Size Matters In Lower East Side Coffee; (Or: The Starbucks Effect–Beware)

Starbucks seems to have left another local coffee house in its wake. Earlier this week, The Bean Coffee and Tea, located at 118 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, closed its doors after being in operation just four months.

While it seems the demise of the caffeine outpost, which also has a location in the East Village, could easily be attributed to the Starbucks that sits just feet away, Bean manager Guy Pujlia blamed the size of the store.

“The space was just too small,” Mr. Pujlia told The Real Estate. “People would get tired of waiting in line and just go down the street to Starbucks.”

Rumors have been floating around the neighborhood recently that Ini Ani, another local coffee shop, might also be falling the way of The Bean Coffee and Tea. However, an employee at the Stanton Street store, notable for the corrugated cardboard that covers its walls, confirmed that this was indeed a rumor. Long live the independent coffee house! For now.

- Mark Wellborn