- The Starbucks in Trump Tower has weathered controversy over the last four years, as Trump critics and the president himself have discussed terminating the location’s lease.
- On Sunday, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced he is seriously considering running for president.
- “I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!” President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday.
The Starbucks in New York City’s Trump Tower is real. And, it is weathering any controversy that comes its way.
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, following Schultz’s announcement that he is “seriously considering” running for president.
“Howard Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!” Trump tweeted. “Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ Besides, America already has that!”
He added: “I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!”
There is, in fact, a Starbucks location inside Trump Tower in New York City.
The Starbucks opened well before either Schultz or Trump were considered viable presidential candidates, with its first reviews popping up online in 2010. The Starbucks location is a popular spot that has taken center stage more than once due to clashes between Trump and Schultz.
Back in 2015, Trump threatened to end Starbucks’ lease in Trump Tower at a rally, due to concerns about the chain’s red holiday cups. At the time, Trump said that Starbucks workers no longer wished customers “Merry Christmas” and that people should consider boycotting the chain – despite the fact that he said that the location in Trump Tower was “one of the most successful.”
In 2016, Starbucks supporters attempted to take matters into their own hands, asking the company to terminate its lease. Hundreds of people pledged to buy more than $US40,000 in Starbucks gift cards if the company terminated its lease.
However, neither Starbucks nor the Trump Organisation ended the relationship.
When Business Insider visited the location in December 2016, a photo of Ivanka Trump hung in a chipped frame. The first daughter was shown kissing a Starbucks cup, and an inscription read: “My favourite Starbucks + my favourite drink! Thank you!”
Trump and Schultz clashed again after Trump’s inauguration. In January 2017, Schultz blasted Trump’s attempt to bar refugees from entering the US, leading to boycott threats from the right. That August, he wrote a piece in the Financial Times about national identity after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Throughout the controversy, the Starbucks in Trump Tower has stayed open and, by all accounts, it is successful. In 2017,Crain’s New York Business reported that the location is one of the most popular in the city, based on a barista’s estimation that the outlet serves about 100 cups of coffee per hour at peak times.
Starbucks declined to comment on the Trump Tower location. There is no indication that the company plans to shut down the Starbucks in light of Schultz’s presidential campaign.