Monday, August 3, 2015

2 Caffe Bene locations coming to the East Village



Caffe Bene, the coffeehouse chain based in Seoul, South Korea, with nearly 20 locations planned for NYC, will be opening two outposts in the East Village in the months ahead.



The first location is on the southeast corner of Avenue A and East 13th Street (above).

This Caffe Bene is seeking a beer-wine license for the address, and reps will make their case during this month's CB3 SLA committee meeting on Aug. 17.

The previous longtime tenant, Kim's Laundromat & Cleaners, got rent-hiked out of here in July 2014. The new tenant will likely mean the end of Chico's tribute from 2009 to Eric "Taz" Pagan outside the laundromat. Pagan, 42, a bouncer at the former Forbidden City lounge on Avenue A, was shot and killed trying to break up a fight on Aug. 23, 2009. Pagan was not on duty at the time of the shooting.

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The second Caffe Bene is coming to 24 St. Mark's Place between Third Avenue and Second Avenue … in the former Pinkberry space.



According to the Commercial Observer, who first reported on this deal, Caffe Bene signed a 10-year lease, with asking rent in the $240 per-square-foot territory.

The brokers told the Commercial Observer that the building's landlord, Beame Realty, "is looking to tap into the hedge funds and tech companies coming to 51 Astor Place, as well as the New York University and St. John’s University crowd."

The IBM Watson Building/Death Star at 51 Astor Place looms large over the block in more ways than one…

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

coffee is so 2014.

Anonymous said...

There's already one on B'way btw. 11th and 12th.

Anonymous said...

The millennials will flock here with their finely tuned "chain-dar". This saddens me, I naively hoped for a local business which would employ people above minimum wage would take this spot. The global economy has overtaken the East Village.

Anonymous said...

One word: tacky!

Gojira said...

Their website says, "Here, customers can enjoy their coffee". Not a word about booze, nor is any listed. So, since alcohol was not part of their original game plan in Korea, why is it here?

Anonymous said...

You will need to bring your hedge fund with you to afford these prices.

Anonymous said...

I was so excited when I started reading that a coffee shop was opening on 13th and A, then I got to the part where they are applying for a beer and wine license. We are saturated with bars around here. Can't we just have a nice, relaxed coffee shop?

Gar said...

There's another one opening at Union turnpike in queens as well.

Fashion By He said...

OMG QUICK SOMEONE CALL THE 711 PROTESTERS A NEW CHAIN IS MOVING INTO THE AREA...!!! HURRY!!

Anonymous said...

Do they really think the people working in the Death Star would walk down St Marks? Venture out into a neighborhood and risk interacting with people? They'll be getting all their food through Seamless.

Anonymous said...

Here's a dare (also an honest question) for all you smart Grievers: Tell me, what is a hedge fund? I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

A hedge fund is "a mutual fund for the super rich..."
Good explanation here:
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hedgefund.asp?partner=asksa

Anonymous said...

Did they mean hedge fun? We did that as kids. Double flips onto the neighbor's hedge, w/o breaking our limbs or getting impaled.

Today you just lose your booty and apartment, and the flips are outrageously criminal

Anonymous said...

Caffe Bene caters TO the hedgefunders and trustfunders. Then again, most business that opens in East Village today! only caters to the hedgefunders and trustfunders.

Like the neighborhood needs another coffee shop. I guess the newbie transplants would rather have coffee over laundromats or tailors. Oh wait, they have an app for those. So, all they have to do this touch a button in their iZombies and voila! their laundry and tailoring needs will be done while having having coffee.

Most Caffe Bene outposts are owned only by Koreans and mostly hire Koreans or family members. This reminds me of the Korean delis who would only hire its own and when the African-American community threatened to sue them for not hiring minorities, aside from Koreans, the delis then started to hire Hispanics -- mostly Mexicans, Ecuadorian, and Guatemalans. They'll probably hire college students and the occasional minorities from The School of Chain Store agency now and then to comply with the EEOC.

