Coffee shops, like Whole Foods', have long been viewed as a sign of gentrification, which is why it's as right a time as ever for Filtered Coffee to land in Mott Haven. The South Bronx neighborhood has been in the news lately as two well-known developers quest to develop two 25-story towers in a section they once wanted branded "The Piano District." (Note: they've panned that branding after community backlash.) Now one of those developers is throwing his support (and money) behind the small NYC-based coffee chain's expansion into the neighborhood.
Keith Rubenstein of Somerset Partners is supporting Filtered Coffee's first Bronx storefront, DNAinfo reports, which will be located right off of the Third Avenue Bridge and nearby Rubenstein's future residential and retail development. Filtered, which also has an outpost in Hamilton Heights, opens its doors on April 2, according to their Facebook page. Rubenstein and Chetrit's development, on which work has yet to begin, will follow in several years time. Filtered co-owner Karen Paul explained to DNAinfo that the company was excited to open a space where community could come together in the neighborhood.
Filtered will staff five employees and "would love to have them come from the neighborhood," Paul told DNA. "Our goal is to hire local just because it makes sense from so many different points of view," she said. "Bringing jobs to the community, being more plugged into the community, just having people close by just makes logistical sense." They're currently courting employees through Craigslist.
The co-owners are not insensitive to the South Bronx community. "It's a place where people can actually come together and have meaningful connections and conversations about important topics like gentrification," Paul told DNA. "We're sensitive to that word, but I hope that we can...be more of an antidote."
Filtered joins other South Bronx coffee shops including an outpost of Italian bakery Palombo near Yankee Stadium, a café in The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and a Starbucks across from the Bronx Hall of Justice. Birch Coffee is opening a storefront in nearby Hunts Point next month, DNA says.
As for Somerset and Chetrit's development, demolition plans were filed with the Department of Buildings for 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue on January 29. Rubenstein and co-developer Chetrit Group filed plans for the towers in September.
Rubenstein isn't only busy planning up big neighborhood-defying developments. He's also trying to sell his Upper East Side townhouse, which comes with such over-the-top amenities like a temperature-controlled fur closet and walls covered in Hermés leather.
[UPDATE: A rep for Somerset says the renderings previously hosted in this post no longer accurately reflect the space. Curbed regrets the error.]
- New Mott Haven Coffee Shop Set to Open in Early April [DNAinfo]
- Mapping the Crucial Developments That Will Reshape the Bronx [Curbed]
- Mott Haven's Transition Into New Dumbo/Williamsburg Is Nigh [Curbed]
- Developer Wants To Rename South Bronx the 'Piano District' [Curbed]
- Developers Try to Rebrand the South Bronx to Disastorous Effect [Curbed]