The Tompkins Avenue coffee shop Common Grounds– a beloved staple in the Bed-Stuy community– will be closing on September 27, 2015, announced its owner Tremaine Wright on Facebook on Thursday.
Though news to many, Wright, an attorney and Chair of Community Board 3, said she first made an informal announcement to her customers that Common Grounds “will probably be closing at the end of the summer,” during a July 4th event at the coffee shop.
Wright said the decision to close the shop is a bittersweet one, due in large part to her decision to run for New York State Assembly. She held her first fundraiser on June 30: “I’ve just been raising money and getting myself prepared,” said Wright. “So closing the shop is part of me getting ready for this campaign.”
And although Wright and her supporters are looking forward to the next chapter in her life as a candidate, countless residents will lament seeing the coffee shop close.
Since its opening in March 2007, Common Grounds quickly grew to become a veritable institution on Tompkins Avenue, “the spot” where everyone in the neighborhood— from musicians to artists, to high-powered executives; from college student to elderly residents– came to commiserate over a great cup of coffee.
Located at 376 Tompkins Avenue, Common Grounds, for many, was a home away from home.
“It’s a place for people to come together, relax and get to know each other,” Wright told The Brooklyn Reader. “It was supposed to be a common place, where various groups intersected and just communicated with one another.”
Wright said she’s currently talking to a few people who are interested in renting the space, but it will not be a continuation of Common Grounds nor another coffee shop. “It will be a new entity, most likely a restaurant,” she said.
“I’m truly going to miss the shop..” said Wright. She fell silent, as she choked back tears. “I’m sorry.. but it periodically takes my breath away when I think about it… I’m going to miss what the shop represented, because I don’t think that exists in the community right now.”
On Saturday, September 12, at 7:00pm at Common Grounds, Wright will host “The Weapon Eyes Concert,” a goodbye party and campaign fundraiser, with music, poetry (and a little bubbly) and a chance for people to share words on the shop’s closing.
It will be the last chance for the community to come together, laugh, cry, bid farewell… and meet on common grounds.
To donate to Tremaine Wright for Assembly, go here.