Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today's sign of the apocalypse: Starbucks taking over The Bean's space on First Avenue and Third Street

[This morning at The Bean]

Well, a lot to absorb here... so.

Jim Dwyer at The New York Times reports that Starbucks will be taking over The Bean's flagship cafe at First Avenue and Third Street.

Once more for effect: Starbucks will be taking over The Bean's flagship cafe at First Avenue and Third Street.

Dwyer puts it into really fucking depressing perspective for us:

The city sheds its skin every day; Mom & Pop are always getting the boot. Manhattan now has 186 Starbucks, which is eight per square mile. There are more Starbuckses than subway stations. You might think that 186 stores on one small island is the functional equivalent of everywhere, but it turns out not to be, in Starbuckian terms, enough: outlet No. 187 is opening Friday in Times Square, and sometime early next year, No. 188 — or so — will be hanging its shingle on Third Street, right down the block from the world headquarters of the Hell’s Angels

Well, The Bean is showing them. Ike Escava, a Bean partner, now plans to open a location on First Avenue at the southeast corner of Second Street, where that pizza/hookah place was. (Or was supposed to be.)


Meanwhile, as you know, The Bean will open new locations on Third Street and Second Avenue and Ninth Street and First Avenue... Despite the expansion, the Bean people originally said that they would keep their flagship store. However, they have been on a month-to-month lease, and the landlord gave them a 30-day notice to leave late in August, the Times noted.

Back to Dwyer's article:

Starbucks has a public relations firm in New York City that issues statements on behalf of the company, but does so anonymously, a peculiarly disembodied form of human communication.

Asked about the plans for Third Street, the company issued this statement: "In many of the markets that we have entered, we found that the local coffee culture is greatly enriched and invigorated by our arrival."

For the time being, though, there won't be any coffee on this corner after this month...

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel like we just took a few steps back with that pep talk exercise.

EV Grieve said...

Was thinking the same thing, anon

Larry Slade said...

The new spot in 1st ave is not as good because the subway entrance in across the street from the F entrance. At Third people can walk down 1st Ave to the F train and have a few sips of coffee before getting on the train with it too full for the stairway and all.

Anyway, this is unfortunate change.

Jeremiah Moss said...

jesus. 1st Avenue? that's the furthest east Starbucks has come. they open the door for more chains. get ready. the invasion continues.

Anonymous said...

AHHHH - I just wrote a rambling and unnecessarily long reply to this, deleted it and have started what will likely be a rambling and unnecessarily long reply to this. It's terrible. Starbucks sucks in every way - the McDonalds of coffee (maybe worse). The neighborhood doesn't need it nor I'm sure if you ask people does it want it, but sadly, it's a crime of convenience, especially in a hood with such incredible coffee culture:

Abraco
Bluebird
9th Street
Everyman
Van Daag
even Van Leeuwin serves Intelligensia

So rather than trash Starbucks - which I could do for hours at a time let's remember that there is amazing locally owned incredibly high quality coffee very close. Vote with your dollars. I think I'm still riding the East Village pep talk... Oh and Fuck Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

We have the power to NOT go to Starbucks!!

Anonymous said...

Note, The Bean itself is becoming a chain!

Kyle R said...

Perhaps it will be possible to get a decent cup of coffee now. They only thing good about The Bean was their corner location. They were expensive and their coffee was awful. Happy to see them go!

Bowery Boogie said...

what a steaming pile of shit.

there's already a starbucks on allen just a few blocks south at delancey.

Joe said...

For Starbucks to say it 'enriches' coffee culture anymore is a Muhammad Ali jab to my common sense.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

NOTE to anon PR hacks: "local coffee culture" grates on the eyes as badly as "artisanal" anything, but especially considering that, in this context, "culture" implies a shared set of values, conventions, or social practices which is just fucking ridiculous since Starbucks is an international corporate behemouth with over 17,00 stores in 50 countries.

That said, Anon @ 9:10 AM has the right idea.

Kurt said...

I've heard from a pretty reliable person that the 3rd Street and 2nd Ave location is not long term because that location will either be used as a substation for the 2nd Ave subway. It makes sense why the location has been empty for so long.

So despite all this activity the Bean will be at only 2 locations when the dust settles.

Dr Gecko said...

I wonder what the bathroom's going to be like in the new Starbucks. Sometimes I get diarrhea real bad, might not even hit the toilet accurately. No doubt other people have similar problems.

