Starbucks is Closing Early Today: Here Are 37 Black-Owned Coffeeshop Alternatives

Roger That Cafe on Roger (Photo by BKLYNER)

UPDATE (5/29/18): Today, Starbucks will be closing all their branches early nationwide to conduct a racial bias training for all its employees. The training comes in response to the incident in Philadelphia in early April.

Starbucks will close at 2:30 pm today, so if you’re out and about and need a coffee fix, why not check out one of the local black-owned coffeeshops in Brooklyn our list, now with a map, can be found below!

And if you’re looking to keep supporting local businesses, be sure to check out Black-Owned Brooklyn, too!


There are many reasons to chose local over chain stores, and for those wishing to avoid Starbucks in light of recent events, here are some good, black-owned (to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication) coffee shops ready to serve you.

Then again – there don’t seem to be any Starbucks in Bed-Stuy, or Flatbush, or East Flatbush, or Canarsie, or East New York, or Crown Heights except for the one at Franklin @Eastern Parkway and the other at 394 Myrtle. Here is a map of the businesses listed below, thanks to Grace:

Add the ones we missed in comments or email and we’ll update – the list is alphabetical.

Bittersweet and Sit & Wonder– Bittersweet -180 Dekalb Ave, between Carlton and Washington Park, Fort Greene. Sit & Wonder – 688 Washington Ave, between St Marks and Prospect Place, Prospect Heights. Same owners.

BKLYN Blend – 194 Tompkins Ave, Bed-Stuy off Dekalb Ave.

3 Black Cats Cafe and Cakery – 3 Belmont Avenue, betw. Rockaway and Thatford, Brownsville.

Bread Love – 210 Patchen Avenue @ Macon St, Bed-Stuy.

Breukelen Coffee House – 764A Franklin Ave. btw Lincoln & St Johns, Crown Heights

Brown Butter – 413 Tompkins Ave, Bed-Stuy, between Hancock and Jefferson

Brooklyn Kettle – 420 Putnam Ave, between Marcy and Tompkins, Bed-Stuy.

Bushwick Grind – 63 Whipple street off Broadway, Buschwick/Broadway Triangle.

Butch & Coco – 153 Howard Ave., between Dacatur and McDonough, Bed-Stuy.

Crocus Cafe – 328 Tompkins Ave, between Gates and Monroe, Bed-Stuy.

The Civil Service Cafe – 279 Nostrand Ave., between Lafayette and Clifton, Bed-Stuy.

Cafe Con Libros – 724 Prospect Place, between Park and Prospect, Crown Heights.

Cafe Erzulie – 894 Broadway, between Lewis and Stockton, Bed-Stuy/Bushwick.

@cafeonralph thanks for good music and good food.

A post shared by Esther Ribchinchuk (@estherribchinchuk) on

Cafe on Ralph– 86 Ralph Avenue.

Corner Grind -1183 Bedford Avenue, between Madison and Putnam, Bed-Stuy.

Doctor’s Cave Cafe –  856 Marcy Ave., between Jefferson and Putnam, Bed-Stuy.

Welcoming guests to our cafe makes us the happiest people in Brooklyn.

A post shared by The Estaminet (@the_estaminet_brooklyn) on

The Estaminet Cafe and Creperie- 107 7th Avenue, Park Slope.

Hearts Coffee Bushwick– 1207 Broadway, Bushwick

Kafe L’ouvertoure– 392 Halsey St of Marcus Garvey, Bed-Stuy.

I found the perfect crêpe place this morning. Don’t @ me

A post shared by Clare Palo (@clarepalo) on

Le Paris Dakar – 518 Nostrand Ave. between Macon and Halsey, Bed-Stuy.

#sampling @drinkfreshjuice #macdonoughcafe @drinkfreshbk #tdrbk

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MacDonough Cafe – 83 Saratoga Ave., corner of MacDonough & Saratoga in Bed-Stuy.

Milk & Pull Cafe – has a number of locations – 181 Irving Avenue (Bushwick) and 307 Malcolm X Blvd (Bed-Stuy), Brooklyn and 778 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood.

from the other day, incredibly chill times at one of my favorite spots

A post shared by Erick Armbrust (@armbrust_erick) on

The Mixtape Shop – 1129 Bedford, Bed-Stuy.

