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May 09, 2007

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BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Ummmmmmmm, yeah. There is a Starbucks in the Forbidden City and basically everywhere else. I believe that Starbucks should be able to open any store wherever it can because WTF if I have to walk like 15 minutes to get my double tall sugar free vanilla soy extra hot latte.
On a more serious note, when I do visit New Orleans I do find it rather annoying having to walk pretty far to get my Starbucks hand-crafted beverage.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL
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Charles

There's a starbucks a few blocks away. And it's not like it would be real competition for Cafe du Monde.

However, I do realize the desire for Jackson Square to be chain-free. After all, with one exception, isn't Pike's Place Market the same way?

Starbucks Poster Boy

Yeah I agree with the original poster. You should start a petition or something for the city.

Putting a Starbucks in that area will ruin it. That's all you need is for those yuppie-starbucks-drinker-fuckers littering the street with white cups. Regular garbage is far more attractive.

If the city really wants a coffee shop there, they should recruit a local REAL coffee shop into that location.

Sprezzatura

Yeah, the location in the Quarter should not be filled with a Starbucks, instead, how about another bar?

Geeze, you'd think having a place where people could buy non-alcoholic beverages would be seen as a good thing, not a bad one.

BitchyBarista

Get over it. Starbucks is like nutria--you can't get rid of 'em.

MILWAUKEE STARBUCKS REBEL

How about New Orleans takes what it can get? They city needs all the help it can get... It's a dying city

Oh please. The French Quarter lost its soul a long time ago. It's been nothing but a tourist trap for decades now. I think a Starbucks would be well suited for the French Quarter, and would probably make a good bit of money.

And yeah, right about now, New Orleans is in no position to whinge about such things, as it *is* a dying city.

Kat

I don't care if Starbucks has a shop in the Forbidden City, or any other historic place, that doesn't make it 'ok'. I used to visit the French Quarter almost weekly, and loved the uniqueness of the place. Gradually chains have been moving in and destroying the feel of the quarter, which is very sad to see. I hate how every town is starting to look like every other. The gritty uniqueness of the quarter is giving way to slick corporations.

There are plenty of places near the quarter that Starbucks can set up, it's not that big of a walk to reach them. I'd much rather see local owners open up more coffee shops down there, and keep the feel local.

Tall Drip

I'm sure the rents are such that only Starbucks can *afford* to set up shop in the Quarter. This is why, in many cities, you have to travel to the hinterlands to get to the indie coffee shops, if they even exist at all.

I don't think the fault rests entirely with Starbucks in the Quarter, and other similar areas nationwide....IMO, most of the fault rests with the greedy bastards charging rent, empowered by the vastly overinflated property values. Who can afford to open up a coffee shop in a decent area, but Starbucks??

Kat

You are most likely right about that, Tall Drip. It would perhaps behoove the city governments to try and do something to help local business people open their own shops, instead of them out in favor of the big chains. I go to the French Quarter, I want to see what is unique to the French Quarter. Not another MickyD's/Starbucks/Hooter's or whatever. And that holds true of any historic place, or they lose what they uniquely have.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Will there be french kissing?

stcrtemple

Anyone notice the people who are anti-Starbucks (as in the corporation), claiming that everyone should frequent indie shops. Yet they shop at Wal-Mart and eat at Taco Bell to save money?

atownsbuxrules

....Weeeehhhhhhhh! Nothing stays old and glorious forever, and you could do worse than a Starbucks. Your "real" coffeehouses will still be packed with your pretentious peers, never fear. At the end of the day, nobody's going to die. It's just coffee. :P

Mnemosyne

It is sad when an independent spirit is pushed out in favor of a corporate machine, no matter the industry. I am told that the city of Berkeley was successful in keeping Starbucks out for quite awhile. Alas, that battle was eventually lost. That said, Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? ~Mnem.

Kat

I'm not anti-Starbucks. But I don't like chains moving into a place that has it's own 'flavor' and homogenizing things. As I said, it's hardly a long walk to the edge of the quarter, Starbucks can easily set up shops there and leave the quarter alone. Or are people just too lazy to walk a few extra blocks?

St(artie)bucks

I agree with STCRTEMPLE:
" Yet they shop at Wal-Mart and eat at Taco Bell to save money?"

