Another Williamsburg institution is closing

Verb Cafe (credit: Timeout)

Verb Cafe (credit: Timeout)

This time, it’s The Verb and — you guessed it — its due to a rent hike. In the late 90s, we remember seeing Nick Zinner and Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs there while getting served coffee by TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone. Ah, the end of an era (again):

Verb is closing at the end of the month. “The landlord wants us to pay 70% more rent than what we’re paying,” a heavily tattooed Verb employee told us with a weary air of resignation. No one seems to know what’s going to replace it, but the employee said a designer jean boutique was opening in the mini-mall next door, and speculated that the landlord simply intended to “gouge some naive entrepreneurs for their life savings, and they’ll close in a year and a half.” A call placed to Verb’s landlord has not been returned.


  1. No Spam says:

    Do landlords make the neighborhood or do neighborhoods make the landlord? We can rag on rich people, gentrification and rich hipsters all we want but when do we start writing about landlords and their practices?

    • Jimmy Snoogans says:

      It started with the new developments on Kent and Wythe (East Manhattan, as I call that area) and that brought in a whole new clientele to the area, a clientele with LOTS of money to blow. And instead of blowing it on beer and Pies n Thighs like the rest of us, all these SoHo-type boutiques are opening up and driving out smaller businesses.

      What I don’t get is this: Ostensibly, the new “crowd” moving into the neighborhood is moving here because they want to be here, where there are cool restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc… right? Then the first thing that happens is all of the neighborhood spots that MAKE the neighborhood get pushed out, we get an Urban Outfitters and a Starbucks, and Williamsburg is no different than any lame-ass part of Manhattan.

      • Zebulon Norton says:

        It all started when every transplant from anywhere but NYC started to flock into Brooklyn. You can all blame yourselves, as you have also priced the locals further out into Queens or even Upstate. If only old NY could come back for a month, everyone would flock back to where they came from and local businesses wouldn’t be pushed out.

        • damn condo building, rezoning transplants

        • No Spam says:

          Newsflash: People have been flocking to New York City for over a hundred years.

          • Zebulon Norton says:

            Moving to Brooklyn has been the NEW cool thing to do for the past 5yrs, so every suburban kid is flocking here to live, thinking he or she will be the next big thing in the art or music world. Most of you transplants are transient and fail to realize how you impact a neighborhood. Gentrification is NOT a good thing, especially when people are being pushed out of their businesses and affordable housing. Really sad to see businesses that have been in neighborhoods for well over 30yrs disappear, because the landlord wants the next big income. Families seeing the same thing, generations of people growing up on the same block being pushed out by white suburban kids looking fresh out of an Urban Outfitters catalog thinking they are the new pioneers of said neighborhood. Its just corny and lame. If you were such a trend setter, why wouldn’t you have made your home city that cool?

  2. This makes me so sad. The Verb is one of the few, unpretentious coffee shops in the neighborhood left. Down, dirty and perfect. They’re also the only place I know that can toast a bagel properly.

  3. crackguy says:

    The Landlord is this big fat jewish guy. he’s a dick!

  4. When we look back at the pseudo bohemian hipster high water mark in williamsburg 20 years from now, it’ll be such a thin line , you’ll barely even noticed that it happened. It will be lost amongst the factories, orthodox and hispanic residents of the past several decades and the yupsters of the present and future. Verb joins Supercore, Zebulon and a host of others that have been my favorite spots over 15 years here to be wiped out from the changes in the n’hood. The fellow poster here Jimmy Snoogens is 100% right, these yuppies come in search of the cool, when they are responsible for its demise, they missed it, if only they could back to soho and the UES. But hey, I came in the first wave of gentrification, imagine how the original residents of wburg feel……

  5. TonyTheTiger says:

    Does no one see the glaring irony in people complaining about stores/restaurants being priced out when they did the exact same thing to the natives on Bedford 10-20 years ago?

  6. Honestly this place sucks, I’m not sure why anyone is upset about this, has anyone been to blue bottle?

    • Obvious Observer says:

      Exactly! This place sucked. Blue Bottle, El Beit, Gimme, Toby’s, and Sweet Leaf are all much better. Who cares if they got there a few years later. The Verb was always gross.

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