CONCOURSE — Starbucks is on its way to the South Bronx.
The mega chain will open a new outpost at 161st Street and Morris Avenue, right across from the Bronx Hall of Justice and close to Yankee Stadium in late September. The storefront already bears the iconic logo.
Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District, said he was excited about a Starbucks coming into the neighborhood and hoped it was a sign that more eateries are on the way.
"This is the capital district of The Bronx," he said, "so it makes sense that there would be an upgrade in the kind of food and drinking options."
"I’m hoping that they’re going to sort of signal a shift away from the fast food epidemic," he continued.
The Italian coffee and pastry shop Palombo officially opened up a new location earlier this summer right by Yankee Stadium as well, and the nearby Bronx Museum of the Arts also has plans to open a cafe.
But Goodman isn't worried about too much competition, noting that demand was high enough that there would be enough business to go around, especially because of the density of people who come to the area and work in the courthouses.
"Every month there are 3,000 jurors called into The Bronx Hall of Justice and family court and civil court here," he said. "So that’s 3,000 jurors who typically are looking to fill their time between the morning and afternoon sessions with a meal or a snack or a place to open up their laptop or their iPhone and also have something to drink or eat, and there's just not enough of that here."
Although Starbucks has traditionally been seen as a harbinger of gentrification, a common concern in the South Bronx, Goodman said he did not see this being a problem with the cafe's new location because it was not coming to a particularly residential area.
He noted that the neighborhood is dominated more by municipal buildings, courts and parks than by apartment buildings.
"Apartment dwellers that are somehow going to feel the pressure of having a Starbucks on the commercial strip?" he said. "I don’t see it."