You can't avoid major corporations and still live.

ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS:
I'll stab you with an umbrella, and then open it. Because I'm sick like a diseased ethiopian!

Realist in LA

There is a reason why there IS GOING TO BE A STORE THERE. It's because people want it!

Get a life and move if you don't like it. There is a majority here in the U.S. and yes even in Katrinasville. Want to bitch? Bitch about the murder rate in your fair city.

Darleen

Kat,
I get what your saying, but on the other hand I think new orleans can really use something there that will bring in tourism again. There are worse things that can go there.I doubt starbucks will go in a set up a store on every corner, but one store will definitely help with bringing revenue back.

Kat

Thank you for your reply Darleen. It's nice to see someone can reply and not be rude, unlike some people on this board apparently.

I know New Orleans can use all the help it can get. And I know there are definitely worse things than Starbucks (and no doubt will be). But ya'll forgive me for feeling just a little sad and nostalgic ok? Forgive me for cherishing local flavor, and not embracing national chains (and no, I do not shop Walmart or eat at Taco Bell). I know it's inevitable, but I still feel sad about it. Sorry that seems to bother some of you.

JenQ

Okay Jennifer, are you willing to provide part time jobs with benefits for 20+ employees that will virtually be 100% paid for by the tourist industry? Are you going to open an indie that will?

It is hardly the worst thing that can happen to NOLA right now.

Paul

When I traveled to New Orleans between 2002 and 2005, there was a Starbucks in the French Quarter section of the City. IIRC, it was initially across the street from Jackson Square along Riverwalk, before they moved about a block or west to Canal Place, which is considered a part of the FQ. So what's the fuss now? When I visited NO, everyone walked around with a cup of Cafe Du Monde or Community Coffee in their hand (both of which brew excellent coffee), not Starbucks.

simplehiker

Yes, you wouldn't want Starbucks to tarnish the reputation of all those junk stores, t-shirt shops, and stores selling nothing but "Big Ass Beers". Come on, 80% of this place is a drunken tourist trap. A Starbucks would actually class it up.

Kat

Well, then I guess that everyone walking about with a Cafe Du Monde cup instead of Starbucks tells ya something. People like local better? And no, Starbucks wouldn't class the place up. I like Starbucks fine, but it's still a chain.

But whatever. I don't expect diehard Starbucks people to understand what I'm saying. Starbucks on every corner! Woohoo!

i went to cafe du monde last time i was in N.O. and they were rude, and the waitress tipped herself instead of givng me the right price on my coffee. it took forever for me to walk to an overpriced licensed store in a hotel. go bux!!! and i agree with the post about big ass beer shops. there is no reason not to have a sbux there - and btw, sbux offered a lot of help to their workers that were displaced during katrina.

**Anyone notice the people who are anti-Starbucks (as in the corporation), claiming that everyone should frequent indie shops. Yet they shop at Wal-Mart and eat at Taco Bell to save money?**

Not anti Starbucks, but they are certainly getting a little too large for their own good.. and that of their partners. And I can promise you, I wouldn't be caught dead in Wal-Mart or eating at Taco Bell or any other fast food junk fest.

Remain Anon

Ummm...if there can be Starbucks in PARIS why shoudn't there be Starbucks in NO?

Kat

Maybe because some of us are tired of seeing Starbucks EVERYWHERE and prefer to see local people making a living with a business? I like Starbucks, don't get me wrong, but I'm getting tired of seeing them everywhere I go. And all I'm saying is, can't Starbucks stick to the outter limits of the French Quarter, instead of being in the heart of it? It's NOT a big place, it's not like it'd kill anyone to walk a few extra blocks. They probably need it anway, all those thousand calorie drinks they make lol.

Linda Latte

I would die if there wasn't a Starbucks Coffee shop wherever I happened to be vacationing! I do seek out Starbucks locations before planning my vacation destinations because it's so nice and relaxing to get my favorite beverage while on a trip and nothing but a Starbucks will do for me people. ;)))

Ciao, dollinks!

Darleen

You go linda latte! Happy trails to you in your search for our stores. May your coffee never get cold! You rock!