Lindsay said...

...woah

Anonymous said...

The zombies, er yuppies, are coming...

glamma said...

it is absolutely horrible to hear this. i will surely be boycotting this starbucks (as i boycott ALL STARBUCKS) and highly encourage you all to do the same, the fabric of our wonderful community will not not be ripped apart by these soulless chains!!! BOYCOTT CHAIN STORES IN THE EAST VILLAGE. SAVE OUR HOOD FROM PREDATORY CORPORATE GREED!!!

Melanie said...

I like The Bean and will follow them wherever they go. Good coffee.

Mary said...

I'm not sure shitting all over the Starbucks bathroom and making the underpaid employees clean it up is the answer to our problems here.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, this is depressing. I remember when that spot was Ricky's. Then Bulgin' Waffles. Then The Bean. Starbucks? This stretch of First Ave is one of the last to cling to its gritty past. And this is the first nail in the coffin of death for it.

If a Home Depot Express takes over Brickman's HW, I'm done.

bowery boy said...

I like my morning coffee as much as the next person, but really, hasn't coffee jumped the shark? I don't care if it's from Starf*cks or the Bean - I've heard enough. Is coffee really a "culture" now? Seriously, I mean seriously.

Marty Wombacher said...

I agree with Glamma, don't spend money in here, but coffee locally.

Anonymous said...

a bunch of people talking about the renaissance. just talkin, impotent. it's a perpetuation of the dead culture you claim to be railing against. you are complicit.

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo excited to have a Starbucks closer to my apartment. Once the 7-11 open up I'll be in heaven!!! Slurpees and coffee whenever I want.

Lux Living said...

And I will continue to enjoy my Cafe Bustello at home. It's like crack in a cup! Which explains a lot...

Anonymous said...

Could it just be that the folks at the Bean are joking?

Anonymous said...

re to: Joe said
is that a jab from the current Muhammad Ali? if so, that's hilariously cruel. tee-hee

Anonymous said...

I would NOT put it past the Bean guys to have posted that as a joke. They know the controversy of them becoming chain-like. If its a joke that's pretty damn funny. If not - well it's tragic.

francesca said...

First of all two locations is not a chain. Even three isn't.

Second this sucks.

Wasn't that where Little Ricky's was back in the early 90s? (I seem to be fixated on Little Ricky's -mentioned them yesterday too.)

Ricky's Dtug Store is also opening on 1st Ave, at 7th St I think?

Hey19 said...

+1 each to 856 and 910. So much good coffee in the EV, no reason to go to a starbucks. I have prob been to starbucks under 5 times in my life, under duress every time. I never went to the bean, so cant say Ill miss it, but still not happy to see Starbucks come in. Tragedy is, they will do fine, or subsidize it untill it does fine...

Best iced coffee I have had in a while is from Sigmunds actually, in case anyone is looking for a good one, too bad they dont open till noon.

Anonymous said...

Beating up on Starbucks is just dumb. They are one of the few corporations in this country that actually treat their employees and their suppliers well. Starbucks offers every employee, full or part time, health insurance for Christ's sake! Their employees make a pretty good buck. Last time I checked, nobody was holding a gun to my head to get my coffee at Starbucks. So quit the bitching . If you don't like 'em don't support 'em.

Diehardyuppiescum said...

Just another example of how this greedy landlord operates. First kick out the long time residents in their buildings on E 11th, E 4th and E 5th, now stick it to mom and pop shops and install big chain stores, banks and drugstores.

Goodbye east village--hello middle America!

Anonymous said...

That location is too small for a Starbucks. Since it will have less than 30 seats, they don't need to make the bathroom public.

Where will all the drug shooters and drunk college kids go to puke?

Hey Starbucks, you have chosen the empty corner store On 2nd avenue and 1st street at the Avalon Bowery. Larger space and you'd cater to the yuppies who live in that building.

Anonymous said...

There can't be a true "local coffee culture" in the Northeast because, generally speaking, none of the coffee is even grown within 100 miles. This whole commercialized coffee with sugar and milk and preservatives and whipped cream and ice thing is just utter bullshit. Might as well call it a glorified smoothie shop with "hot" options.

glamma said...

hey anon @ 1:57, how do you think they treat the "employees" who PICK the coffee? HUH? and what about all the poisonous chemicals they put into the world??? (and into your BODY if that drink that CR@P.) and all the local businesses they murder. and all the other murderous corporations they fuel (SUCH AS MONSANTO MILK PRODUCERS. do yo uknow what they do to those f*cking cows??)
try to make your world view just a TINY bit bigger than the pathetically narrow circumference of the typical american consumer (generally the distance between the mouth and the stomach).

