Monday, October 17, 2016

So Long, Starbucks

Wikimedia Commons
Today is the last day my favorite Starbucks will be open. This evening, the baristas will close this store for the last time and, tomorrow, they will begin readying a new store, one that will open on Friday.

One that's even closer to my house than the old one. And has a drive-through.

But I can't imagine I'll avail myself of the drive-through, at least not very often. For me, the allure of my Starbucks has always been the cafe. There, I run into other regulars, along with friends I haven't seen in quite some time. I have coffee dates, even though I don't drink coffee.

And I write.
Message from one of the baristas
(who's also a writer) who knew I was
working on book revisions.

Big chunks of my first novel were written in the cafe at the Randolph Park Starbucks. Sections of the next novel, the one that sat in a drawer for close to a decade before I finally pulled it out and got serious about revising it, were written there as well. I had release celebrations for Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance there, and my book celebration at the Gettysburg Starbucks was made possible by a former Randolph Park barista who'd risen to the position of manager at a new store. And, when I needed a cake and yummy nibbles for my Casting the First Stone party, it was another Randolph Park barista who not only created it for me, but also made truffles and connected me with a colleague who baked giant cupcakes in gourmet flavors.

Remember Norm and Cheers? The Randolph Park Starbucks has long been my Cheers. No, they don't call out my name when I enter (well, one of the baristas does), but they know my drink, my job, my avocation, me. I talk with the baristas about kids, life and writing -- theirs and mine -- because they're more than just people who create my beverages. Many are my friends as well.

Fortunately, they'll be traveling to the new store, so that much -- the heart of the store -- will be the same. I haven't seen the inside of the new place, but if the exterior is any indication, I think I'm going to like it.

Still, I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Randolph Park store, and I'm hoping it doesn't become, well....

Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all...has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is...I'm heartbroken. (IMDb)

Okay, okay, so that's a little melodramatic, but I couldn't resist pulling in a quote from a favorite movie (You've Got Mail), especially since it was running around in my head. 

And endings are sad.

I guess a Baby Gap wouldn't be the worst thing. 

But it will never compare to my Starbucks. 


  1. I'm posting this on our store's Private Facebook group. Thanks for being a favorite customer...and friend. <3

  2. Aww, thanks! Been tweeting that I miss you guys :-) Hope it's going well and you're not too exhausted!

    1. Definitely exhausted, Lisa, but the new store looks fantastic. :) Can't wait for you to see it! We had our holiday meeting last night, and we all agreed that this blog post was the sweetest! Thank you!

    2. That is so kind! I'm happy it made you guys happy. The new store is beautiful. Haven't quite found my mojo there yet -- still trying out all the new spots :-) Tried the drive-through today, but I think I prefer coming in. What a shock, right?