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Get Chickpea Sandwiches With Your Acupuncture at Franklin Ave. Wellness Hub

By Rachel Holliday Smith | October 2, 2014 4:58pm | Updated on October 3, 2014 5:36pm
 A new Starbucks and a new healing arts clinic opened on Franklin Avenue last month. At the same time, the lunch spot Cafe Allegria closed.
Openings and Closings on Franklin Avenue
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CROWN HEIGHTS — A wellness center that doubles as a health-food eatery is serving up granola and green juice along with massage and meditation on Franklin Avenue.

Mountain, which its owners describe as a "space for healing," opened recently at 903 Franklin Ave. near Carroll Street — one of several changes on the avenue last month.

To help keep track of what’s coming and going on Franklin, DNAinfo rounded up the latest updates on what opened and closed in September on some of Crown Heights’s busiest blocks.


Mountain | 903 Franklin Ave. at Carroll Street

The proprietor of Mountain finds that people have a hard time describing the new venture, which combines an eatery, the Apothecary Kitchen, with space for acupuncture, massage, meditation and health classes.

“People really want to put it into one place because it’s easier to describe, but it’s really a hybrid space for healing,” said Justine Lynch, who opened Mountain with her husband, Thomas McCauley, on Sept. 12.

Though a cafe in the front of the space serves an array of seasonal dishes  such as a chickpea and eggplant sandwich for $7 or a curry and vegetable plate for $10  much of the space is comprised of “treatment rooms,” she said, where they offer services such as reflexology, herbal supplement consultations and yoga classes.

But a “big focus” for Lynch and her husband is making sure the space is available to people of all means. To do that, Mountain will offer free health classes one Sunday a month and reduced-rate acupuncture for beginners every Sunday.

“We’re really on a mission for everyone who walks in the door to feel welcome,” she said.

Starbucks | 341 Eastern Parkway at Franklin Avenue

Though the first Starbucks in Crown Heights will have an opening party on Oct. 9, the chain’s newest outpost has been open for business since about the third week of September. The ubiquitous coffee shop stirred up a lot of feelings in the neighborhood after the announcement of its coming in June, and, unsurprisingly, became a lightning rod for opinions when it finally opened its doors.

“Crown Heights does not need a Starbucks!” protesters wrote on signs they carried in front of the new site earlier this month, according to a photograph posted on a neighborhood message board.

“Everytime coffee is not bought here a baby crys [sic] somewhere in the world,” staff wrote on a sandwich board in front of The Pulp and The Bean, a locally-owned coffee shop located directly next to the new Starbucks.

The new Starbucks will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every weekday, according to the company’s website, and 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.


Cafe Allegria | 547 St. Marks Ave. at Franklin Avenue

This coffee, bagel and sandwich spot located in the first floor of a house just off Franklin Avenue sold its last lunches last week, said co-owner James Payoute, who said he sold the building to “an investor” who may build a new building on the site. However, no building plans or permit applications have been filed for that property with the Department of Buildings.

Payoute bought the building for $389,000 in 2003, according to property records, but it is unclear how much it was sold for. 

The cafe opened just a year ago, according to the real estate blog Brownstoner, which first reported the closure.

Payoute said he and his business partners don’t have immediate plans to reopen another store in the Crown Heights area, focusing instead on other cafes they operate in other neighborhoods.