Makeshift Society, the San Francisco co-working space that came to Williamsburg a year and a half ago, has closed its Hope Street outpost. According to a sign posted by the owners, its clientele was “not quite numerous enough to make the business pencil out the way we planned.” But that isn’t stopping its neighbor across the street, 66 Hope, from picking up Makeshift’s business model and running with it. As of last week, 66 Hope is no longer a coffee shop and is now the neighborhood’s newest co-working space.
We discovered this when we walked into 66 Hope to order an iced tea (and let’s face it, post a story) and found the front counter replaced by a communal desk dotted with lamps and power outlets. Franklin Fischer, the owner, explained that, like Makeshift, he too had trouble monetizing his business model. “We didn’t have too much foot traffic,” he said. “So it was mostly regulars from around here. It was nice to have this clientele, but at the end it didn’t compute into money.”
That was partly because many customers got a little too comfy in 66 Hope’s airy, inviting space. “We had this problem, actually, for a long time,” Fischer said. “Then we started to restrict the wifi to 90 minutes.”
At Hope Desks, you can tap into the wifi all you want – for a price. Monthly memberships, shareable with one other person, are $650, and 10-day passes are $250. Makeshift members get a discount through the end of the year, paying the same rate as they did at Makeshift even though Hope Desks has longer operating hours (9am to 9pm on weekdays, 10am to 5pm on weekends).
Oh, and there’s free coffee, too. Just don’t expect anything too fancy. When I ask Fischer what kind it is, he says, “American drip.”