Grand Central Coffee?
Is there somewhere I could meet a biz associate for a cup of coffee in Grand Central Station at 9 a.m. on a Friday where a) we could get a seat; b) it wouldn't be impossibly loud; and c) we'd be clear on the location. Somehow 'Starbucks' seems doomed. I can always go to a nearby hotel like the Hyatt, but we need this to be fast and efficient so inside CG would be best. Thanks so much.
Joe's in GC, and the food court seating downstairs?
Joe's is a little easier to locate than Starbucks since it at in an area with little else.
The Oyster bar must serve a cup of coffee.
I remember passing by an interesting coffee shop/espresso bar that looks like bookshelves turned upside-down or sideways and it's bar stool seating. It's on 42nd Street near Madison Ave but the name is escaping me now. I was intrigued to try it but it was very late at night when I saw it.
I'm going to make a recommendation that fulfills 90+% of your conditions but lacks some sort of je ne sais quoi.
Which is that you buy your coffee at Zaro's (which serves the best cup inside the station, imho, and some very nice crullers, too) and walk the :30 seconds across 42nd to the Whitney Annex in the Atria Bldg.. You'll certainly find a seat -you'll find five seats- and the space is quiet, although the acoustics are a little cavernous. It is better than Pershing Sq., which is right next door, but another (psychic) disappointment in a long line of corporate-driven urban space designs.