Soon, when you alight the L train at Bedford Avenue, one of the first things you’ll see is a brand-new Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner of N. 7th Street, DNAinfo reports. The corner was previously occupied by the independent Northside Pharmacy, which has been there 15 years but has now been priced out to Driggs. “I just expected something a little more fancy” than a Dunkin’ Donuts, the pharmacy’s owner told the website, “or original or hip.” But that’s not really the Williamsburg we’re living with anymore, is it?
The chainification of Bedford Avenue has progressed apace since 2010, when the Duane Reade opened on N. 3rd—I suppose it’s a coincidence that the victim of this new Dunkin’ Donuts is a mom-and-pop pharmacy up the block—though there were chains that preceded it: Subway, Tasti D-Lite.
Then a Starbucks opened; On Kent, The Edge features a CVS; The Northside Piers on Kent Avenue features a Duane Reade, which was the neighborhood’s first. And it continues: Whole Foods is set to open a store on N. 4th Street, Starbucks is looking for a home.
Nothing is less hip than Dunkin’ Donuts, even if it sells cronut-knockoffs in foreign countries. But at this point, who could even afford to live in Williamsburg? I guess some not-super-rich people might still have some great rent deal, but the neighborhood seems to have been otherwise overrun by yuppies and B&T tourists—the sorts who might enjoy the familiarity, convenience and community-rootlessness of monocultural mallification. “Please, can you bring in Dunkin’ Donuts?” Shari Lind, a Duane Reade shopper and Victoria’s Secret employee recently transplanted to the neighborhood from the Upper East Side, told the Times three years ago. Wish granted.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart