The first avenger of Karaköy, the original gentrificator. Karabatak is a cool-looking, Meinl inspired coffee shop often marking the epicenter and point of reference of the Karaköy hipster alleys. Though it has become too cool for its customers (pay as you order service with a cold attitude), it still is a nice spot to get a cup of coffee, maybe a little bite and enjoy the shade of the vines covering the street.
Context: The small streets of Karaköy now filled with people and coffee shops are the result of an extremely quick and transformative gentrification process. The last 10-15 years has turned the many old craft and commerce centers of the neighbourhood into cafés, restaurants and coutique hotels. At first the change was slow with Karabatak and Unter (now Kronotrop) bringing a new, undergroundy vibe.
Then cafés and restaurants took over most of the neighbourhood all of a sudden. Once it became too popular there was also a vibe shift from trendsetting places to cheap knock-offs of established alt culture concepts. Still from Tophane to Karaköy one can find a couple cool cafés, nice boutique shops and the odd traditional shop. With the open air mall Galataport opening up last fall, the demographics of the neighbourhood are to change once more.