Starbucks Takes Heat at MSPA Meeting

Photo by Danny GOLDSWORTHY
Starbucks representatives are scoping out the corner of Ocean View Boulevard and and Honolulu as a possible site of a new coffeehouse.


A proposal for a Starbucks in Montrose continues to undergo scrutiny among citizens and local merchants, some who are excited about the potential business a Starbucks could bring in and some who are worried about the corporate symbol of Starbucks in a town built on Mom and Pop stores.

Starbucks representatives met with members of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. last Thursday to present plans for the proposed store, which would be located at 2284 Honolulu Ave., the building where Color Me Mine is currently located.

Starbucks Store Development Manager Mike Abbate began his presentation by addressing the concerns over how Starbucks would fit within a tight knit, small town community.

“We’re not evil corporate America,” Abbate said. Abbate spoke about Starbucks’ mission statement of “inspiring and nurturing the human spirit-one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

“Our mission statement is about community,” said Abbate. “Those are our values.”

Abbate and the other representatives continued to try and appeal to the Montrose business leaders’ sense of community, from the descriptions of the inside of the proposed store, which they hope will foster a sense of community through its café-style setting and historical artwork, to speaking about their appreciation for Montrose.

“Montrose is a wonderful community, a very unique community,” said Abbate.

However, not all concerns were abated by the presentation. Parking was among the largest concerns for Montrose business owners, who worried that Starbucks customers would park in their lots. Rather than build more parking, Starbucks is actually looking to obtain a parking reduction permit in order to have 15 fewer parking spaces than normally allowed by the city.

Concerns over a corporate presence in the neighborhood arose as well, as some wondered what the need for a Starbucks was when there is already one located on Foothill Boulevard and another in nearby La Cañada. Still others speculated about a “coffee war” scenario between the proposed Starbucks and the Coffee Bean on Honolulu, which is located across the street from the potential Starbucks location.

More official details concerning the future of the proposed Starbucks will be fleshed out at the as-of-yet unscheduled city hearing.