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Common Grounds Coffee Shop to Close on Tompkins Avenue, Owner Says

By Camille Bautista | September 17, 2015 6:30pm
 The cafe on Tompkins Avenue will close on Sept. 27 as its owner prepares to run for the state Assembly.
The cafe on Tompkins Avenue will close on Sept. 27 as its owner prepares to run for the state Assembly.
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Facebook/Common Grounds Coffee House

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Common Grounds coffee shop will close at the end of September after eight years of business on Tompkins Avenue, so that the owner can gear up to run for state Assembly.

“It’s bittersweet,” said owner Tremaine Wright. “I’m happy to be moving on and transitioning into the next stages of life for myself, but I’m going to miss having the shop, coming in everyday and talking to people.”

Wright, who serves as the chair for Brooklyn’s Community Board 3, is closing up shop as she gets ready to run for the 56th District Assembly seat, she said.

“I’m preparing myself so that I’m ready for this campaign and for that life,” Wright added.

Common Grounds will serve its last cups of coffee on Sept. 27 with a reception. Until then, the café at 376 Tompkins Ave. will be open Thursdays through Sundays.

The business served as a meeting place for locals and visitors alike, hosting musicians, pop-up dinners, game nights, and movie screenings indoors and outdoors.

“I think it has become a destination for people,” Wright said. “They felt comfortable saying, ‘This is in my backyard,’ and inviting people from outside of the community.

“It was supposed to be the place that we called our own, that we used and utilized for what we needed it to be. I think it allowed a lot of people in the community who otherwise would not have met to connect and forge friendships.”

When the Bed-Stuy native opened Common Grounds in March of 2007, she wanted to fill a void she thought existed in the neighborhood, she said.

Nothing on the menu is over $10, which also provided affordable options for the community, the owner added.

Plans are in the works for a new business — most likely a restaurant — to take over the space this fall, she said.

“It's important to me that they have a presence on the avenue and become a part of the community,” Wright said, adding that she hopes whatever takes the café’s place will further the development on the growing retail corridor.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone. I hope the same love and support that Common Grounds has seen, that we continue to provide the same to other small businesses in this neighborhood."

Common Grounds will host a closing reception on Sept. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Common Grounds website here.