For all the Williamsburgers out there who are worried about being cut off from Manhattan in 2019, here’s some good news: you now have one less reason to trudge into the city, because after much anticipation/consternation, Apple has finally built its first storefront in Brooklyn.
Days ahead of its opening this Saturday at the corner of Bedford Avenue and N 3rd Street, press were given a chance to tour the new store earlier this morning.
Almost from the start, the press event felt like one of those eerie, cultish things Apple used to get teased about. Wide-smiled employees greeted us with applause as we entered the store—for what, I’m not sure—after which, we were given a short presentation by Apple’s New York market director, Jason Barlia, who spoke to use through a lavalier microphone, despite being just a few feet away.
During his presentation, Barlia mentioned that the store is a new design for Apple, which was first tested out in May in San Fransisco. It’s fair to say, however, that regular Apple customers won’t exactly be surprised by what they find on their first visit—the store has the same shiny floors, long product tables and wooden alcoves as every other Apple store out there.
The shop is a fairly open space, with iProducts laid out on tables separated by product line: Macbooks, iPads, iPhones and a whole case of iWatches. There is also a smaller room off to the side with more products, including headphones and more laptops as well as the entrance to their “Boardroom,” a meeting space that will be used for workshops with local entrepreneurs.
“Here in Williamsburg, we love the idea of a classic warehouse,” Barlia said. “When we found this place, it was a little chopped up and its spirit was diminished, so we had to rebuild it from the ground up.”
That rebuild, in true Williamsburg fashion, mimicked the look of a warehouse—with “exposed brick” and metal I-beams galore—without being really industrial. That may have something to do with the fact that a good deal of the space belonged to a pharmacy before Apple stepped in, making any “industrial sensibility” a bit of a put-on.
The new store will also be host to a number of events and activities, including their Camp, which teaches kids about programming and computers, and the kind of event programming you might find, for example, at Apple’s SoHo store. Barlia also drew our attention to the main section of the store—the “Forum,” which has a 6K video projection screen and small seating area—and noted that it was designed as “a gathering place for the community.” You know: for when you and your boys want to go hang out at the local Apple Store and kick a few back.
The new location will employ 120 “Geniuses” and other store employees, 100 of whom come from other New York Apple Stores. The big reveal of the morning, however, was that New York is getting yet another Apple Store in addition to this one. The even newer store—which, like all Apple Stores, was built in secret—will be located at the Oculus in the World Trade Center and is scheduled to open three weeks from now.
The Williamsburg Apple Store is located at 247 Bedford Ave and officially opens to the public on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m.