NEW YORK — More than 50 years after the Oscar-winning film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn came out, you can now actually have breakfast at Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store in midtown Manhattan.
Last November, the Blue Box Cafe opened on the fourth floor of the iconic Fifth Avenue jewelry store. The intimate restaurant is the first retail dining concept for Tiffany & Co., which also unveiled in the fall a revamped fourth floor that features its new luxury Home & Accessories collection (think $300 yo-yos or a $350 rose gold vermeil crazy straw).
“Both the cafe and redesign of the Home & Accessories floor reflect a modern luxury experience,” chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff (the former executive creative director for Coach) told media when the Blue Box Cafe debuted. “The space is experimental and experiential — a window into the new Tiffany.”
The Blue Box Cafe lives up to its name — it’s literally a small box of a cafe decked out in Tiffany’s signature shade of robin’s egg blue, including the walls, chairs and even plates. The menu focuses on “American classics” such as buttermilk waffles, smoked salmon and bagel stacks and truffle eggs for breakfast (with most options running about $29, including coffee or tea). For lunch, $39 will get you a soup or a salad and a main course. The Charles Lewis Tiffany “CLT” club sandwich (chicken, bibb lettuce and beefsteak tomato on rye bread) and the Fifty-Seventh Street flatbread (burrata, apple, olive or tomato with fresh mozzarella) are a couple of examples. Or try tea and your choice of finger sandwiches for $49. (The menu may change from season to season.)
Good luck with actually getting to eat any of these dishes! During a visit to Tiffany & Co. in February, I found myself feeling a lot like Ms. Hepburn’s character, Holly, from the movie — standing on the outside looking in.
Tables at the Blue Box Cafe can be booked 30 days in advance — and they do book up. Reservations can be made only through the booking app Resy. (No phone calls, and the demand is still too great to accommodate walk-ins.) I tried reserving a table for one during a four-day stretch in February for every time slot that the cafe seats guests (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sundays), and there was not a single seat to be spared.
There were plenty of glimmers of false hope, though. The Resy app can alert users if a table becomes available. If one does, the app leads you through a series of prompts for how to reserve your spot. I received 24 notifications that a table was up for grabs, but each time I tried to book one (usually within just a few minutes of getting the email) I got a message saying that the cafe was at capacity.
Was I doing something wrong? Was the Resy app on the fritz? Mystified, I headed to Tiffany & Co. to seek out answers.
Turns out you can find out a lot by flagging down a waiter as he ends his shift and chitchatting with the friendly gentlemen who operate the Tiffany & Co. elevators. Here’s what I learned:
• If you’re heading to New York City, book your reservation as soon as possible. (I tried to book a week in advance, which wasn’t enough time.)
• If you receive a notification that a table is available, don’t wait to claim it. If you really have your heart set on dining at the Blue Box Cafe, check your phone frequently (obsessively, even). The moment you get a notification, click on it! Every second you wait, someone else will claim it.
• Stay logged in to Resy. You could lose the chance in the time it takes to log back in.
• Check the booking site each day at about 9 a.m. According to one elevator operator, sometimes you can find a rare opening about that time.
• Enlist others to help. Have each person in your party try to reserve a table to up your chances for success.
Although the Blue Box Cafe has been wildly popular, don’t plan on seeing one pop up at Tiffany & Co. in Ross Park Mall. For now, New York City is the only place to enjoy breakfast at Tiffany’s — hopefully inside next time.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.