The Starbucks at 338 Columbus Avenue at 76th Street plans to close on January 31. But fans of the store are going all the way to the top — to CEO Kevin Johnson and longtime Starbucks head Howard Schultz — to ask them to stop the closure. The petition posted on change.org asks them to “keep our very special Starbucks open.” It was started by customer Michael Schertz.
They call it “a store which has added enormous value to our community over the years and which, far more than any other Starbucks store we’ve ever experienced, has actually embodied the human and social ideals the brand presumes to espouse.”
The petition explains that the store is centrally located near schools — serving as a kind of safe haven for kids — and the Museum of Natural History, as well as major events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the New York City Marathon.
“This doesn’t even take into account the dozens of regulars who have been coming for well over a decade, often bypassing several other coffee shops (including other Starbucks) to do so,” the petition explains. A Starbucks at 67th and Columbus also closed in 2016 — a move that was so shocking Tony Danza even asked the mayor about it. The company said last year it would be closing 150 U.S. stores.
A decade ago, Starbucks was viewed as a symbol of the homogenization of cities. But clearly, some customers have fallen in love with some individual stores. A former employee at the Starbucks on 76th tells us the store has a devoted clientele. “This Starbucks store in 76th Street is like a Cheers, everybody knows your name,” wrote Melissa Towbin in an email to West Side Rag. “People even come up to me and say ‘nice to see you Melissa.'”
As of Tuesday morning, 25 people had signed the petition.
Starbucks did not respond to requests for comment.