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Aug 25, 2006 07:36 PM

Starbucks in Sunnyside?

I just walked by Queens Blvd and 46th street this morning and noticed a sign for Starbucks on the vacant storefront next to T-Mobile. Inside it was clear that they were renovating the space for opening.

Any thoughts? Is this a harbinger for the yupification of Sunnyside? I thought we were safely under the radar for that. I'm conflicted - half glad that i can satisfy the occasional caramel macchiato craving, but sad at the thought of overpriced coffee corporateness coming to the doorstep.

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  1. I just noticed that same Starbucks sign myself, walking down Queens Blvd. (me, not the sign) and felt that tingle, specifically related to the exact same caramel macchiato that you mentioned. Funny about that particular drink: so fattening, so expensive, so yummy. So yes, personally, I'm sure that on occasion I will frequent the new Starbucks in Sunnyside. I'm not worried that it will yuppify the neighborhood all that much. As a resident of Sunnyside, I don't particularly notice yuppies moving in as much as I notice many immigrants from all over the planet. This is why I love my nabe.

    Additionally, the Colombian diner, El Buen Sabor, just down the street between 45th and 46th on the same side of Queens Blvd., makes a great espresso much cheaper than Starbucks, and offers me wheat-free baked goods to go with, such as pan de yuca, almojabana, arepa de queso or bunuelo. Starbucks can't do that.

    1. i don't even associate starbucks with so-called this stage starbucks is like dunkin donuts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ceeceee

        agree. there has been a Starbucks on Northern Blvd. in Woodside for quite a while. I think they're gearing more to motorists rather than Sunnyside residents (just like other chain restaurants along QB). IMO, what's going on Skillman ave. is yuppification - I've noticed last night they're revamping the old defunct bakery by the Bliss street - the sign said 'Romanian Bakery' and looked like they're turning it into a cozy cafe, which is nice. I never tried the former bakery - it opened too late - sometimes I would see the woman who owned it opening it sometime after 7am by the end of my morning run. what kind of bakery is that, just opening at 7, were they selling things from the night before?

      2. El Buen Sabor is just fine... but the fact is that I could really go for a Vente in the morning, particularly these languid days. And having one right outside the subway will be a real boon. Would I prefer a locally owned shop like the Grind? Sure... Will I go more frequently to Aubergine (who serves Irving Farm, btw)? Yes.

        Is it better than a vacant store? YES!

        As for Yuppies... Well, I guess we are yuppies... so how can I complain? I hope that we stay diverse and include high-income yuppies to make the tax-base fat and keep the streets clean from their business development districts... but I also hope that our marv food continues.

        1. There's an independent (at least I think so) Starbuck's modeled alternative on QB around 41st or so. South side of the street.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nobody special

            Yes, quite. LOL. Har har. de. har. har. Apart from Mangal, Yamakaze, Yeti, Tangra, Turkish Grill, Hemsin, Rose, three really solid Irish bars, two solid colombian coffee shops, and two great Taco trucks and the Grind, it's all neon fast food. Right.

            Still, I say to Seattle: welcome to Queens.

            1. re: nobody special

              Nobody Special, you're referring to The Grind. It's owned by a guy from Texas who has clear ambitions for the space. He's either gotten or about to get a beer & wine permit and will be showing movies in the back room. It's also a restaurant of sorts, selling paninis, smoothies, salads and desserts, and it has internet access, including several computer terminals. Unfortunately, the coffee isn't top drawer, and a hot chocolate I ordered tasted like hot water poured over a mix (don't know if it was, but that's how it tasted). The ambiance is nice and I'd like to see the place survive, but the quality of the main attraction, the coffee, needs to come up a notch.

            2. Ok, so for me it all started back on August 31st when I came across the Starbucks sign. I was walking with my buddy late night and we noticed the Starbucks sign. Next thing you know we both looked at eachother (at the same time) and said out loud "Oh $hit!!!!" We couldn't believe our eyes. A few days later I walked by again and noticed that all the remodeling was done and the furniture was being brought in. A week later the place was open for business. I've been in Sunnyside a total of 18 years. I love the fact that its a close knit community but seeing the Starbucks just reaffirms that my neighborhood that hold such tender memories for me is becoming another Williamsburg, Brooklyn (which sucks). Over the past 2 years I've noticed more and more Manhattanites moving into our neighborhood and raising our rents (which sucks). I used to love the fact that Sunnyside was that "undiscovered" neighborhood but unfortunately, now its being discovered. I just find it hard and unjustified to pay $4 bucks for a cup of coffee that is sooo bitter when you can pay half at the Colombian baker El Buen Sabor and get a much better cup of coffee. Needless to say that there is The Grind on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 39th Place. I'm all for supporting the little independent shops in the neighborhood instead of the chains.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sunnyside_Gal

                the grind has GREAT coffee. i really enjoyed both a regular and their cappuccinos were delicious. also---tonight, tuesdays, they have a open jazz session. it's worth checking out... oh and i had a brownie last tuesday night--sooo good and fresh and delicious!