Hot issue of Starbucks kiosk put on ice

Safeway has abandoned a plan to sell hot Starbucks coffee in a newly remodeled store in the Richmond district, less than five months after the protests of local residents prevented the opening of a Starbucks coffee shop five blocks away.

A Starbucks kiosk opened in a Safeway store at Seventh Avenue and Cabrillo Street in December, but it stopped selling beverages shortly thereafter following complaints to The City from shoppers and neighborhood residents.

Safeway acknowledged in a letter to its customers Tuesday that it had not applied for a permit to open the kiosk, which the grocery store would have owned and operated under a licensing agreement with the coffee chain.

“Plans to include the Starbucks kiosk were reviewed by the building and planning departments in fall 2007,” wrote Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway’s Northern California division. “It wasn’t until recently that a consensus was reached that a conditional-use permit was required.”

But City Planner Mary Woods told The Examiner that Schroeder was “stretching the truth a bit” in his letter. “It’s their interpretation,” she said. “They’re lumping a Starbucks in there, but we didn’t approve a Starbucks — we just approved the Safeway.”

The store’s layout was approved by planning commissioners in 2003, according to Woods, and there have been five revisions to the plans since 2005.

Starbucks spokeswoman Bridget Baker confirmed the company would not reopen in the Richmond district Safeway.

“The proposed kiosk in the Safeway located at Seventh and Cabrillo will not open,” Baker told The Examiner in an e-mail. “Starbucks is a welcomed presence in many other neighborhoods in San Francisco, where we’ve proved that we’re good neighbors.”

Starbucks has 86 stores in San Francisco, according to an analysis of a map at its Web site. The first store opened on Union Street in 1992, according to Baker.

The only Starbucks in the Richmond is inside a bank at Masonic Avenue and Fulton Street, according to the company’s online map.

Proposition G, which passed in 2006, directs chains with more than 11 stores to obtain permits based on their “desirability, compatibility and benefit.” Because of Proposition G, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 in September to prevent a Starbucks store from opening in Richmond on Fifth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, around the corner from the Safeway building, after residents and businesses collected more than 4,000 signatures from opponents.

The same chain-store opponents recently began collecting signatures from opponents of the new kiosk.

The store will still sell packaged Starbucks products and it’s considering selling some other brand of hot coffee from its in-store deli, according to the letter.

jupton@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

COVID restrictions have prompted a benefit or two, such as empty streets in The City. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Taking the scenic route through a pandemic

Streets of San Francisco are pleasantly free of traffic

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Most Read