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Where ya bean? Sunset Park finally gets a hipster coffee shop • Brooklyn Paper

Where ya bean? Sunset Park finally gets a hipster coffee shop

Perks of the job!: Co-owners Caitlin Hersey and Nadia Shen share a cup of Stumptown coffee at Parkette on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park. The pair and their husbands live around the corner and built the shop’s interior.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Cue the Whole Foods.

Sunset Park’s first hipster coffee shop recently opened — a new high-water mark in the so-called “up-and-coming” ‘hood where locals fear an influx of newcomers attracted to low rent and nearby Industry City’s cachet of cool will push out working-class families. But the prospect of holier-than-thou dumpster divers and adult coloring-book enthusiasts sipping brew roasted by a Portland company that moved to Brooklyn in 2009 doesn’t concern one Sunset Park native — he’s just glad to have a decent cup of Joe!

“That doesn’t bother me at all,” said Danilo Medina inside the new cafe, Parkette Brooklyn. “It’s just really, really good coffee. I like the chill vibes of the place. It’s a great if you’re trying to study or get work done. It’s way better than Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.”

Parkette’s owners, who moved to the area last year, employ Sunset natives and see the business an investment in the community rather than a force for displacement, one said.

“We all talked about gentrification a lot before we went ahead, but again, we’re living around the corner, and almost all the people that work here either live here or grew up here, so it feels really good to be integrated,” said Caitlin Hersey, who opened the store in November after moving to the neighborhood with her husband and two children last year. “We don’t feel like we’re stepping on anyone’s toes or displacing anybody.”

Parkette’s menu, which includes brews from artisanal coffee darlings Stumptown and gluten-free baked treats — and its decor of exposed brick walls, bare wood floors, and a folksy music — lend a hip vibe common in neighboring gentrified areas like Park Slope. And the shop is full of something else prevalent in Brooklyn’s higher-income ‘hoods — 30-something parents. It’s a demographic the shop aims to attract, another owner said.

“We want to do things like story time for the kids in the future,” said co-owner Nadia Shen. “We wanted a space that was kid-friendly, so parents don’t have to worry about their children when they came around to grab a coffee.”

The move is paying off, a regular said.

“It’s got a nice vibe to it,” said customer Amy Krawcyk. “They put a little area in the back for kids — sort of intentionally saying ‘Come hang out.’ ”

Parkette Brooklyn (4022 Fifth Ave. between 40th and 41st streets in Sunset Park). 7 am–7 pm.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Quality cuppa: Parkette barista Jhon DeVilla serves up a latte at the new coffee spot.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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