Caffé Bene came about when the CEO went to Canada and saw that the local coffee shops there were very popular and wanted to recreate the popularity of the mom-n-pop coffee shops and compete with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts mom-n-pop coffee shops. 2008 was a little too late to jump in the coffeehouse business, IMO. You already have Think Coffee, The Bean, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Stumptown coffees, Cafe Grumpy, Joe Coffee, the Australian coffee shops, and the coffee shops whose caffeinologists wear trilbies, not to mention and esp. the "coffee shops" such as Box Kite.

Caffé Bene has their eyes set with competing against Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts that they are blind to the fact that there are other players out there. Also, Caffe Bene's pitch is that "it invites customers to linger in its vintage interior, which is modeled after traditional European coffee houses...and broadly international menu". Isn't this what most coffee shops are doing? And remember Tea Lounge? It also invited customers to linger, which in the end was the reason why they closed because they complained that Tea Lounge was not a community center. I'd like to see if the staff at Cafe Bene will be tolerant to those, esp. not white or attractive or female, who would linger and/or have Caffe Bene as laptopistan.

The rapid expansion smells fishy to me; maybe part of its "international menu" or could just be a to wash money.

Anonymous said...

Dear smart 10:18 AM commenter, you could have asked Siri that or Googled it instead of wasting your precious time to have written your snide comment.

Anonymous said...

Hedge Fund - it's what people have at Bedford and Bowery.

Anonymous said...

ALL YOUR CAFE ARE BELONG TO US

Anonymous said...

11:19 - Snide is obviously in the heart of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

11:17

Caffe Bene is just another coffee shop in South Korea. It appeals to the office worker and student more than the "hedgefunders and trustfunders."

And do you honestly think a chain of South Korean coffee shops is moving to NYC in order to launder money?

What is with (several/many) EVG commenters' weird anti-Asian vibe? It goes back several years. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Hedge Funds are a way for smart people to take the money of lazy rich people by charging high fees and underperforming relative to the market. Quite brilliant.

Me said...

I've never heard of this company. I predict in five years we'll all be saying "where did all those Caffe Benes go?"

Anonymous said...

12:55pm,

Maybe it's because you haven't been to Seoul in the last decade?

Andy Reynolds said...

FYI, I tried the one on Broadway near 11th. I shoulda known it might not be great with a giant inflatable arch out front to announce the grand opening. It was hands down the worst coffee (Americano) I'd every had anywhere. I drank enough to choke down the crap bagel (I know, again, I shoulda known) and returned it to the counter, told them how bad it was. They offered to make me a double-shot, but I was done. Best coffee near me (7th & First) is at Fresco on 2nd Ave between St. Marks & 9th.

Anonymous said...

Gojira brings up a good point, why do these guys need a liquor license in New York when they don't in Seoul?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:53, Why does McDonald's not sell beer in the U.S. but it does in Germany? Not everything is as cookie-cutter as it's made out to be.

I look forward to their opening on St. Mark's. I miss the Pinkberry that was there.

Anonymous said...

If there's an anti-asian vibe around it's because Asians are one of the last ethnic groups of which it is not yet taboo to ridicule in polite American society. Mainstream media still does it all the time, and most people unless they know better just follow mainstream media's lead. Whether they realize it or not.

And for "Best Butcher" I vote for Josef Stalin .. said...

Noting first that this is a South Korean coffee shop chain ...

While there is certainly an undercurrent of anti-Asian sentiment in places (e.g., Chinese manufactured goods are claimed to be inferior to domestic, so blame China instead of the US corporations that outsource everything to China to save money), probably nobody bashes Asians more than the Fearless Leader of North Korea:

Indonesia awards North Korea leader Kim Jong Un prize for global statesmanship

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/indonesia-awards-kim-jong-prize-global-statesmanship-article-1.2312233

The article notes: " Previous winners of the prize include Gandhi."

Me said...

@ 1:56 My point exactly. From famous in Seoul to how many instant locations in New York City? This city eats hubris like that for lunch. Just ask the Gap.

Anonymous said...

