Shoreditch hipsters complain the chain store 'doesn't have a soul'
The beards, the artisanal coffees, the quirky single-dish restaurants: we can spot a Shoreditch hipster from a mile away.
Another trademark quality of the East London hipster set? Being up in arms about the gentrification of their 'hood. Chain shops opening up on Brick Lane, beware.
After the arrival of a new Pret A Manger sandwich outpost on the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane last week, local residents took to social media to voice their disappointment and anger, protesting against larger chains that push out independent shops.
The Evening Standard ran the story and quoted one outraged resident, Jay Sword, as saying, "It’s gentrification. I’ve lived here for four years and the area has become more commercial, pushing out smaller independents which are friendlier. Pret have another branch just 200 metres away. It doesn’t have a soul."
According to the publication, the shop has agreed to a 15 year lease for its new site, which has a classic black storefront.
"Our design team took a lot of trouble to renovate it and used details such as a traditional glass fascia, gold leaf detailing on the stone work and timber panelling internally. We feel the result is a confident-looking shop that enhances a busy junction," a Pret spokesperson told the paper.
Of course, the hipsters protesting the new Pret on social media were also subjected to their share of mockery.
"I feel so judged walking around Shoreditch with a Pret cup in my hand. All the ~indie~ baristas glaring out of windows steaming milk," tweeted Bolu Babalola.
Josh Barrie posted, "Basically, the people who brought Pret to Shoreditch are now upset that a new Pret is opening there."
Our favourite retort comes from Andy remains, who tweeted, "Imagine being in Shoreditch and thinking 'Hmm, what's wrong with this place is the presence of Pret A Manger.'"
Sounds like these guys just need to blow off some steam. A trip to Hackney's first tank beer bar, anyone?