Andrew had earlier wondered whether the Starbucks next to Safeway at 23rd & Madison would be included in their list of closures. Today the company published the complete list of 600 stores, and that store is indeed on the list.
With several long-vacant storefronts on the Madison side of that building, the loss of Starbucks will leave things in a bleak state there.
Also on the list is the store on 15th on Capitol Hill, long beset by much better, locally owned stores. The other two Starbucks in the CD, at 23rd & Jackson and 12th & Columbia, will stay open.
Not too surprising as that place is always empty when i’m over there. I’m glad the one at 23rd and Jackson is staying though. And i need to make a habit of visiting Cafe Vega at 20th and Yesler again.
the one at 23rd and jackson is packed almost non-stop. seriously, that places does a ton of business and proves how well a coffee shop can do in an african-american community and with a sizable african american clientle. Also, not to fluff starbucks too much, but they made a wise choice to honor the heritage, particularly the jazz heritage, of the area.
Although I have other coffee shops that I love much more than Starbucks, they gained a little loyalty from me (meaning that if I have to choose between the larger chains I go into a Starbucks) by opening the one on Jackson and 23rd when they did. It was a real boon the the area and seemed to give the courage to give the CD a chance.
Jim Mueller remarked that the empty storefronts on the Madison side of the 23rd & Madison Safeway building might be viable if there were parking outside. Outside the Starbucks and adjacent storefronts there is room for about 5 cars, but it’s all marked No Parking, though there is a bus stop.
The block of Madison just west of there (outside the Twilight and Planned Parenthood) has parking on that side of the street, except during commuting hours, so another block with parking wouldn’t affect traffic flow.
QUESTION: should we as a neighborhood campaign for parking in that block? With the Starbucks closed, the block will be even deader than it is now. It will (presumably) gain a lot of life when Jim’s two buildings (the Twilight and Deano’s sites) open in a couple of years, but should we try and stimulate things in the interim?
Yes – I’m all for on-street parking, as both a way of supporting retail as well as slowing down traffic and making for a more pleasant pedestrian environment (providing a buffer between traffic and peds).
Love that it’ll not only remain, but has been validated as a valuable location for Starbucks — it benefits from being on a high profile corner, and being an airy (dare I say, beautiful?) store — great day for our little neighborhood!
They should move that Starbucks to 23rd and Union in the old Cheese Steak spot.
A ton of traffic going by on Union and 23rd, parking is available there and it would make a great impact.
I don’t know if I agree that it is worth putting in street parking spots in that location of Madison mostly because there is already a fairly large free parking garage (not even requiring validation like similar garages on Broadway) that seems it was built to serve the retail in that building. I understand the concept of being right next to the store front, but it seems like the pattern has been to encourage these below grade parking structures for mixed use projects and here is one that has done it and should be reasonably convienent and free to patrons. Shouldn’t we be encouraging traffic flow on Seattle’s already generally narrow streets rather than taking away and causing more congestion, including for the mass transit that we have — buses? Cars trying to parallel park into spots within one block of the busy Madison & 23rd intersection seems like it will congest things more.
It’s one of the few (perhaps only) places in the CD where you see whites, blacks and other ethnicities co-mingling under one roof. It’s also great that they seem to hire a lot of minority youth. Say what you want about the proliferation of chain stores, but I think in this case it’s been a boon to the community. I personally don’t care for the taste of Starbucks coffee very much, but I make it a point to frequent this particular store on occasion.
My friend used to work at that store. Apparently it’s one of Howard Schultz’s (sp?) favorite stores and he’d stop in from time-to-time. They do have a very diverse staff, and I think they work hard to hire kids from the neighborhood. Plus if you haven’t been to Starbucks in a while, you might have missed that their coffee got better over the past year. I’m an americano drinker and theirs are consistently good these days (did not used to be true).
A Starbucks (or some other high-volume coffee place) at 23rd and Union is a good idea.