There Goes the Neighborhood: Starbucks Is Coming to Crown Heights

There Goes the Neighborhood: Starbucks Is Coming to Crown Heights

Ok, well, maybe saying “there goes the neighborhood” is a bit of an exaggeration. After all, Starbucks locations are all over Manhattan and that borough has nothing if not integrity, right? And what about Park Slope or DUMBO or Williamsburg? Those areas aren’t totally ruined and unaffordable, are they? Haha. Shit. Crown Heights residents, consider yourselves fucked.

Via DNAInfo, “love it or hate it, it’s official:” Starbucks is coming to Crown Heights this fall. A company spokesperson says, “The coffee franchise will open its first Crown Heights location on the northeast corner of Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway this fall.” It will be located right next door to a Capital One Bank, which is convenient for people who are dead inside and don’t care what their neighborhoods are like.

Residents shouldn’t feel pressured to go to the Starbucks, though. As DNAInfo points out, there are three other “Franklin Avenue spots The Breukelen Coffee House, The Pulp and The Bean and Little Zelda, all located within three blocks of the planned Starbucks site.” So, please, Crown Heights residents, go to your locally owned neighborhood spot instead of the giant burnt bean behemoth. You’re not in Midtown where choices that aren’t chains are limited. You can do better! You should never have to ask for a “grande” anything if you don’t want to! Support small businesses, is all we’re saying, unless you want your whole neighborhood to be banks and Starbucks. And if you do want that? Well, that’s what Manhattan is for. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


  1. Ms. Iversen, will Brooklyn Magazine consider covering “what is leaving” rather than “what is coming in?” Risking condescension, are your thoughtful word/s on gentrification not thwarted by your coverage? You have several readers, are you not alerting them when you write, as you do here, about Starbucks? We’re naive if we deny that we do lots of the doing in our un/doings. How often have we or friends or foes bemoan this gentrification only to implicate ourselves again and again by doing something like drinking coffee at Starbucks? It’s like reading Arendt, for fuck’s sake. With all due respect, of course. I just wonder as good as it goes at the best that’s yet.

    • Dennis – i’d bet that it’s going in in that new construction project that’s right on the corner — the towering project that is a good 5 stories higher than anything in the surrounding area. ugh.

      • Appears so, but there are buildings opposite of the intersection that are five-stories or so tall. Eastern Parkway is so wide it feels like the north or south sides are entirely different areas!

    • Obviously not permanent, unless by “permanent” you’re distinguishing between “before you” and “when you arrived.” It’s been written before, and even this magazine’s sister quoted them, “Anecdotal evidence from agents of gentrifications about ‘how the neighborhood used to be’ are always suspect.”

  2. “There goes the neighborhood” was what a lot of people in Crown Heights said when people like you and the readers of Brooklyn Magazine started to move into a neighborhood you couldn’t care two cents about ten and fifteen years ago. What a fucked-up headline from the gentrifying class. Where were people like you when kids in Crown Heights were getting shot left and right a few years ago? Or for that matter, are still getting shot with regularity? Really, fuck you.

    • I agree with you. There’s also a false distinction here between the incoming Starbucks and the indie coffee shops. The indie coffee shops are painted as somehow being outside of the process of gentrification – a ‘before’ to Starbucks’ after. That’s absurd. If anything, those indie coffee shops (as much as I might love and frequent such places myself) and their patrons help pave the way for the Starbucks and banks to follow behind. Let’s get real here.

  3. Imagine a Starbucks were about to open on Livonia Avenue between, say, Saratoga and across from Betsy Head Park, where Sisqo’s concert was last night.

    Then imagine this headline: “There Goes the Neighborhood: Starbucks Is Coming to Brownsville.”

    Then maybe you can understand why this makes me angry.

  4. Starbucks is actually cheap compared to some of the other local coffee shops frequented by people who claim a neighborhood is “over” when a Starbucks opens up. Plenty of neighborhoods in Queens have Starbucks and aren’t crazy unaffordable. Sure it’s boring but what ruins neighborhoods is self important assholes who think everything that comes after them is ruining the neighborhood and the development that follows, let’s face it, young white people. Ask the longstanding West Indian and Jewish populations what they think.


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