Downtown’s Starbucks Booming; Seattle’s Best A Bust?

Have you ever met a Starbucks that didn’t do boffo business? The recent move of the Brooklyn Heights’ locale from the open & airy 134 Montague Street to the long & narrow 112 Montague doesn’t appear to have cut down on the number of Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino Blendeds being served in the neighborhood. (More photos below the jump.)

Meanwhile, the new Starbucks location at Fulton Mall’s 348 Fulton Street, which opened earlier this month across from Shake Shack and next to the spanking new Brooklyn Industries, appears to be satisfying coffee lovers with equal gusto.

The same can’t be said for Downtown Brooklyn’s Seattle’s Best, which opened its first standalone store in the borough at 253 Livingston Street & Bond Street on June 21. Earlier this week, a stop inside revealed not a single customer. The somewhat desolate location is set apart from the neighborhood’s gentrifying commerce and is situated in a building that is thus far undeveloped.

The irony, of course, is that Seattle’s Best, founded in 1970, became a subsidiary of Starbuck’s at the dawn of the millennium.

(Photos: Chuck Taylor)
Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights
348 Fulton Street, Fulton Mall
253 Livingston Street

Share this Story:

, , , , ,

  • Terry

    FYI: Borders bookstores no longer exist. The last store closed Sept. 18th, 2011.

  • cheryl

    Seattle’s Best Coffee has an offensively ugly facade and logo not to mention the color. it manages to make a desolate strip of Livingston Street look even worse……I read that Seattle’s Best is meant to be a cheaper version of Starbucks–is it meant to look cheap? It looks offensive..

    Compare that to the quiet charms of Tazza or Vineapple ..Even the local Starbucks look good, especially in comparison..

  • Livingston

    As long as the coffee is good, I couldn’t give a hoot what the sign looks like. I’ll have to stop by and try it.

    And anything is an improvement over what is currently in that part of the ‘hood.

  • Days of Old

    Back in the day (pre-2000), Seattle’s Best was actually good…especially in Seattle. Still never quite figured out why Starbucks bought them out only to keep the brand going in an incredible mediocre way….disappointing….

  • David on Middagh

    They could at least have done a Mondrian thing with the facade.

  • PromGal

     “the open & airy 134 Montague Street to the long & narrow 112 Montague”
     Open and airy? Are you kidding?
      The original Montague St Starbucks was falling apart, filthy, cluttered, with restrooms so disgusting they were unusable. It was filled with squatters who parked themselves in the chairs and never left. The atmosphere was like a seedy Greyhound bus terminal in an old movie. 

     The new Starbucks has many of the same staff, but new management. The store is clean, bright, pleasant, and since their policy has changed, filled with people who actually buy their products. The people working there seem more cheerful and less stressed. The outdoor seating is an added plus. 

     My office is near Wall Street, and the new Starbucks is very much like that one. It seems that the former one was an aberration. 

     BTW Since you mentioned Tazza, the Tazza down on Henry Street is charming, but Clark St rates a Zero in my book.
    Far from charming, the store is uncomfortable, with freezing air conditioning, rickety unstable metal chairs, and a tacky pseudo industrial look highly unsuited to the neighborhood.

     Although the coffee is good,  many of the staff look like they need a four letter word: S•O•A•P and less tacky outfits. Personally, I find the tattoos and piercing off-putting and unappetizing in an establishment that serves food. 

     The display cases have desserts lying around for days. Tazza needs to shape up. They should do what other places like LPQ and Starbucks do- give away the food left over at the end of the day to a food bank or homeless shelter. 
     They are risking Health Dept violations, and potential lawsuits should anyone take sick from eating old food. 

  • Mr. Crusty

    @PromGal: ” Although the coffee is good,  many of the staff look like they need a four letter word: S•O•A•P and less tacky outfits. Personally, I find the tattoos and piercing off-putting and unappetizing in an establishment that serves food.”

    And people wonder why PromGal is called an obnoxious snob. PromGal you’re a sad creature that constantly needs to reassure yourself on how much better you are than everyone else.
    Unfortunately you are doing just the opposite by letting everyone see what you are all about and it isn’t very pretty. Why don’t you just stay in your vaulted Casino so that you can hang out with other like minded snobs that can look down there blueblood noses at the rest of us mere mortals.

  • Winstion Smith

    Seattle’s Best, aren’t those the coffee kiosks one might find in a second rate city’s airpot?

  • C.

    I was in Seattle’s Best earlier today and it was actually packed. The 2 other times I had been there I was the only one there, although it was late both times. Maybe they will survive. I thought the location would kill them. The interior design is actually really nice and I like the exterior too. They’re limited with what they could do there because they’re confined by the buildings design. Planet Fitness is opening next door. Signage is already up. Also spoke to a nice guy on Fulton St. that told me that Duane Read is expanding their store on Fulton into the old Finish Line store that has closed.

  • Sally

    I want to like Tazzo and Vineapple but I do not like their coffee. I usually walk all the way to Montegue for Stbx or Le Pain Quotidien. Siggys has pretty good coffee when they’re open and they will sometimes make turkish coffee at the falafel spot. But if Tazzo or Vineapple could turn it around, they would become my daily morning spot. Does anyone here like their coffee?

  • Prom Gal

    My problem with the Clark Street Tazza is not the coffee, which I think is very good. I only drink espresso or cappuccino, so I can’t speak to their regular coffee. My objection is the not too fresh items in the cases that sit for days.

    The comments about the staff looking unhappy, and unkempt with tattoos and piercings leaves a bad impression of the place.

    I really do like Le Pain Quotidien and think it is a great addition to Montague Street, especially for relaxing after work. I appreciate the fresh, lovely platters and salads, breads and morning pastries.
    The staff looks professional and is always helpful and cheerful. They seem very happy to be working there. The coffee is OK, but I find the cups with no handle a bit too cute fir me. I love the classical music – creates a pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

    The same for the staff at Starbucks. Well trained, professional, helpful, and well groomed. The coffee is very good and I do indulge in an occasional really delicious frappuccino. I learned how to make them at home, but it isn’t really the same!

    Both Tazza and LPQ have outstanding iced tea, and LPQ offers free refills.

  • Andrew Porter

    Prom Gal, a call to 311 to put in a complaint with the Health Dept. would get you more action than complaining here about the food in the display cases.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Yeah call 311 to complain about stale food in a display case. My lord you people are something.