Starbucks kiosk brews ire in Richmond district

After Starbucks was barred from opening a coffee shop in the Richmond district late last year by residents who are opposed to chain stores, the coffee mega-chain appears to have sneaked a kiosk into a nearby grocery store without filing the proper paperwork with The City.

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 in September to prevent Starbucks from opening a store at Geary Boulevard and Fifth Avenue after residents collected more than 4,000 dissenting signatures. Proposition G, which passed in 2006, forces retail chains with more than 11 stores to obtain permits based on their “desirability, compatibility and benefit” if they are to open a new store in The City. Starbucks has 6,793 U.S. stores, according to its Web site.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who represents the Richmond district, said he started receiving complaints in mid-December from residents angry about a Starbucks kiosk that was built into a new Safeway store at Cabrillo Street and Eighth Avenue. His office forwarded the complaints to city planners.

“Since then,” McGoldrick said, “they’ve taken the signs down and they’re not selling hot coffee there, but they still are selling Starbucks products.”

Now, the kiosk is not attended by an employee, but shoppers can pick up coffee beans and tea from the kiosk then pay for them at the check-out.

City Planner Mary Woods told The Examiner that Starbucks did not file an application to open a kiosk in Safeway. She said the Planning Department would decide within a month whether the kiosk should be treated as a separate business, in which case it should have filed such a permit application.

“Do we treat that as a separate business, as a separate operation, or do we consider that a part of Safeway?” Woods said. “If they’re going to use their logo then it’s like they’re on their own — so it’s a separate business.”

Starbucks’ corporate office in Seattle did not reply to a phone message or two e-mails seeking comment. Safeway spokeswoman Sherry Reckler declined to answer questions. “The issue is being looked into,” she said.

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

Muni’s K-Ingleside trains will resume service after a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Kiana Williams
Stanford’s Kiana Williams drafted by WNBA champion Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams is going from one championship team to another. A senior… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Most Read