Starbucks Won’t Let Arepa Lady Serve Coffee

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The arepa de queso. Photo: Melissa Hom

First, the good news: Jackson Heights favorite the Arepa Lady has found a new home for its brick-and-mortar restaurant, which must vacate its original storefront. The Colombian restaurant’s building is being torn down for new development — and you’ll remember that its matriarch Maria Cano has retired — but Alejandro Osorio & Co. were able to find this spot several months ahead of when they had to be out.

The new location, 78-31 37th Avenue, is still in the neighborhood, but it comes with a caveat. It won’t be able to sell coffee because of a certain Pumpkin Spice–powered coffee chain. A neighboring Starbucks’s lease dictates that restaurants in its connected storefront can’t sell coffee. The Arepa clan is trying to make up for that, DNAinfo reports, by getting a full liquor license, something they requested at a Community Board 3 meeting this week. The owners sound okay with it, and clauses like this aren’t anything new, but, hey, bossy much Starbucks?

Starbucks Won’t Let Arepa Lady Serve Coffee