A new boutique wine shop is trying to change the reputation of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a famed Brooklyn neighborhood that has fallen on hard times. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
The owners of the Bed-Vyne wine store are toasting a new era for a legendary Brooklyn neighborhood. They say their wine shop in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant is going to help restore the community to its original glory.
"We’re trying to bring upscale services to the neighborhood, where people feel like when they are spending their money, they’re getting the same thing they would get in other neighborhoods,” says Bed-Vyne co-owner Rotimi Akinnuoye.
For the last 30 years, Bedford-Stuyvesant has struggled to rebuild its image after riots and widespread poverty diminished the cultural mecca.
The owners of Bed-Vyne believe a real renaissance is taking root now. Their boutique wine shop was once a liquor store that was an eyesore on their tidy block.
“People are really excited about having something in the community that’s not behind a bulletproof glass and you can walk in,” says Bed-Vyne co-owner Ayo Akinnuoye.
“When you are going around and you are supporting the bulletproof stores and partitions, these people aren’t providing any benefit to the community. They’re actually taking money from the community and that money goes elsewhere,” says Bed-Vyne co-owner Michael Brooks.
The money locals spend in Bed-Vyne will be reinvested in the neighborhood through jobs and community programs at the local YMCA.
Bed-Vyne is in good company, as right next door is La Table Exquise, an upscale French pastry store that caters local residents.
"Everybody loves it. They don’t have to go to Fort Greene or Park Slope or Manhattan to get nice pastry right now,” says Bed-Vyne co-owner Sebastien Chaoui.
Wine from all over the world will be sold at Bed-Vyne, and the shop will offer lots of free tastings offered to customers. To learn more, visit www.bed-vyne.com.