Go to School

If some people spent half the time reading or learning as they did complaining the world would be a far better place. The only reason starbucks would put a coffee shop in the french quarter, or forbidden city, etc is because they expect a return on investement.
The only way they get a return on investment is if customers come through the doors.
Customers will only come through the doors if they want to give Starbucks business by purchasing their products.
It is therefore the public that want the Starbucks in the French Quarter. If nobody wanted it there Starbucks would be foolish to open up shop. But we all know that isn't the case.
I hate people against chains. Chains only get to be so big because they offer better products, and better service at a better price. Starbucks started off as a small independent coffee shop and because they do things better than the local coffee shops of New Orleans they have been more successful... Supply and Demand, only lazy, unmotivated, useless people oppose that. Stop taking up space.

Go to school

P.S. New Orleans is a Dump, its gross, dirty, and full of seedy people, and that was before katrina. Thats why the British Shipped the French there to begin with

Andrea

Why not have a Starbucks in the French Quarter? I see it as a potential to get more jobs to people who desperately need them. I've seen Starbucks in other countries and if done right it won't be a blatant sign like McDonalds is in those countries. Plus, When I visit New Orleans I would love to get my Starbucks in the mornings and go to Cafe Du Monde in the late afternoons.

Kat

Go To School? I will continue to take up space all I like. Sorry you hate me for prefering independent businesses, but don't read my posts if they bother you so much.

All cities have dirty, seedy areas, not just New Orleans. I've been around this country enough to know that. And I said I like Starbucks just fine, I just would prefer they stick to the outskirts. What's so bad about that? It's only a few blocks. Not like I'm saying ban them completely, just don't put them in the heart of the place. Jeesh, ya'll act like I'm saying 'death to Starbucks' lol.

ivic4pcl4meplz

I think if Starbucks wants to build in the FQ they should conform to atmosphere of the FQ. Don't just plunk down a cookie cutter store, use some of those bux to create a store that is a reflection of the beautifull city and the rich culture that NO is known round the world for. I also think in NO they should offer rum in the hot chocolate, mmmm. But I think it would be better to build more toward the buisness district just to keep the nostalgia alive.

NOLA

First, it's "Huge Ass Beers" ;-)
And I agree with you. How is a Starbucks worse than that, the junk and tourist shops, the strip clubs, the "live sex act" club...

Second: there's already one in the quarter, so the blogger has kind of missed the boat. There's one in Canal Place, and another is being talked of near the corner of Canal and Bourbon.

Third: Turf war between CDM and Starbucks? Please! I'll finally be able to get my beignets and enjoy them while they are still hot with a cup of coffee that doesn't need a pound of sugar to cover the bitterness of CDM. The tourists will still go to both and both will do well.

Finally: I have to say, a big green Starbuck sign on JAckson Square does not excite me. I hope that it gets something a bit more subdued. That said, a business that can not only make its rent (unlike just about everything elso in the FQ), but will bring more folks into the quarter who may then spend more money in the area is bad how?

OK, really the last thing: Sure, this is because it is on iconic Jakson Square. I understand. But there is a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum on the square. And someone is worried about a Starbucks?

happypants

I recently visited the college of william & mary in Williamsburg, VA, and was surprised to see the extreme aversion to starbucks there, so bad that when asked, I simply said I worked at a coffee shop. There are three bars near the college campus, and one of them, the college deli, is being bought out by starbucks after a long and bitter fight waged by the students to prevent it. I feel that moves by Starbucks are simply ruinous for them on a public relations level. For a company that so carefully manages its relationship with its publics, Starbucks needs to better manage its expansion in such a way as to respect the communities it seeks to enter.

Darleen

Kat,
I don't understand why you are taking such offense at these posts. Nowhere do I read that any of them are directed to you, yet you answer them as if someone has directly put you down. I think you are beating a dead horse and upsetting yourself needlessly. We all get it, you don't think there should be a sbux in the french quarter. Other people do, to each his own.

Kat

Darleen, while my name is not specifically mentioned, sure I take offense. Some people are saying some really ugly things about New Orleans, which hey, I love. I mention I don't like chains and GoToSchool says he/she hates people like me. Apparently I am 'lazy', 'unmotivated' and 'useless' because I do not believe in uncontrolled 'free trade' but in cities controlling to some extint what occurs in their limits. Some people seem to think I'm saying Starbucks shouldn't be around at all, when that is not what I am saying at all. I'm not beating a dead horse, I'm trying to present and defend my side is all.

