It’s hack to get upset about Starbucks these days since the omnipresent, if not eternally boring, chain has become such a part of the background of NYC, like many banks, Vitamin Worlds and other things that pass through our vision like reused backdrops in old cartoons. So when the Starbuckses (Starsbuck?) arrived in Williamsburg in 2015, it was met with a sigh of inevitability: the neighborhood well on its way to being little Soho was of course a natural home to the coffee giant and its copy-and-paste coffee house furniture, soundtrack and food.
The problem with Starbucks is that it’s so unnecessary in a neighborhood like Williamsburg, which has long been filled to the brim with a bounty of coffee places surfing riding that coffee third wave. That means the only reason you’d choose to go to Starbucks is that you: A) don’t know about the other spots in the neighborhood or B) genuinely prefer it to a local shop (A is slightly more offensive than B to me for many reasons).
But shortly after opening, things got a little more intense in the Brooklyn coffee wars: The Starbucks off Bedford Avenue started selling beer and wine to attract the nighttime caffeinated drinker crowd, which put them in direct competition with many of the bars and coffee shops in the neighborhood. And guess what just happened? Starbucks lost. (more…)