Nestled among the limestone arches of what was once a side chapel and library, our sidewalk café, Heavenly Rest Stop, re-opened in July 2015 with a new bright décor and a new operator, Bluestone Lane. With four other popular coffee shops around New York City, Bluestone Lane is known for its premium Melbourne-style coffee and its excellent pastries and sandwiches, many of them gluten-free and/or vegan. Heavenly Rest Stop by Bluestone Lane offers a welcome place to rest and refuel across from Central Park’s busy Engineers’ Gate entrance at East 90th Street.
Since 2009, the Heavenly Rest Stop has been an integral part of Church of the Heavenly Rest’s seven-days-a-week open-door policy. Tourists and locals alike stroll in to check out what goes on beyond all those tables, chairs, and umbrellas on our sidewalk. When they come in, they discover not only a vibrant café but also a passageway to one of New York’s most beautiful sacred spaces, our Gothic Art Deco sanctuary.
What does opening the Church doors have to do with Christian mission? “Practice hospitality to strangers” is one of the recurring instructions given to the early Christians in the Apostle Paul’s letters. Keeping our building open and welcoming all comers is one way we practice not only hospitality to strangers, but also wise stewardship of this large and very special piece of real estate we call home. By offering our church as a quiet and holy space to passersby for reflection, rest and meditation, we are giving New York City a precious gift as well as an open invitation to get to know us further.
Open Monday – Thursday 7:30am-6:00pm; Friday – Sunday 7:30am-8:00pm. Photos © Ben Hider