But fine. I'll shut up, or as Go To School said, stop taking up space here.

Darleen

Kat,
Don't get offended, its good to see you have such passion for the uniqueness of a city you obviously love. My intent was not to tell you to shut up, but to tell you not to take offense at the posts, which I don't think were aimed directly at you. This is what this space is for, to talk, so no ,you shouldn't shut up, and I for one don't think you should stop taking up space. I just don't think you should take it personally. I apologize if you took my post the wrong way. I applaud your passion! I just know once starbucks finds a spot they like, they will build.

NOLA

I have to say, Kat's right. Folks (well some) are being downright mean about our city. It's kind of uncalled for. If you don't like New Orleans, that's fine, but let's keep the name calling down, shall we? Some of us like this city, even though it has its issues, and take offense when people who don't live here put it down.

This is a city where, until the storm, folks wouldn't shop outside their neighborhoods unless they absolutely had to. Going to the next parish over (where all the big national chains are) was something that one took to the confessional. So when national chains (at the request of the city, I might add) are placing bids to move in to areas that before they were not allowed, it makes many here uneasy.

But this is a New New Orleans. Many of the small, independent stores are not able to keep themselves afloat since fewer people are here in the city proper. They are all in the outlying parishes, and are now not crossing the line the other way.

So the city is looking at how to draw people's money back into certain areas. This includes a proposed commercial corridor in the East that will be home to several national "big box" stores like Best Buy, and the strategic placement of nationally recognized brands within the city.

That means Starbucks, among others. The masses of tourists couldn't care less about the average local indie coffee shop. They will go to CDM and drink the bitter swill and eat beignet (and the CDM ones aren't that great, either. It's the institution that stands alone). And after they have done that once, they will look for something they know. And for the majority of the country, that's Starbucks.

In that light does it make sense for the city to try and get that kind of recognition in that location? Sure it does. Will it help with the perception that folks here have expressed about the quality of the city? Sure it will. Will that store be a magnet for locals? Heck no! Well, except the homeless folk that gather in front of the cathedral.

Kat, I feel your pain over some of these comments, but unless folks live here they really don't get it, so I really can't let them bother me too much. Although, the waste of space comment was uncalled for.

Lori

Nola, your post helped me understand a bit how there were bids. I'm just curious why, if local shops are desired, they did not win these bids. Obviously the chains can offer more money, but was there really a big fight? I mean, is there a local coffee shop (or other store) not going to be able to open up because Starbucks is? Is there a huge demand right now?

Kat, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm just a simple girl who's never been to NO before and doesn't know a whole lot about business other than supply and demand. :)

CoffeeMaker

The LAST thing New Orleans needs is to try to chase out as benevolent a company as Starbucks...
but this is the city that reelected Nagan.

Zabb

i agree, starbucks should not be in the french quarter. The last thing we need is to have a starbucks underwater when we need it. Build it somwhere that isn't flood prone please.

Drew

I work at a locally owned mini-chain of coffee shops. We are owned by community coffee and our names is CC's. Now, we have over 20 stores throught southern Louisiana and we have never lost the meaning of who we are as a company. We serve quality products, have excellent service and we try extremely hard to be the community coffee shop. Starbucks is a nescasary evil in this world. We try to have the same chain type marketing of a starbucks but try to keep our locations more family friendly. Whenever one of our locations is close to a starbucks, 9-10 times we outsell and make more money than the starbucks. So, this proves that a coffee shop chain can give excellent service, have better coffee and have a better atmosphere while still making money. As to my better coffee argument: starbucks uses the top 2% of arabica beans in its stores. Community only uses the top 1% of beans throughout the world. This may not seem like alot but if you are an experienced "cupper" or a coffee enthusiast it is very noticeable. Starbucks also uses a premade mix in their "frappucinnos" while we use real espresso shots. This is also another way in how they have worse coffee and coffee related products. Now for my last point, in how strbucks is not a family friendly and a community friendly coffee store. You rarely see families and people sitting in starbucks for an extended period of time. You only see your yuppie business people and college students. At local coffee shops and my stores, you see a variety of people who stay and enjoy the locals.

