Sections

Java to the people! New coffeehouse to serve ‘Vox Pop’ comrades

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The owner of a soon-to-open Ditmas Park cafe says he will channel the spirit of the infamous Vox Pop — and give a new home to its Marxist clientele — even though it will be run by a capitalist.

Josh Rubin, a 29-year-old Rhode Island transplant, thinks his as-yet-unnamed café for progressive thinkers, which will open sometime in May on the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Westminster Road, won’t end up in the red like the ill-fated Cortelyou Road cooperative.

“Vox Pop was grossly mismanaged and it went bankrupt many times,” said Rubin. “But there is a clientele waiting in the wings [that needs to be served].”

The often-closed coffee shop Rubin hopes to emulate became a neighborhood parable on how to not run a business when it closed last September because of massive debt.

To avoid a similar fate, Rubin says he’ll keep costs down by manning the counter himself.

“[For it to work] you have to love something and want to do it all the time,” he said.

Still, he won’t be making his fortune on the back of the working man, claiming he’ll retain the progressive proclivities of Vox Pop when it comes to compensation to his staff.

“I’m going to pay my workers a living wage,” he said.

Rubin had hoped to open a shop on the now Vox Pop-less Cortelyou Road, but an influx of new cafes there had him head further behind the so-called iron curtain of Brooklyn.

His new space, which sits across from PS 217 on the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Westminster Road, was a popular diner in the 1950s and ’60s, but has hosted a slew of other failed businesses since. It was empty for the last 18 months while the building’s co-op board vetted a slew of pitches for the place.

The board offered to front the bill for construction costs because it was so impressed with Rubin’s pitch, according to Jan Rosenberg, the real estate agent who broker the deal.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

gimme from around says:
I am moving to China to open a coffee house (and calling it Pop Vox a Go Go) for capitalists to feel comfortable, so there
April 23, 2011, 8:16 am
Steve from Brooklyn says:
This is great! The area around Newkirk Avenue could really use a good coffee shop and a nice gathering place. Good to see.
April 23, 2011, 10:13 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Great stuff, best of luck with the venture, the area def needs it
April 23, 2011, 11:45 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
What kind of coffee do Marxists like?

Burned and very bitter.
April 23, 2011, 11:40 pm
Orlando from Florida says:
Great. Now if they could lnly borrow the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Museum...
April 25, 2011, 1:45 am
cynthia from Kensington says:
I am moving from Park Slope to Webster Ave and will be thrilled to find a place to drink my Java and read my book. Congratulations to Rubin, I will be a customer.
April 25, 2011, 11:08 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

This week’s featured advertisers