Join the Club: Fair Folks and a Goat

For the first installment of our "Join the Club" series, in which we profile rad clubs from around the world, we make a stop at a coffee shop-retail store hybrid that makes for a pretty crucial neighborhood hangout.

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Outside Fair Folks and a Goat in New York City's Greenwich Village.
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When Anthony Mazzei first moved to New York City in 2003, he was living in a stereotypically tiny studio. How great would it be, he thought at the time, to have access to one of the stunning, spacious apartments he imagined existed inside so many of the buildings he'd never entered? Unfortunately, those pads were way out of his price range. But then he had an idea: if he could split the rent with 200 people, he'd only pay around 20 bucks a month for a $4,000 space. Thus, the concept for Fair Folks and a Goat was born.

The coffee shop inside Fair Folks and a Goat.
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Flash forward to 2012, when Mazzei and his wife, Aurora, first opened the doors to Fair Folks and a Goat. Their pitch? "Unlimited coffee and a home away from home," Mazzei explains. They wanted to create warm, comforting spaces that would attract creative New Yorkers to hang out and converse about art, culture, and whatever else is going on in the neighborhood.

Greenery at Fair Folks and a Goat.

Today Fair Folks and a Goat has two New York City locations (in the East Village and Greenwich Village) and around 1,000 members. Most of the members are 20-somethings who have recently moved to New York and are in search of a space to hang out in that's nicer than their cramped apartments—not to mention an opportunity to meet people who live nearby. "We attract people who, by nature, are connectors," Mazzei says.

The shop at Fair Folks and a Goat.

Here's how it works: sign up to become a member of Fair Folks and a Goat, and for $25 per month you get unlimited coffee, tea, and lattes. Members receive invites to store events and discounts on wares sold in the shop, from clothing by Los Angeles-based Townsen, New York's Tryb212, and other new designers to handmade soaps and whimsical design objects from around the world.

The one rule? "Please don't break up here," Mazzei jokes. Positive vibes only, guys.

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