If you were thinking of going Halloween shopping at the Salvation Army store on the corner of Bedford and North 7th, sorry, it was demolished in 2013 and its prime plot at 180 Bedford was sold to Thor Equities for $36.1 million in 2015. Since then, speculation has run rampant about what would replace the thrift shop (an Apple Store? a grief center for the neighborhood’s remaining hipsters?), and now we have the answer. Surprise! It’s a very, very swank Chase branch.
The new Chase– which hoisted its “NOW OPEN” balloons last week, right across from where the convenience store at the southeast corner of the intersection is NOW CLOSED– has an aesthetic that can only be called Williamsburg Nordic, complete with plush, modernist lounge chairs from British furniture designers Naughtone and a giant Jenga set in the waiting area. There’s even a water bowl for dogs. Basically the place looks like the brokers’ office you’d be shown into if you were closing on an apartment in one of the Edge buildings.
A banker at the place said its “artsy, industrial” look was designed with Williamsburg in mind, and indeed the only thing separating it from one of a third-wave coffee shop (you know, like the Starbucks Reserve around the corner) is the bland emo-muzak playlist that would send shudders down the spine of the Charleston next door (Shawn Mendes? Gary Go? Alessia Cara? Who are these people?). Pro tip/full disclosure: There’s free wifi that I’m tapping into right now while sitting on one of the place’s extremely comfortable couches.
Elsewhere on Bedford Avenue, the Sephora Studio we told you about back in August, when we marveled at the fact that people are actually psyched about a chain opening in Williamsburg, has now opened at 241 Bedford Avenue. And over at 169 Bedford, Pokéworks, the chain with locations around the country, has put up signage indicating it plans to open later this year. I hate to poké fun, but don’t they know there’s already a Pokébāb a few blocks away?