Eric Brasure said...

"I've heard from a pretty reliable person that the 3rd Street and 2nd Ave location is not long term because that location will either be used as a substation for the 2nd Ave subway. It makes sense why the location has been empty for so long."

Yeah, when Phase 4 of the SAS opens--coming in July 2087!

Anonymous said...

I went to take a shower this morning and walked into my bathroom only to find it was converted into a Starbucks overnight. And now the bathroom power outlet has been covered up so I can't cut my hair, someone has been hogging my Wifi and there's a guy who has been sitting here for 3 hours sipping a small cup of coffee! I really need to use the toilet but he refuses to leave until he finishes writing the second act for his musical theater adaptation of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Anonymous said...

@Glamma. I know because when I lost my job in '08, I took a job at Starbucks so I could have health insurance. That's how I know kid. Save your venom for people who deserve it.

Diehardyuppiescum said...

@Eric good one! I was gonna say 2025, but with the city corruption and bureaucracy, you might be right!

Another nail in the coffin for the old east village...now Midwest/Ohio ville!

Cooper$quare said...

I love on Bowery and e 4th. I'm happy we're getting the 7 eleven. A Starbucks would have been icing on the cake downstairs. :(

HippieChick said...

Sorry, I love me some Double Chocolate Chip Creme Frappuccino. Except it seems juiced up with extra caffeine, which makes my heart go pitty-pat-GAZOOM and not in a good or happy way. But still. Tastes great.

What I hate about Starbucks are the freeloading Wi-Fi'ers who hog all the seats. Kick 'em out after, say, two hours or if they don't buy anything after their initial purchase of the cheapest item there (if they even do that).

Anonymous said...

Still a diehard fan of a cup of Bustelo at Juicy Lucy's on 1st and 1st. There is a reason that place is still around. Put your money were your mouth is.

Eric Brasure said...

@Diehardyuppiescum Yeah, there's no way the entire SAS will be open for revenue service by 2025. They don't even have funding for phase 2 from 96th to 125th.

I doubt the entire length will ever get built. The entire project is an embarrassment to the city--9 years and $6 billion for 2 miles of new subway. And it's not even 4-track!

But this isn't a transit blog.

randall said...

@ Glamma,

You can't always get what you want, at least their CEO is willing to go out on a limb and lambaste politicians in DC for their ineffectiveness. They may not be great corporate citizens, but it shows that they are a lot less bad than some others. And unless you're living a pure lifestyle (which if you are then godspeed)you're buying into corporatism somewhere along the line.

Anonymous said...

Are the owners of the bean looking for a new manager?

Anonymous said...

@francesca said... "Little Ricky's"

"1990's"? You mean 1980's
I used to go in there to take my picture in the photo booth so that I could see how my "Flock of Seagulls" haircut looked.

Anonymous said...

IM sort of on the fence on this one. There is no doubt, whether you want to accept it or not, that the expansion of starbucks has led to a lot of local coffee business opening. They created the idea of boutique coffee places. If anyone is to blame however, it would be the landlord. he could have kept the rent where it is and continued leasing to The Bean. Of course, its his shop and he should not be dictated to as far as who he leases to. If you think that Starbucks should not be there, than I agree , do not patronize them.

francesca said...

To anon who said Starbucks treats its workers well- they are antiunion and try to fire or make work so uncomfortable for workers who try to organize quit. That's not my idea of a company that treats its workers well. And then there was the lawsuit against them over keeping tips given to the baristas by management.

I have no idea how The Bean treats their employees but Starbucks is no saint

Anonymous said...

As a Starbucks partner I certainly appreciate the company that I work for, yet constantly strive for positive growth and reward us as they are successful. My love of coffee and local chains, however, mourns the constant loss of the small business that have the ability to slow down and embrace the craft of spectacular coffee. Starbucks is just too big and has constant demands on speed and consistency. I love my days off when I can relax and study at our local neighborhood coffee houses. In a consumer driven society, there needs to be more people who feel the same to save places like this. Money speaks. So I'll keep taking my income from Sbux and taking it back to the local guy hoping that my dollar will be part of the larger voice. I hope you all will do the same.