When our local pharmacy overlord opened some new stores in Midtown East, they were stocked with fresh-cut flowers. In the Bronx, Duane Reades carry more Hispanic foods. In Harlem, the stores now have 40-foot-wide sections of African-American hair products. But when the chain opened the most-talked-about Duane Reade in town on Bedford Avenue, the suits had to ask themselves what product truly spoke to Williamsburg's core. The answer was clear: alcohol! By now you've probably heard that the Bedford Ave. Duane Reade sells growlers of beer and carries a nice selection of craft brews. Apparently this is enough to warrant another New York Times story on the store, and the results are just as commenter-baiting as last time. You see, Duane Reade is not out to destroy Kings Pharmacy, the neighboring local institution. It's out to compliment it!
The Duane Reade execs know all about the backlash, but they say they're just adding to the neighborhood's lack of services, not being a corporate bully: "Kings is a great pharmacy — the void we saw is there's no food and no beer selection," one tells the Times. And it's the beer, cheaper than at local bodegas, that is helping to gradually thaw Williamsburgers' resistance to shopping at Duane Reade. How did the company know the beer would be such a big hit (it's the chain's top location for beer sales)? Typecasting: "It's really a young hipster community so we thought it would work well."
Those Williamsburg hipsters; if there's one thing they love, it's drinking excessively to numb the pain of life. So predictable!
· A Duane Reade in Brooklyn With a Beer Bar [NYT]
· Stroller-Pushing Williamsburger Begs for New Chain Stores [Curbed]