Even the restroom depicts another setting, with scenes of the Adriatic Sea painted along the walls and ceiling, and a real seashell that was used for the sink.
Fusha felt he knew that this kind of careful detail and effort would be best appreciated by the Astoria community.
“Astoria is very diverse. It’s where different cultures meet,” Fusha said. “And up here there’s no coffee shop like this; you’d have to go down to Steinway Street. I don’t believe something like this would work very well somewhere else.”
The café uses Stumptown for all of their coffee drinks. It has a menu with classic cafe selections from cappuccinos to lattes, as well as some tea options, like a matcha latte and chai tea.
They also serve sandwiches, which are always made with fresh ingredients, as well as pastries and treats they get from Rudy’s Pastry Shop in Ridgewood.
Their pastel macarons are a delicious and perfect companion to a cup of coffee or a matcha latte.
Mostly, Fusha wants to create an environment where people enjoy time with friends, both old and new. He’s already started to get a few regulars since the café opened over a month ago.
“I’m very social and I become friendly with everybody,” Fusha said. “We’re pet-friendly. I want people to come with their pets and just talk with their friends and get to know everybody around [at the café]. I want to be the spot that everybody talks about, like ‘hey, let’s go there.’”