Chain stores popping up on Williamsburg's main thoroughfare are nothing new?Bedford Avenue has had a Subway for years?but last week's opening of one of those fancy new Duane Reade stores at Bedford and N. 3rd Street seems to have touched a nerve. There's already a Duane Reade at Northside Piers over on the waterfront, but this one, the Brooklyn Paper notes, is directly across the street from neighborhood mom-and-pop Kings Pharmacy. Kings has had a sign in its window for months asking customers to "fight the corporate bully," and another nearby building has a sign saying "boycott Duane Reade." Then there's the I'm Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg Facebook page (690 members). Such populist rage! Too bad Kings is totally effed.
You know what people living in Williamsburg like? Drinking. The new Duane Reade has beer growlers. Beer growlers! It's also open 24 hours, while Kings, which has only been around for a decade believe it or not, closes at 9pm. As for prices, the Paper writes that Duane Reade trends cheaper, but Kings is a bit lower on Williamsburg essentials like ChapStick and condoms. We haven't seen a 'Burg business showdown like this since that bar opened up next to that other new bar that opened up next to that other new bar. But isn't this all just killing time until CVS swoops in and blows them all away? Those store brand gummy bears are where it's at, yo.
· Battle on Bedford! Duane Reade takes on the little guy in Williamsburg [Brooklyn Paper]