Urban Outfitters is forging ahead with its plan for total world domination, attempting to secure a liquor license for its forthcoming megastore currently under construction in Williamsburg.
The new 4-story space—still in its early days of work on North 6th Street between Berry and Wythe—will have room on its second floor for a dedicated "eating and drinking" area, architect Willy Zambrano told us today. But whether the purveyor of mass-produced fauxhemian threads will succeed in securing its liquor license is another story.
Councilman Stephen Levin has already expressed his disgust at the idea of booze-addled 20-somethings making out in dressing rooms and dry heaving over stacks of neatly folded crop sweaters, telling the Daily News that he can't "think of a circumstance for which it would be appropriate for Urban Outfitters to have a liquor license.”
“We must ask ourselves, ‘Do we really want people drunk when they are buying their skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts?’"
Levin told us today that in addition to the grotesque nature of the idea in general, he worries that an in-store watering hole will attract underage drinkers, since teens and college students comprise Urban Outfitters' primary customer base.
"There are very legitimate concerns about who they're marketing their alcohol to," he said. He also expressed concern at the idea of a major corporation leeching business away from local establishments.
"A lot of the restaurants and bars are local businesses, they're owned by local people— people who have invested a lot of themselves in the neighborhood," he said. "Urban Outfitters is a national chain—it's representative of everything we don’t want in the neighborhood.
"I would not be thrilled with an Urban Outfitters in the neighborhood in the first place," he said. "An Urban Outfitters with a bar would be just appalling."
But could it be that the councilmember is being close-minded to the possibilities of a Williamsburg-based Urban Drunkfitters? Perhaps the new store—not to be confused with the Lifestyle Center set to debut in Herald Square— will operate as a sort of containment camp, attracting the worst of north Brooklyn who flock toward the outlet's mass-marketed Misfits tees, only to find themselves caught in the glue trap of $9 beer-and-a-shot "specials." This, in turn, will free up valuable bar space at nearby establishments.
If the place serves food, as Zambrano intimated that it might, we see no reason why patrons should ever leave, really. How long until we write a story of a group of devil-may-care artists taking up residence in the shoe section? And would that really be such a bad thing?