Starbucks rebuffed for stealth tactic in W’burg booze bid

The Brooklyn Paper
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They’re keeping neighbors in the dark roast.

Williamsburg’s community board has rebuffed coffee giant Starbucks’s application to serve beer and wine at its planned N. Seventh Street location because it left the name “Starbucks” off the paperwork, according to board member Rob Solano. The form, submitted to the board and posted on the building between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street, listed only “Coffee House Holdings LLC,” prompting the board’s liquor committee to table a vote on the bid and demand the java giant rewrite the application and knock on every door on the block to let neighbors know of its plans, Solano said. He added that the arrival of a chain vendor serving alcohol is a big deal that should be taken seriously.

“They are a huge company and I want to make sure that the neighbors understand what is happening,” Rob Solano said. “This is definitely different from if it were a mom-and-pop business.”

The committee is set to revisit the application in October, provided Starbucks does that door-knocking.

“If the neighbors get notified and no one has anything to say about it, that is fine,” said Solano. “But we have to make sure they know.”

The community board’s vote is only advisory and the power to approve the liquor license ultimately lies with the state Liquor Authority.

Starbucks sells alcohol in just 30 of its more than 20,000 stores, including in the Seattle, Portland, Southern California, Chicago, and Atlanta locations, as well as in airports in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. The incognito Starbucks inside a Macy’s store in Manhattan, which lacks Starbucks signage, also sells beer and wine.The coffee company opened its first Williamsburg location earlier this summer in the Karl Fischer building at the corner of Union Avenue and Ainslie Street.

Starbucks did not return repeated requests for comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Cross streets fixed. Attribution clarified.
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Reasonable discourse

:) says:
It's between Bedford and Berry. C'mon, if you steal ledes off of my Facebook wall,at least get the details correct.
Sept. 22, 2014, 1:46 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I swear the agenda of the meeting that this was voted on said "Coffee House Holdings dba Starbucks" on it.

The SLA's going to approve the license anyway. I hope Starbucks doesn't bother its new neighbors with a knocking campaign.
Sept. 22, 2014, 2:26 pm
Nathan Tempey (Brooklyn Paper) says:
I don't know whose Facebook wall you're referring to, but thanks for pointing out the cross streets problem. I saw it and somehow neglected to fix it.
Sept. 22, 2014, 4:48 pm
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
I need my booze and coffee mix. Sneaking in a flask into tobey's isnt cutting it or El Beit
Sept. 23, 2014, 8:13 am
Jules from East Williamsburg says:
Funny how one of the only reliable, responsible businesses has there license denied by a board with no authority, yet, other establishments, such as the applicant at the old Kings bar on Seigel and Bogart actually posted the liquor license meeting notice the day after the meeting!
Sept. 23, 2014, 1:47 pm
Jules from East Williamsburg says:
Why are the last published meeting minutes on CB 1 website from 2013, that don't have a staff to post them?
Sept. 23, 2014, 1:58 pm
Douglas from East Williamsburg says:
Please make your opinion known at the COMMUNITY BOARD MEETING ON THURSDAY, OCT 2 6:30PM, 435, GRAHAM AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11211 (Corner of Frost St)
I UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT preventing Starbucks from acquiring an alcohol license!
Sept. 30, 2014, 5:45 pm
Cory from Greenpoint says:
It's sad that North Brooklyn is slowly turning into Murray Hill. Chain store convince isn't worth selling out a neighborhoods soul to boring, corporate homogeneity. I hope everyone will continue to support the local cafe's. Their coffee is superior to Starbucks Coffee anyway.
Oct. 3, 2014, 12:42 pm

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