The wildly popular Bagel Store (some say it makes the best bagels in Brooklyn) on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg is finally moving from its longtime home. For the past decade it's done brisk business at the intersection of North 3rd Street, but owner Scott Rossillo told us his landlord, Yehuda Backer, wants to double his rent, and he can't afford it. Next month he's relocating to a smaller spot at the corner of South 4th Street and Bedford. So what's happening with the Bagel Store's old Bedford Ave location?
Rossillo's sister, Michelle, tells us that Starbucks is moving into their former home, and another Bagel Store employee at their new location says the same thing. Of course, we've seen this movie before—there have been repeated false rumors of Starbucks' opening in Williamsburg over the years. In 2001, Reverend Billy held a protest outside a rumored Starbucks location at the corner of North 5th and Bedford—during the rally, the new tenants suddenly appeared to explain they were opening "Fabiane's Pastry and Cafe, an Independent Pastry Experience," not Starbucks.
And yet the rumors persist. Today Rossillo's landlord, Yehuda Backer, tells us, "Not true at all. People kept on saying its Starbucks. We've never even talked to Starbucks. [Rossillo and I] had a very good conversation; we parted as friends, but the neighborhood has changed. Let me tell you something: It's not coming to my building 1000%. I haven't talked to Starbucks, and everyone says because I'm successful, I want to put in a better coffee shop, but it's not true." Baker would not say who the new tenant would be. We hear it's gonna be Starbucks!
Starbucks' spokespersons have not responded to repeated requests for comment. Last year the company gave us a boilerplate statement about how Starbucks "is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of their customers and reach others who may not have the opportunity to visit Starbucks stores. At this time, the location referenced cannot be confirmed for a Starbucks store."