As East Villagers fight another Starbucks, a more homegrown chain has announced that it’s expanding in the neighborhood. The Bean, which started in the East Village and now has a place in Williamsburg, is opening its fifth location, at 31 Third Avenue, in the former home of St. Mark’s Bookshop. According to Instagram and Facebook messages, it’s “coming this Fall.”
The new store, on the corner of Third Avenue and Stuyvesant Street, is just a handful of blocks from the chain’s Broadway one, and steps from other recently opened coffee shops such as Bluestone Lane and Pourt. If nothing else, its frozen drinks will fill the void that the next-door McDonald’s left when it closed after 20 years, taking its McCafe with it.
The new Bean will be opening in a storied locale: The St. Mark’s Bookshop moved there in 1992 and left in 2014, unable to afford the space even after its landlord, Cooper Union, agreed to decrease the rent from $20,000 a month to $17,500. (The beloved bookshop eventually closed altogether.) The storefront has sat more or less empty for three years, though it has occasionally been used for Cooper Union projects.