Duane Reade Infilitrates Williamsburg By Adding A Beer Bar

When Duane Reade announced it wanted to open a store in the hip poseur enclave neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, it faced stiff opposition from locals and bloggers who feared it would destroy the area’s charm and drive a nearby local pharmacy out of business. So the pharmacy chain bought over the natives with beer.

The Duane Reade on Kent Ave features a beer bar where customers can fill up growlers, a glass half-gallon, from eight different beers on tap. A walk-in close has local, regional and national craft beers. The gambit seems to be working. Even patrons who say they were inclined to frequent the other pharmacy so they could support local independent business can’t resist the siren song of convenient top-shelf fermented hops.

At the end of the day, even some of the most ardent anticorporatists can be won over by classic economic principles. If you have the only supply to meet their demand, they’ll still come crawling through your automatic door.

A Duane Reade in Brooklyn With a Beer Bar [NYT]


Edit Your Comment

  1. EdK says:

    That’s weird, I’ve never seen a growler of PBR before.

    • tbax929 says:

      I’m even more confused. I had to look up “growler” to see what it was! I’d never heard that word before.

      • tbax929 says:

        Slight correction: I’ve heard of a growler as one who growls. I should have written that I’ve never heard of a growler of beer.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      Sadly, I have. There’s a great bar in my neighborhood that has two dozen different types of craft beers, and they’ll fill up a growler for any beer on tap. Unfortunately, the neighborhood has a lot of hipsters who drink PBR, so that’s the only non-craft brew they have on tap.

    • GrimJack says:

      I lol’ed. Don’t forget Miller High Life as well. When I was playing in a punk band (in New England), Miller High Life was our usual practice session beer. When we started playing gig’s in Brooklyn, we lost a taste for it…

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Honey mead or the deal is broken.

    • Thassodar says:

      YES! Honey mead is WAY too uncommon, especially in LIQUOR stores*!

      *In North Texas.

      • SonarTech52 says:

        It’s because Friar Tuck is only one man… there’s only so much Honey Mead he can make at a time.

    • Zowzers says:

      Its just called Mead. Adding the Honey on the front is just being redundant. Like saying I’d like a barley beer or asking for some wet water.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Scientists create ‘dry water’
        It may sound like a contradiction in terms, but scientists have created ”dry water”.
        The substance resembles powdered sugar and could revolutionise the way chemicals are used.
        Each particle of dry water contains a water droplet surrounded by a sandy silica coating. In fact, 95 per cent of dry water is ”wet” water.

        Confusion much?

      • caradrake says:

        When I go into a liqour store and ask for ‘mead,’ I get asked ‘what’s that?’ When I say I want honey mead, they suddenly realize what it is I’m talking about. So it may be redundant, but if it works…

        Mmmmm, mead.

  3. Bagels says:

    Put the Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout on tap and they’ll be so drunk they’ll buy anything

  4. blogger X says:

    I live in PA, so the concept of walking into a pharmacy to buy booze is weird to me. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose? Isn’t a pharmacy a place were you go to buy stuff to make you feel better…ooh! I see!!

    • Qantaqa says:

      Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        What is a Duane Reade?

        (Native Washingtonian, now a Texan, trying to figure out mysterious East coast references.)

    • tbax929 says:

      When I moved from PA to AZ, it was jarring to me to see alcohol in grocery stores, convenience stores, etc. I’m now over it (6 years), but it took me a while to get used to not having to go to the state store and then the beer distributor just to stock up.

      I now buy most of my alcohol at Bevmo, where I can get a wide selection and great prices. I love when they do their buy 1 bottle of wine and get the next for a penny sale. Yum!

    • RandomHookup says:

      Cigarettes are probably one of the top money makers at drug stores.

    • Johnny Longtorso says:

      How about convenience stores that sell wine? Beer I get, but buying wine from a 7-11 seems awfully declasse to me.

  5. Nighthawke says:

    The three Walgreens I’ve seen have put in for alcohol permits and got wine racks in place. So this is not too terribly surprising to see this pharmacy expand their selection to include beer.

    • cromartie says:

      Agreed. On the other side of the country, the Walgreens nearest the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge has a fantastic wine selection (three aisles worth).

  6. SolDeBarber says:

    Maybe DR can come up with special signature combination brews like an IPA combined with a hangover remedy, certainly would be a real time saver.

  7. AllanG54 says:

    I wonder if the pharmacist who’s dishing out the meds is tapping the taps as well. Might make for some interesting mistakes.

  8. rhobite says:

    Annoying though some Williamsburg residents may be, is it fair to call the entire neighborhood a “hip poseur enclave”? This seems like an unnecessary dig.

    • yevarechecha says:

      Yeah, Williamsburg has 60,000 Satmar chassidim, which is the absolute last group of people on earth I would ever describe as “hip poseurs.” Unless hipsters are wearing shtreimels these days.

      • ARP says:

        You used a lot of words I don’t know, but I assume you mean Orthodox Jews. Yes, there was that controversy about the bike lanes in their part of B-berg because they didn’t like women in revealing clothing coming through. The said that it was about safety when crossing the street, but the clothing thing was the real reason.

        Oh and B-berg has a huge poseur hipster area. The fact that they’re opposing changes to the Neighborhood that they probably moved to 3 years ago is amusing. It reminds me of when Wicker Park, Chicago protested “The Real World” because it would ruin the character of the neighborhood.

  9. veritybrown says:

    Ah, the true “bread and circuses”: beer. In half-gallon mugs, no less.

  10. Alvis says:

    Oh, the trials and tribulations of New York City residents. We’re all so interested!

  11. epb says:

    They’re fermenting hops now?

  12. Big Mama Pain says:

    But will they accept Daddy’s credit cards?

  13. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    In Colorado, you can only fill growlers at the site of brewing. I would LOVE if we could get growlers outside of the actual brewery… that would be awesome.