Hollywood resident Sara Blair has lived in this neighborhood for the past four years, and every morning she goes to Starbucks on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street for her daily coffee drink.
By Wednesday morning, the green Starbucks logo had been removed from the front of the now vacant building. The inside of the store was pitch black and the front doors were locked.
That store was one of six locations in Los Angeles that closed permanently at the end of July due to “a large number of adverse events that made it unsafe to continue operating,” according to a Starbucks spokesperson, who cited the ongoing mental health crisis, drug use and chronic homelessness as contributing factors.
In addition to the six LA stores, 10 locations across the US, including in Portland, Ore., Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Seattle, have been closed. A company spokesperson said Starbucks employees who were “in good shape” had the opportunity to move to a neighboring store.
“I am very sad,” said Blair, who worked near the Hollywood and Vine store previously. “It’s my favorite Starbucks.”
Blair says that over the years she has walked past the store and found the front windows had been smashed in and up. She also recalls a time when she went out for coffee after work and the store was surrounded by police after a “hostage situation” in which a person was said to have entered the building with a weapon.
“They lock the doors in the morning and when they close,” she added.
Justin Black, manager of a nearby eyewear store, said the Hollywood and Vine store has been closed since Monday.
“This corner has been a lot quieter in terms of pedestrian traffic but there are also unfamiliar people and problem solvers on the street,” he said, adding that he is not a Starbucks customer and is not a customer. drink coffee but it’s yours. Employees frequent the store.
“I don’t know where people are going for coffee,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”
The Seattle-based coffee giant has struggled with a surge in union campaigns across the country and has been repeatedly accused of illegally firing union organizers. Starbucks officials said the company applies “the same focus on safety at affiliated and non-affiliated stores” and that the closures are “a standard part of our business.”
According to a Starbucks spokesperson, while none of the stores in the LA area formed a union prior to closing, two of the Seattle stores voted to merge and one of the Portland locations did. petition to hold a union vote.
The union, Starbucks Workers United, thinks the store closures and recent union activity are linked.
“Every decision Starbucks makes must be viewed through the lens of the company’s unique and unprecedented campaign of union sabotage,” the organization said in a statement. “The company is simply not credible in arguing that this is not a response to the burgeoning union movement spreading across the country.”
A Starbucks employee, who works at two downtown locations that closed and requested anonymity because employees were instructed not to speak to the media, previously told The Times that the closures is “confusing” and recalls an incident in which a customer threw hot water. at an employee.
She said that managers filled out internal incident reports and told the injured worker that a security guard might be hired, but that never happened.
A Starbucks spokesperson said a number of actions were taken prior to the decision to close a store, including modifying opening hours, changing store appearance, seating or furnishings, and minimizing entry. bathroom and open later or close earlier.
The six stores in the Los Angeles area that have closed are located at:
- Hollywood Boulevard and Vine
- Santa Monica Avenue and Westmount Drive in West Hollywood
- 1st Street and Los Angeles (inside the DoubleTree Hotel)
- Hollywood Boulevard and West Avenue
- Ocean Front Walk and Moss Avenue in Santa Monica
- 2nd Street and San Pedro
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-03/six-starbucks-los-angeles-area-stores-permanently-close 6 Starbucks stores across L.A. area permanently close