A new Starbucks store in Los Angeles has been dubbed a “horror show” and the “most depressing Starbucks in America” by local residents.
The store, located in the neighbourhood of Highland Park, is little more than a drive-thru window and a bathroom. It lacks indoor seating and has a few concrete tables on a small patio.
Since it opened two weeks ago, people have been blasting it on social media as “grotesque,” “dismal,” and “highly insulting” to the neighbourhood. Six different Yelp reviews likened the building to a prison.
“This place is a DUMP,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “I’ve been in probably close to 100 Starbucks stores all over the U.S. …but I’ve never seen one half as ugly as this one. … From the ridiculous windows to the concrete benches and ugly landscaping. It’s a blight. And that’s saying a lot on that stretch of road.”
Another reviewer wrote, “Its cold walk-up window makes the DMV and bail bonds offices seem welcoming. This is not the Starbucks you know or love.”
The neighbourhood was promised indoor seating for 30 at the new Starbucks on York Boulevard. But those plans never materialised, and residents are livid over what they got instead.
“THIS IS THE WORST STARBUCKS EVER!” wrote one reviewer. “Where is the warmth? Where is the interaction between the employees and customers? This location looks like a jailhouse and is less than what we deserve as a community!
“As a lifetime Highland Park resident, I feel discriminated against.”
The reviews complain that the location lacks a bar with milk and sugar and has no menu at the walk-up window.
“Corporate should be embarrassed and ashamed at the general appearance and aesthetic of this particular location,” one customer wrote. “If we want plastic tables cemented to concrete slab and outdoor restrooms, we would go to Dunkin’ Doughnuts.”
Local architect Catherine Garrison says Highland Park residents are so offended by the Starbucks because the company promises in its mission statement to design stores “to reflect the unique character of the neighborhoods they serve.”
“No wonder Highland Park residents are not happy with the new Starbucks, it shows a lack of respect for the neighbourhood,” Garrison wrote in a 700-word rant on the store published by Eastsider LA. “The building has no legible design intent; awkward space planning and poor craftsmanship. I am surprised that Starbucks let this retail outlet be built under their brand.”
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