Developments: Myrtle Edition

October 24, 2007

*If the space (at the corner of Washington and Myrtle) discussed in this post does indeed become a Starbucks, can we all just make a pact not to frequent it?  That’ll solve that problem.

*On a brighter note, Myrtle Avenue is getting spruced up.



  1. I respectfully disagree. I’ll be happy to frequent a new Starbucks, just as I’ll be happy to continue to frequent the Pillow and Lola and all the other places that serve great stuff. They don’t have to be a bad neighbor and neither do we.

  2. They are bad neighbors on the planetary level. They refuse to serve fair trade coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts does serve fair trade coffee on the other hand. Just don’t go there yourself because you can bet your last dime it will be packed with neighborhood newbies. I know this from personal experience. Starbucks just came to my far West Village neighborhood.

  3. I dont think Starbucks is opening there and Ct Muffin is overpriced for me as well.On another note….
    wondering if anyone has ever ordered from a restaurant I saw while driving through the neighborhood. It is called Kuote and is located on Myrtle. They are supposed to deliver and since it is raining and I feel like something different, was just wondering.

  4. Dunkin Donuts coffee is shit.
    I would love a Starbucks a block away from my house. Not only do they sell a superior product, they offer great benefits and health insurance to their employees.
    Shame on you!

  5. I think I would have to agree with jpl only for the fact that Starbucks gives benefits including health insurance, sick days, vacation to employees. I can only assume that most of the little guys do not. As someone who worked my fair share of minimum wage service jobs without benefits and considering the state of health insurance in this country, this is an important fact not to be overlooked. You have to think of people in this country as well as those disadvantage in other countries. Now if only they’d serve fair trade it would be close to perfect…

  6. Starbucks is notorious for using anticompetitive, bullying tactics to drive out local competitors. If one opens in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and Tillie’s and Pillow and Bittersweet disappear, I think we’d all endure the sad consequences — namely, a less rich and unique neighborhood.

    My dislike for the chain is complicated by their generous employee benefits. But I ultimately think that there are better ways to solve the health care crisis in this country than by allowing every neighborhood in the land to be turned into a mirror image of the next one.

    It’s important to preserve what’s special about the place we call home, and embracing Starbucks is not the way to go.

  7. Not to belabor the point -as it does seem unlikely that the Starbucks arrival is anything more than a juicy rumor – just to clarify things:
    Though not every day, they do frequently serve Cafe Estima, which is Fair Trade certified. They’re far from perfect, but they’re making progress, which is no small thing.

    Sarah, I do agree with you that preserving our community is important.Our neighborhood is changing and it falls to those of us to care about it to support the character and the things that made us want to come here in the first place. I think that by keeping our eyes open – and through great efforts like EBG – we can do that side by side with whatever change comes.

    Another note, I’m not sure how long you’ve been here (I’ve only been here a couple of years) but I would wager that people who were here long before might see Pillow and Bittersweet and that place that sells the $1000 bags on Lafayette as being as disruptive as you see Starbucks. Not a jab, just something for us all to consider.

  8. jpl,

  9. Yes, JPL, this is, at this point, merely a hypothetical situation we’re discussing, so I’ll make one more comment and then let it lie.

    I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a little over four years now, which probably qualifies me as a relative newbie. So I can’t speak as an old-timer. However, I’ve spoken to people who have lived in the neighborhood for many years who welcome the more recent changes. I’m sure some people don’t appreciate them, as well (I’m guessing that FBL falls into these ranks), but I have a feeling that in reality, they are the minority. And of course, even I haven’t been happy about all of the changes.

    Let’s also remember that Fort Greene has a long history as a middle class neighborhood — that it has returned to that state after a period of decline is nothing to bemoan. If it surpasses that state, it could be problematic, but I don’t think Starbucks really has anything to do with that, one way or the other.

    I think that the existence of the Bittersweets/Tillie’s expresses the same level of development as a Starbucks would — it’s the *kind* of development that makes the difference.

    And I do think it’s wonderful that Starbucks offers benefits to its employees. But that’s not enough to convince me that taken overall, an outlet would be a good thing for the neighborhood.

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