Gradually, Starbucks has been closing stores on the Upper West Side, but it now looks like the company is expanding again — if only slightly.
Building permits indicate that two new stores will open — one on Columbus Avenue and one on the edge of the neighborhood.
An 823-square-foot location is being built out at 159 Columbus Avenue between 67th and 68th Street, which appears to be the former GNC store. “This most likely will be a pickup location given its size,” notes our tipster, Upper West Sider. Pickup-only stores are a new concept, and they’re geared to online-ordering. “The idea is that the store’s primary focus is serving customers who order ahead on the app,” Delish reported. “To be clear, customers can order from a barista in the store, CNN Business reports, but it’s not encouraged; baristas will help customers download and learn to navigate the app.”
A 1,984-square-foot location will be opening somewhere within 240 Central Park South, just off of Columbus Circle at 59th Street. Upper West Sider “can’t figure out which space it is taking (the old Maison Kayser, FedEx, and Aroma locations are still empty).”
Meanwhile, the Starbucks at 70th and Amsterdam is suddenly closed and appears to be cleared out, says tipster Lola. No one was answering the phone at the store on Sunday, though this could be a temporary thing. The mobile app was also not working. Update: we hear this location has reopened.