McNulty’s originally opened a few doors down from its current address on Christopher Street at the end of the 19th century. Local legend has it that the owner was one Judge McNulty, an Irish immigrant affiliated with the notorious Tammany Hall. Perhaps providing a welcome distraction from the city courts, he opened the McNulty Tea and Coffee Company in Manhattan’s West Village. The shop still sells a ‘Secret Judge Blend’ coffee that was created for the owner. In the 1920s, McNulty’s moved to its current address at number 109.
Buying coffee and tea today is done just as it was over a hundred and twenty years ago. Behind the wooden counter, are the original deep tins where the beans are stored, decorated with Javanese script, and faded gilt images of Chinese tea leaf farmers.
The leaves or beans are weighed out on scales that date back to the early 1900s. The tea or coffee is then poured into wooden bags that are marked with the name of your choice by one of the hundreds of small, red stamps that line the walls.
Today McNulty’s is owned by Wing H. Wong, and his son David, who have run the shop for nearly forty years