Anyone who’s ever visited New York City knows Duane Reade. The city practically runs on this hybrid pharmacy and convenience store. With over 150 locations in NYC, you see almost as many Duane Reades as you do Starbucks. And today I happen to be sitting at the Starbucks in Lower Manhattan between Duane street and Reade street. My first thought: Oh, now the name makes sense!
Duane Reade has been around since the 60s and is unique to New York — even though it was recently purchased by Walgreens. The original Duane Reade and its warehouse started right here on this street corner on the borders of Civic Center and TriBeCa. The rest is history.
So there’s your brief history of NYC’s most frequented convenience store — now its most frequented coffee house.
The Starbucks on Reade and Broadway isn’t the cleanest. It isn’t the biggest. And it’s AC doesn’t even seem to run as well as other locations. But there is something about this Starbucks that is uniquely New York. Actually, the fact that it’s small, dirty and old-looking is probably why it’s so charming. The high ceilings, tall windows with paint chipping off the panes, and narrow passageways make this Starbucks feel like home. Home for a New Yorker, that is.
The Design… Small but full of character. I don’t know how else to say this but it’s very ‘NYC’.
The Location… Just north of the beautiful City Hall Park and close to tons of trains (1/2/3, 4/5/6, A/C and J).
The Seating… Beyond the barista bar there is an adorable, elevated seating area with one long sofa and several tables-for-two.
The Crowd… Not bad. The seating area was always half empty.
The Hours… Closes at 8:30 on weekdays and 7 on weekends.
The Restroom… Just the one.
They seemed awfully chipper.
Drink of Choice:
Grande Iced Coffee
Overall Starbucks Rating:
The Starbucks that separates Duane from Reade.