Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bean is not taking over the former Rama Cafe on First Avenue

We noticed that new for rent signs went up at the former Rama Cafe on First Avenue near Second Street.

Back in September, Jim Dwyer at The New York Times reported that Starbucks will be the new tenant at the Bean's flagship cafe at First Avenue and Third Street. At the time, the Bean announced that it would open a location down the Avenue at the Rama space.

So we asked Ike Escava, a Bean partner, what was happening.

"We decided not to go forward with that space and to focus instead on the store we are opening this month at 54 2nd Avenue and at 147 First Ave. in a few months," he said via email.

Escava also had a point of clarification about the Bean's beer-and-wine application. Based on feedback from people at the CB3/SLA meeting Monday night, we noted that the committee approved a request for the Bean's new location at Second Avenue and Third Street, but denied the Bean's request for a license at 147 First Ave. and Ninth Street.

Here's his email:
We decided to withdraw our application to serve wine & beer at 147 1st Ave after seeing that there were people in opposition to it. If we have community support at a later time we may try again but if it is unwanted in the community we will not. We will not even address this matter again internally until we are open and operating at that location. It is our intention to maintain the feeling and vibe of the shop at 54 2nd Ave that we built at 49 1/2 1st Ave. We applied for the wine & beer as a way to add something but we will be very careful not to let that change what we really are about.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Bean is now apparently opening on every corner in the East Village

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