Ye olde departed Court Street Tea Lounge. Coming soon to Ohio? Photo via NYMag

Brooklynites of even a few years’ vintage will remember the halcyon days of the Tea Lounge empire, when as many as three outposts of the popular cafe dotted the borough. Yet the cruel winds of economic downturn and real estate forced the branches to close, leaving just the famed cavernous Union Street location in Park Slope. It’s a staple to Slope culture, including local freelancers, musicians and babies that need a place to eat from breasts (hence the nickname “Teat Lounge,” in case you’re new to town). Now the cafe is looking to get into the real money: nationwide franchising! It’s not exactly going to be the next Dunkin Donuts: Fucked in Park Slope interviewed Lounge owner Jonathan Spiel, who said: “We’re selling the concept of community.” FiPS muses some more on whether you can package and export “community” around the world like so much artisanal mayo, but one commenter sums up many feelings about it: “Will you get Baby Shit Dust to sprinkle all over your new Tea Lounge Franchise like the original? Those couches at Tea Lounge? all full of baby shit.” (more…)