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Caffebene in Bayside closes shop

Caffebene in Bayside closes shop
Caffebene, a South Korean coffee shop franchise which has seen international success, is closing down on Bayside’s Bell Boulevard after only a year.
Photo by Michael Shain
By Mark Hallum

The Caffebene coffee shop located in Bayside has locked up for good after only a year in the neighborhood.

The South Korean coffee chain founded in 2008 seemed unstoppable after expanding to Queens in 2013 to profit off the dense millennial population of the borough. Now, however, the property managers have put the retail space back on the market, and Yelp users are reporting the location at 38-42 Bell Blvd. closed.

Caffebene opened its first shop in Seoul, and since then has grown to have thousands of franchise locations in Korea, around 300 in China and a growing number in the United States with the count at about 100 in 2014. European coffee house culture was mixed with a Korean tradition called “Sarangbang” of keeping a room in the home designated for studying and poetry writing. This creates an atmosphere attractive to many customers.

“Queens is just loaded with neighborhoods full of millennials these days,” Caffebene Senior Director of Sales John Barry said in 2014. “Millennials love their coffee, so we’re going where they are.”

Caffebene was projected to grow to 4,000 franchises in the United States by 2020 and 10,000 globally.

The reason for the closure is not known, but the owner who identified herself as Sharon denied the shop was closing and declined further comment.

The Briarwood Organization, which manages the property, could not be reached for comment.

Caffebene joins the likes of Bell Plaza Sports Club and Lucille Roberts, longtime businesses on Bell Boulevard, which also shut their doors suddenly to the surprise of residents and customers in recent months.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall[email protected]glocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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