[UPDATE BELOW] The rumor mill has long been churning out alleged locations for an Apple store in Williamsburg. There were previously whispers that Apple had bought the Salvation Army building, or that the store would occupy a commercial space in the waterfront residence, The Edge.
Now an employee at Whisk, the kitchen store on North 4th and Bedford, said that the recently-closed King's Pharmacy and the adjacent ex-Bagel Store will be the future home the Burg's next big chain.
Jessica Young tells us that late last year, a mysterious man came into Whisk to ask the employees what they thought about an Apple moving next door. When the Bagel Store remained unoccupied, and King's left due to "raised rents," she said she believed it was because of Apple.
"We knew that Kings wasn't really in competition with Duane Reade," Young said. "Everybody still went to both."
Williamsburg real estate mogul Yehuda Backer The Bernstein Group owns both spaces. When the Bagel Store left the North 3rd location in 2012, owner Scott Rossillo told us that the previous owner, Yehuda Backer, "only cares about money. Whatever goes in there will be high end, rest assured."
The wall between the two stores has been knocked down, creating what could be an Apple-store sized space. The space above the Bagel Store is empty, but there are apartments at 241 Bedford, above King's. Whisk employee Joanne Saucier says she's heard the tenants are being pressured to leave, and have been offered a buyout.
"The space where Bagel Store/Kings Pharmacy existed is going to be the Apple store location," Saucier said in an email. "They've already started on it, and the lease was signed about a month ago. We found that out from the owners of the block."
We have not been able to confirm this and calls to Yehuda Backer's office have been unanswered. An Apple store spokesperson tells us they have "made no announcements" regarding a store at this location nor anywhere else in the neighborhood, and had no further comment.
Mikey's Hookup is Williamsburg's current source for all things Apple and tech. Mikey Weiss said he's not worried. "I'm excited about it," he said. "It actually will help business. The Apple store really just sells Apple products. We also do, but that's not our main business." He added skeptically, "This rumor's been going around for ten years."
Even so, with the Whole Foods, J.Crew. Shake Shack, Starbucks and other big names arriving, an Apple store seems more and more believable. Will McCormick, Brooklyn lifer, and Williamsburg nostalgist said that he's frustrated.
"This neighborhood has always been small businesses," he said. "It was a place to see punk shows and New Yorkers trying to keep things alive. Ten years from now, you probably won't be able to find a dive bar."
Update: Ben Bernstein, of real estate company RedSky Capital, threw a bucket of cold water on the rumors today: "Sorry, wish it were true. Apple is not opening in the old Kings Pharmacy." We'll update when we get more information about what will be moving in there.
Update December 9th, 2014:More sources now say yes, this is in fact the future home of Brooklyn's first Apple Store.