BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — If you’re looking for an addition to your VHS, record or cassette collection, this new Bed-Stuy cafe has got you covered.
Playground Coffee Shop, a new cafe and event space slated to open at 1114 Bedford Ave. by September, will sell printed zines, cassettes, VHS tapes and vinyl records, according to its owner.
Zenat Begum took over the location from her father, who owned and operated hardware store Abedin Building Supply & Renovation Corp. at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street for the past 20 years, she said.
After the family decided to end the hardware business, she sought to create a community gathering spot.
“I always wanted to open a coffee shop and a creative, collaborative, community space where people can organize,” Begum, 22, said.
While keeping the business in the family, her father helped with the cafe's build-out, she added.
Playground will have seating for about 25 people, and the shop doubles as a venue for gallery shows, poetry slams, book events, and performances, to give underrepresented artists a platform, the owner added.
The cassettes will feature mixtapes and demos from bands to let them showcase their work.
“I kind of thought of it as an artists’ playground, trying to get everyone to come here and integrate, play and create things in here,” Begum said about the cafe's name.
Begum said she was drawn to selling zines, cassettes and more after working with a variety of artists during her internship at independent publishing company 8Ball Zines.
“These mediums of art and music are easily shareable and essentially the most creative,” she said. “I wanted to offer to the members of the community the opportunity to get back to this notion of handmade and self-published items as a method of self-expression.”
Customers can pick up drinks and pastries, while a variety of baked goods are in the works for the shop's menu.
Ultimately, Begum said she hoped the shop would become a place where people could discuss issues as a community.
“It’s all about coming together," Begum said. "With discourse about injustices going on in the world, [and] discussions and seminars about how we can be better about these issues.”