You’d think saying, “There goes the neighborhood” would get old, but it feels relevant every goddamn time. Bed-Stuy, home to Biggie (the man and the mural), home to Do The Right Thing, home to a great variety of local mom and pop cafes, and home to such a robust, if increasingly displaced, African American community it used to be known as “Brooklyn’s Little Harlem” will soon also be home to its first ever Starbucks chain outlet. Woe the day.
According to The Commercial Observer, next spring the neighborhood’s first ever Starbucks will open on the corner of Marcus Garvey Boulevard in the Fat Albert’s Warehouse building on 774 Broadway. A rep heralded the location to the Commercial Observer as “a high-density area…not currently served by our brand.” If there is a god out there, please, may the history books remember Bed-Stuy as more than a populated area long unserved by Starbucks.
As those who’ve lived in Brooklyn long enough to feel jaded towards news such as this know, Bed-Stuy getting a Starbucks is not a literal neighborhood death sentence. Gentrification is a slow moving beast, and while a Starbucks coming to town is a bad omen for affordability, for renters, for local cafes, and for the area’s community culture, it does not imply immediate or unavoidable change. Rage, rage against the dying of the light, Brooklynites.
At least (knock on wood) Bed-Stuy still doesn’t have a SoulCycle.