Qathra Cafe -1112 Cortelyou Rd between Westminster and Stratford, Ditmas Park.

Patio season is upon us. Come out and enjoy a Kitten Coffee Cold Brew in the sun.

A post shared by PLG Coffee House and Tavern (@plgcoffeehousetavern) on

PLG Coffee House and Tavern – 499 Rogers Ave at Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

Roger That Cafe – 854A Rogers Ave. at Erasmus, Flatbush (May have closed, unclear).

Saul Madi Cafe Creperie – 1327 Flatbush Avenue at Foster – so new, no social yet, but open.

Seven Twenty Four – 724 Myrtle Ave, at Walworth, Bed-Stuy.


A post shared by A Lifestyle Concept Store (@sincerelytommy_) on

Sincerely, Tommy – 343 Tompkins Ave, between Monroe and Madison, Bed-Stuy.

Truly audacious amount of strollers in this park slope coffee shop

A post shared by Jack (@jackpick) on

Sir D’s Lounge – 837 Union, between 6th and 7th Avenues, Park Slope.

Sol Sips – 203 Wilson Ave, Bushwick.

Sumner Cafe via FB

Sumner Cafe – 144 Decatur St (Entrance is on Marcus Garvey), Bed-Stuy.

Take a Break & I’ll Bake Cafe and Creperie – 489 Court Street, between Nelson and Huntington. Carroll Gardens.

Trade Union – Espresso Bar and Diner – 346 Malcolm X Blvd. between Chauncey and Bainbridge, Bed-Stuy.

Mocha me already Sailor . . . . @damicocoffee #hotchocolate #espresso #baristaart

A post shared by Tugboat (@tugboatbk) on

Tugboat – 546 Flatbush Avenue, off Lincoln. PLG.

Springing. photo credit @romas77 #urbanvintage #brooklyn #spring #interior

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Urban Vintage –  294 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill.

#open mic #after school

A post shared by @ wordup_cafe on

Word Up Cafe – 652 Pennsylvania Ave, between New Lots and Hegeman. East NY.

There are so many more – please add the ones we missed in the comments and we’ll update.  While working on this list we also came across this wonderful blog called Black-Owned Brooklyn which was started back in February and introduces you to a different black-owned business each day and it’s gorgeous and well done and you should totally read it this being the biggest black city in America and all.

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Liena Zagare

Editor of Tips? Complaints? Suggestions? Email me at


  1. Liena, but where’s our very own Qathra that’s down the block from you on Cortelyou Road?

    James has put a lot of love and sweat in to the place since he bought it from Max (who I think still owns Milk & Honey on Newkirk Ave)

  2. I think Tin Cup Cafe on 4th Avenue and 23rd street in Brooklyn is Black owned.

  3. There is a Starbucks now in Bed Stuy- on the corner of Broadway and Marcus Garvey by Woodhull.

  4. There is a Starbucks (2 in Kings Plaza, one in Target at Gateway, one on Kings Highway and Flatbush Avenue. They are also putting a new one in Georgetown mall in Canarsie/Flatlands (Ralph avenue & Ave K)

  5. Omg, URBAN VINTAGE IS my hands down favorite cafe in Brooklyn!!! Truly a feast for the senses. It’s like stepping into Paris. Owned by two beautiful sisters and boats the area’s friendliest staff. Amazing food and expansive beverage selection. Ample seating and WiFi. PLUS they have happy hour with cocktails that rival NYC’s best and a wonderful aperitif menu. Not to be missed!!! 294 Grand Ave. in Clinton Hill.

  6. Good, local coffee shops would have been sufficient. To single out black-owned is racist and denigrating to other ethnic groups.

  7. *Warning: Sarcasm Ahead* Love the hate the author is getting for suggesting people support a marginalized and discriminated minority group by patronizing black-owned coffee shops following an obvious example of racial discrimination against blacks at a white-owned coffee shop, as though promoting black coffee shops in response to a racist act is racist in itself. Ha.

    Anyway, there are two Starbucks in Flatbush, both at the Junction by Brooklyn College, but there IS a Caffe Bene here as an alternative to those. However, Caffe Bene isn’t black-owned, and I don’t see any Flatbush black-owned coffee shops listed here. I know there HAVE to be a few, especially Caribbean-influenced shops… I know for sure there’s a Black-owned spot on Rogers Avenue at Parkside, though I don’t know the name. Maybe check out Caribbeing for some more ideas? Looking forward to seeing some added to the list! Keep up the good work!

