Pop’s of Brooklyn 167 N 8th St(between Bedford Ave & Driggs Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11211
Pop’s of Brooklyn is a restaurant that serves American style food. What attracted us to this restaurant located between Bedford and Driggs Avenue, is the large mural painted to the right of the restaurant (see left picture). The mural accurately represents the artistic culture of Bedford Avenue. Before Pop’s was established, this location belonged to Kitchen Delights, which like Pop’s, also served American cuisine.
The cashier we interviewed was a very friendly nineteen year old woman who was born and raised in Williamsburg. She completed her high school education and is planning to go to Medgar Evers college for Special Education. The restaurant mainly sells hamburgers, french fries and shakes. When walking into the restaurant, we noticed that it was very small and dimly lighted. According to the cashier the restaurant serves a wide variety of ethnic groups including, Irish, Spanish, Italian, Polish, American, and tourists from Trinidad and Argentina.
However, during the time we were there, on a Friday afternoon, there was only one group of young men. She also mentioned that most of the people who come to Pop’s belong to the middle class. Like many others we spoke to, the cashier admitted that she admires the calm and friendly atmosphere of Williamsburg.
In regards to the types of people the restaurant hires, we were told that they are not currently hiring. However, just recently they were hiring managers and cashiers. Most of the people who applied to these positions either have college degrees or are planning to go back to college. Pop’s accomodates the needs of these workers because it is “a part-time place.” In other words the employees in this restaurant mostly work part-time shifts.
New York Muffins 198 Bedford Avenue between 6th Street and 7th Street, Brooklyn NY 11211
New York Muffins is boldly situated between 6th St & 7th Street. The bright yellow sign and constant shuffling of people in and out of the cafe is hard to miss. The cafe is very open and perfect for a mildly breezy or hot summer day. The cafe offers a wide variety of delicious baked goods and coffee style drinks at affordable prices. It is almost like a Starbucks except the people inside the cafe are actively socializing rather than sitting in front of their MacBooks.
The cashier who we interviewed was in her early twenties and what attracted her to Williamsburg was the job opportunities. In this particular coffee shop there is no college education requirement. She said that the job’s ideal candidate is someone who is willing to work hard. The cashier herself only has a high school education. The cafe caters mostly to Americans of the middle social class. When asked what business was here before New York Muffin, she said that she did not know. The people who worked at New York Muffin come from a Spanish speaking background; however, the cashier we spoke to was fluent in English. She is from New York but her ethnic background is Mexican.
El Beit 158 Bedford Avenue (between 8th and 9th Street) Brooklyn, NY 11211
On our group’s first trip to Williamsburg, El Beit was our first destination. Ultimately, we got on a pleasant start, it was here where we met our key informant, Joe. Joe has lived in Williamsburg for six years and owns a publishing company. What attracted him to the neighborhood are the great restaurants and the fun and interesting people he has met.
Over the past 6 years, Joe said that the neighborhood has changed considerably. When he first moved to the neighborhood, he lived on North 6th and now his old apartment has been converted into a bar. Moreover, he mentions that the cost of living has also increased, Joe recalls a time when it was possible to get a lamburger, a drink and tatertots for six dollars. Over the past five years, Joe has noticed a lot more working class people from Manhattan with young children.
Joe agrees that Williamsburg has a DIY (do it yourself) vibe and that a person is more likely to find rent for living spaces than for stores. When asked about his thoughts regarding the lack of large food chain stores in Bedford, Joe replied that the lack of big corporations helps to maintain a community feel to the neighborhood.
On our second journey to Williamsburg, our group spoke to an employee. He does not live in Williamsburg, but what attracted him to the neighborhood is the fact that the people of Williamsburg are generally respectful towards those who work in the food industry. According to the employee “the tips are good and it’s a very laid back coffee shop atmosphere.”