A Starbucks has opened in Williamsburg. Credit: Samar Khurshid A Starbucks has opened in Williamsburg. Credit: Samar Khurshid

The gritty Wiliamsburg of the 1990's has gone through several iterations over the last two decades as it transformed from cheap digs for artists to a hot bed of high-rise luxury condos. As the neighborhood developed, so has its coffee palate with such well known java joints as Blue Bottle Coffee, Gimme! Coffee, Cafe Grumpy and many others.

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at the corner of Ainslie Street and Union Avenue on Monday.

Metro went to talk with locals to gauge their reaction to the invasion of the Seattle behemoth.


"It's horrible that Starbucks has opened here," said Thomas Valls, 23, television writer. "This area has been built on independent eateries and cafes. And people will be loyal to those establishments. But the convenience of Starbucks will start to attract people."

"This neighborhood is distinctive because there are lots of independent coffee shops with their own identity. They can compete with each other because each has their own thing. Starbucks has taken that away," saidWill O'Hare, 35, a director.

"People around here are loyal to small businesses but the neighborhood is starting to change. I'm curious to see what'll happen. I think Starbucks will struggle to stay in business here. I'm pretty sure people will boycott it," saidKathleen Byrne, 34, barista at Oslo Coffee Roasters.

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