Contributor's to EV Grieve seem to know a lot about everyone in the neighborhood. They are either hedgefunders or trustfund babies. I suppose this knowledge comes from hours and hours spent in the plethora of coffee shops that now populate the East Village--those coffee shops that open at 7 or 7:30 AM and are very quickly filled with people working on their laptops (is everyone in the East Village writing a screenplay? or is everyone in the work at home economy and getting out of their apartments to work somewhere else?). The knee jerk reaction on this site seems to be attack NYU students, attack "frat" boys or "sorority" girls. Now we've moved on to include Hegefunders, St. Johns University students, and trustfund babies. My my!!! Would someone mind starting a thread in which they declare who is welcome in the neighborhood??? Setting out with clarity what sort of people are going to be acceptable and the background of those who are setting the criteria. There are lots of issues in the East Village but the recurrent response of blame it [whatever that it might be]on--this group or that group is getting tiresome. I am surprised that no one accused this coffee chain of having ties to the Rev. Moon--perhaps it does.

Anonymous said...

Applying for a liquor license shows they did zero research on the neighborhood because they are clearly unaware that the residents of upper Avenue A and the side streets are fed up with all the bars and all the noise from the bars. Why not just operate a coffee shop like they do elsewhere? I am happy to patronize a place that doesn't serve booze. Seriously, if I want a drink in the East Village, I have no shortage of options!

Anonymous said...

The reason they need a liquor license in NY but not in Korea is that NY is a socialist state, unlike Korea, at least S. Korea. That's why it's Havana on the Hudson.
CB has two other cafes, one on the corner of 49th and Broadway, and one on the corner of 27th and 7th. Both are two story cafes, which is cool.

Bill

Anonymous said...

anon @5:37 that's because the douchebags/fratboys/entitled suburban twits are one in the same. Don't be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

one of these was under construction on 23rd st for 6 months, opened, and shut down 4 months later. seriously overpriced, mediocre selection.

Anonymous said...

First we had Korean delis on every corner; then we had phone stores on every corner, then banks/drugstores/juice places on every corner, and now coffee shops on every corner gaining rapidly. My question is: What business will come along after the coffee-on-every-corner market is saturated?

Anonymous said...

There is a new artisanal coffee place opening in a tiny
store front on 5th St between 2nd and 3rd. It feels like there is a new coffee entrepreneur on every block. Ralph Lauren is opening a coffee cafe in the new shop on 5th Ave (out of the nabe, but shows the trend).. We're already getting over-run with "artisanal" ice cream/gelatto (several of which have opened and closed quickly) and juice bars. What is there left? More empty store fronts in a few months....

Anonymous said...

Oh! And the new coffee spot is occupying what was previously an apt broker's office. Guess they got pushed out of business by the big boys that have taken over the EV.

Anonymous said...

Globalization is the worst. Those are ten coffee shop franchises that could be ten independent coffee shops for New Yorkers. Seriously, fuck off Seoul businessmen. (and PS, there are FIVE coffee shops/cafes on my block).

Anonymous said...

@7:21pm: You're right! I left out fro-yo places on every block. Still wondering what comes next ... after everyone is hyper-caffeinated.

rnh said...

@6:39 Pizza on every corner?

Anonymous said...

I think mini dance halls (24 hr., no booze) in the vacant spaces would work wonders for the hyper-caffeinated.

You could have a variety of music! C'mon, you'd go.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of like a Dunkin' Donuts, but with a lot of green tea and red bean flavored stuff.

Anonymous said...

If they would drop their pursuit of a beer and wine license, I would patronize the place.

afbp said...

won't last more than six months---the caffeebene franchise shutters places as quickly as they open them--too bad for the poor schmuck who is going to open here.....

nygrump said...

As much as I am sick of the chemical warfare being perpetrated against us via alcohol, when I lived in San Fransicko in the early 90's most of the cafes there served beer and wine, as well as tasty food. I would imagine much of the SF cafe scene has been destroyed by its rentier commercial real estate culture. The coffee out there was much better than that served here. i got bored with the weather.

Anonymous said...

I promise it'll be exactly that - a nice, relaxed coffee shop. I grew up in the neighborhood and family own several business here, I assure you I will keep the EV culture alive :)