Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chase Takes Coffee Shop

Remember when a tipster told us that Chase Bank would be taking the space of Coffee Shop on Union Square? Now it is confirmed.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved Chase Bank's application to establish a branch on the southwest corner 16th Street and Union Square West. (There was apparently a public comment period, but we didn't get the invitation.)



The bank is rumored to take over part of what was Coffee Shop, while the rest will go to restaurants and potentially other retail geared to attract the sort of people depicted in the rendering below.



Coffee Shop opened in 1990 and closed in 2018 when the rent went up. According to my tipster, the rent was hiked to $3 million annually. Today, the businesses on Union Square are nothing but chain stores and banks.

9 comments:

samadamsthedog said...

I'm not sure when the last time was that you visited Coffee-Shop-Bar (to use its more detailed moniker), but the last time I went, within the past two years, the customers then present bore a strong resemblance to the people whom you depicted as typical of the likely future customers of the future enterprises to be established there. When we heard the place was closing, a friend of mine commented, "Where will we go in the neighborhood now to look at models?"

Shermanator67 said...

Before it was Coffee Shop it was Jason's Coffee Shop--an actual diner. I had a tuna sandwich at the counter when I was a student at the New School. Jason's Bar (a dive/real person's bar) had a separate entrance on 16th street. That's what we should be sad about. The gentrifiers are being forced out by a situation of their own creation. The question is: what is the end point?

Jeremiah Moss said...

I was not much of a fan of Coffee Shop. But I am less of a fan of banks.

marcy said...

The trick with Coffee Shop was to go super early before the brunch hordes and sit at the counter. We always marvelled at the vintage bongo decor and loved tbeir California wraps. While sometimes the food was uneven (especially as the clock ticked down) and the servers could be a bit flaky (but sweet) we always were happy to chalk it all up to the New Yorkiness of the place. We really miss it and always feel wistful when we walk through Union Square. To see Chase there will really suck.

jochen said...

My thoughts exactly. The city started losing it’s soul a long time ago.

JM said...

I did like their banana cream pie. When I worked near there and used to go there.

Where DO you go to look at models now? Is Live Bait still open?

EscapeFromNY said...

I remember Jason's in the 80's and Coffee Shop in the 90's and 00's. Union Square, like a lot of Manhattan neighborhoods "back in the day" was a seedy kind of area and there used to be a couple of dance clubs and night clubs around there....I think one was called the Underground but I could be mistaken. 14th Street was like the DMZ line that warned "normals" that what lies south of here will show you that "you're not in Kansas any more". The seedy gateway into the East and West Village in 1984 was literally like entering another world, strange, dark, and exciting. Anyway, was in Union Square last fall and we actually had lunch at the Coffee Shop, sat outside, and like I remembered, it was decent fare and not expensive compared to other places in that area like that Korean BBQ place among others.

Anyway, I think the fairly recent hit by Death Cab For Cutie, "Gold Rush", sums up quite well what most of us feel about gentrification and the loss of landmarks we used to love....the march of conformity and dullness that's sweeping the land.

Ben said...

Perhaps Chase chose that location because there is, embedded in the floor, the word "Chase" in a script font /s

Chase, the word, looks like it has been on the floor for years and years. You can go to the locked doors on 16th Street and USW and see it. I took a picture of it with my phone but I can't post it with my comment.

B said...

Oh that's too bad, another clang in the march of time. The food ranged from gourmet diner to Latin inspired dinner - the seafood was always super fresh. And agreed the banana cream pies were great, as were the drinks. A fun place to go to people watch. Chase - yuk.