  8. how about we just boycott starbucks completely and support ANY small business regardless of the owners race?

  9. Other black owned coffee spota: Sincerely, Tommy on Monroe and Tompkins and Crocus Coffee on Tompkins between Gates and Monroe

  10. Degrading is being walked away in handcuffs without cause. There’s nothing racist about letting consumers of all backgrounds know which coffee houses are least likely to arrest black customers. It’s common sense safety.

  11. Don’t forget “Take A Break & I’ll Bake Cafe & Creperie” – a great coffee shop and the best crepes, cakes & baked goods in South Brooklyn! It’s at 489 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 in Carroll Gardens.

  12. Thank you for this list Liena and Bklyner! Looking forward to checking out all of these lovely spots, have only been to two so far. #supportblackbusiness #spreadlove

  13. Why is supporting black owned businesses problematic? People throw around the word racist too casually these days without reflecting on the power that white privilege gives to a white person or institution which is an ultimate act of racism and elitism. When black people try to support each other, it is depicted as racist even when our promotion of one another doesn’t lead to violent or inhuman acts against white folks or any other community. Not to mention, that white privilege allows one people group to decide who is worthy enough to sit in their establishment with or without buying a drink. Supporting black owned businesses for me is a way for me to empower my own community and it is not to diminish the quality of life of another. I won’t be fooled by this racism relhetoeic that continues to deflect from the problem at hand.

  14. I second the rec for “Take a Break & i’ll Bake in Carroll Gardens” + I’ll add “Into Tea” Lounge, 163 Gates Avenue in Clinton Hill for tea lovers…

  15. Wow…what gentrification can accomplish.
    Prior to yr 2006, no cafes to step into; now there all over Bed Stuy. Who stated gentrification was all evil???

  16. Please check out this black owned cafe in Park Slope: Estaminet, 107 7th avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215. The best coffee and crepes in the world.

  17. Thank you for this amazing list that I’m sure will keep growing. Now I have so many cool spots to visit and take friends from out of town to. ????

  18. Since you’re updating the article, please add “Take A Break & I’ll Bake Cafe & Creperie” to the list! They are a great place and we are rooting for them to succeed in one of the fastest, most rapidly gentrifying real estate markets in BK. (Mom and Pop businesses are dropping like flies while banks and Rite Aids are popping up like mushrooms.) I bring my kids there for afterschool snacks & hot chocolate, and they have great lunch & brunch crepe specials. And since lots of French families from the area’s bilingual schools go there, you can pretend you’re in Paris!

  19. If any of these establishments want to expand we need a coffee shop on Springfield Ave in Maplewood NJ.

  20. Check out Cafe Erzulie its a Haitian coffee shop in Bushwick . 894 Broadway !!

  21. Next, Chinese/East Asian owned coffee shops…Oh wait, they dont complain for the sake of complaining and just work hard….

  22. Ian’s Coffee Shop on Nostrand between Fulton & Herkimer! Awesome coffee, smoothies and breakfast.

  23. I know time is scarce and editorial energy is in short supply, but wouldn’t it be better not to have the map come from Starbucks?

  24. This article makes me want coffee and cake. May all these businesses thrive!
    @Zachary: WTF is closed. It’s now Peckish (run by the folks from Peck’s on Myrtle).

  25. Sir D’s Lounge in Park Slope, on Union between 6th and 7th Ave! Family owned and family friendly, a dad and two daughters. They have incredible snacks and it turns into a bar at night. They host event’s like kids puppet story time and a comedy night featuring exclusively women!

  26. Does anyone know if Roger That is really open anymore? I bike by it almost every weekday and drive or walk by regularly on the weekend, and I haven’t seen it open in 2018. It was a good spot, but if it’s not open at 8 or 10 or 12 noon any time I pass, it has to be closed, right? It was a good spot, but one of the owners wasn’t a coffee person or a morning person, which didn’t bode well for a cafe.

  27. Argh. Sir D’s is closed–for renovations? I hope it’s only that…LOVE the place; it’s my go-to meet, work, and eat-eat-eat spot in the Slope.

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