I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! With a high temperature of 90 and high humidity expected this Sunday, the place to be from 11AM to 2PM is at the grand opening of Tin City Drug & General Store (366 Lewis Avenue, between Macon and Halsey Streets).
Within the store’s 900 square foot space, they will operate an old fashioned soda fountain, serving ice cream sodas and floats. General manager and visionary Saratu Nafziger stresses that Tin City is not to be confused with Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain in Brooklyn Heights. “We are very different from them. They’re more vintage nostalgic.”
How quickly the store launched is enough to give anyone an ice cream brain freeze! The concept was birthed around late February and was incorporated in March. From there, it’s been a family affair with her brothers John Nafziger who is an architect and Tim Nafziger, the manager and the face of the business. Friends and family members have supported the launch across the board financially and physically.
The name “Tin City” is actually a nickname of a Nigerian city Saratu and her siblings grew up in – otherwise known as Jos. Naming the store Tin City was a way for them to pay homage to their hometown.
Saratu and her family live within a short walk of the store, so they are aware of Bed-Stuy’s needs. “This neighborhood needs somewhere where you can get personal care items. You can’t get a decent razor, you cannot buy tampons, you cannot buy shaving cream,” Saratu says. “I commute from the city and I see everyone with Duane Reade bags. Why are they bringing all of their over the counter drugs in? It makes no sense.” Shoppers will also be able to purchase grooming products and household cleaners – brands that do not contain harsh chemicals and are environmentally friendly.
Although the soda fountain and ice cream shop is an attraction, the buzz in the neighborhood is the fact Tin City will provide a selection of healthy and organic shelved foods and canned goods. They will place a sign-in sheet for customers to make note on what items they would like to see. The ratio of food items and general products has shifted dramatically. “Initially we were only fifteen percent food. We were going to have Odwalla bars, some pasta, some yogurt and cheeses…but the requests just kept coming in for more food…so we’re now twenty-five percent food.” Saratu mentioned that the request for more food may be coming from the wait of Butternut Market (307 Stuyvesant Avenue at Halsey Street). A top floor fire caused some fire and smoke damage a few weeks prior to the opening.
People should keep in mind that Tin City is not a grocer or a full produce market, so you won’t find poultry or fresh fruit and vegetables. There’s a possibility of expanding in that direction though. You will also find a local wall featuring products that are made in Brooklyn, neighborhoods from Ft. Greene, Park Slope and even Bed-Stuy.
The store’s interior is built from recycled and re-purposed resources. The chalkboards were found and brought in from upstate New York and then refurbished with chalkboard paint. The wood used to build the counter and product shelves originally were floor beams from the second floor apartment, located above the store.
If you’re not able to get a free scoop, no worries. Scoops are half off after 2PM. Go by and say hi. Buy a product or two and tell Saratu that you’ve read about Tin City at Bed-Stuy Blog!
Tin City Drug & General Store
366 Lewis Avenue (between Macon and Halsey Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Hours: 8AM – 9PM daily
**Credit cards accepted**