Now, there are a few starbucks in the outlying french quarter areas. These stores are mainly kiosks in hotels and such. I do not believe that a starbucks is called for in the direct french quarter area. There are at least 7-10 locally owned coffee shops in the french quarter. Most have different flavors and styles and specialties which makes the coffee drinking experience in new orleans great. If you want absinth with your coffee, try cafe envie'. That's just one to name. If you are a tourist and want your starbucks, visit the starbucks in your local hotel. The Hilton, mariott and a few others have them in their lobbies.

So in closing, please keep the big green evil empire out of our city. We have stores who can compete and who have better coffee and a better environment. If you bring in starbucks (who can fling millions of dollars to drive out competition) then you will lose the flavor of the new orleans coffee drinking community.

jp

Starbucks can't come in but Ben and Jerry's is okay? Isnt this the same city that has been begging for people and businesses to come back to help rebuild? Seems kinda pretentious to start picking and choosing what you want in and what you want out. Think of all the positives that will come out of having a company like Starbucks with a vested interest in the city.

erstwhile

I highly doubt that Starbucks is going to move in, tear down a historical building and throw up a cookie-cutter store. Have you ever been to an old, established city that has a Starbucks? I've been to plenty of Starbucks stores that are built into existing facilities, and they're some of the coolest coffee shops I've ever seen. The store I work at is in a renovated building that is over 150 years old, albeit in a much smaller city than New Orleans. What's my point? Well...I don't think that having a Starbucks in the French Quarter is going to ruin much of anything unless you let it bother you. It's not like they're going to have a ten story neon Starbucks sign towering above the city's skyline.

Coffee vs. Commodity

I am in the FQ about every other week on business. There are so many actually "good" coffee options there...it would be nice if "the market" would win out over McCoffee. Sadly, this country seems to favor the lowest common denominator, I'm certain it will do smashingly.

It reminds me of an exchange I had shortly after I passed the bar. The senior partner at the firm I was with, a well educated and generally bright man, and I were talking about traveling in Europe. He told me, very seriously, "I just don't understand why anyone would want to travel overseas. You can just go to Epcot and experience all the cultures in one place." I started to laugh...only to realize he was serious. My descision to leave the firm as quickly as I did was based in part on the root of that exchange...

Apropos of nothing, he started every day with *bux...

Darleen

Coffee vs. commodity,
Are you insinuating that everyone who patronizes starbucks is a fool? I took offense at your post. Maybe you shouldn't look down your nose at people, you may find that people no matter what their intelligence level all have something to contribute. My guess is no one at that law firm even misses you....

NOLA

Zabb: The Quarter was part of the 20% of the city that didn't flood. So that statement is not accurate.

Lori: The struggle is between folks wanting to keep some idealized verion of what they think the quarter should be, and the city's (and landlords') need to generate tax revenue. From that standpoint, deaqling with a company that says "sure, we will pay $xxxxx in rent every month, and project sales of $xxxxx which will generate a specific percentage of tax income" is going to be more appealing than "I'm local and should be allowed first shot even though right now very few independent merchants can stay open without grants".

Coffemaker: amen to that. How hizzonor got reelected is beyond me. But it does reflect the state of things here. And I must say, based on that, I would go for a business that is not from here ;-)

Erstwhile: Total agreement. I think I need point no further than the Pike Place Market store to help make your point. That one looks nothing like any other store in the city. Why? because if it did, folks would riot. I envision the same type of thing as a posibility in the Quarter: high ceilings, dark, old, (dare I say reclaimed) wood finishings, not one green umbrella in sight on the square, a painted wood sign in muted greens, maybe some classic looking furniture for the weary...and no T-Mobile!

NOLA

Oh, and Lori,
We have a huge demand for tourism right now. You supply the money ;-)

Seriously, come on down and enjoy the city. If you do the typical tourist things, all you will notice are a higher number of "for lease" or "opening soon" signs. And there are some great bargins to be had right now to entice folks to come visit.

You just missed Jazz Fest, but we're good for a party just about any time. Look online and pick something that interests you. And let us all know when you'll be here!

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