Starbucks says it’s closing one of its New Orleans cafes over racism – but hasn’t offered any further explanation.
The cafe at 700 Canal St. will close indefinitely on Oct. 3 amid a series of issues that led to the location becoming a “many-incident business.”
“Our businesses are windows to America, and our partners witness every day the challenges our communities face — challenges to personal safety, racism, a growing mental health crisis and issues compounded by COVID,” said a Starbucks spokesman received letter from 4WWL News in July.
“These challenges are playing out in our stores—they impact our partners, our communities, and our customers alike.”
Several incidents were reported at the Canal Street location, but details, including circumstances surrounding the specific allegation of “racism,” were not disclosed.
It’s also unclear whether the cafe’s staff or customers were targeted during the racist incidents.
A Starbucks customer said he believes the company’s recent decision is prioritizing the safety of its employees.
“I think safety is a concern for everyone,” one customer told Fox 8. “If they make that decision, I’m sure it’s based on the safety of their customers and their employees.”
A Louisiana Starbucks will close a popular coffee shop due to racism and mental health concerns amid the metropolis’ street overrun with homeless people. The coffee shop at 700 Canal St. is closing its doors indefinitely on October 3
Tiffany Adlers, a Canal Street jeweler, acknowledged that crime had increased but said her business was unaffected
Pictured: Current CEO Howard Schultz (left) passing the baton to new CEO Laxman Narasimhan (right). Narasimhan takes over in 2023
Tiffany Adlers, a Canal Street jeweler, said crime had increased in the area – but her shop hadn’t had the problem.
“Security is always an issue in metropolitan areas,” said Adlers. “I think other metropolitan areas across the county are having similar issues.
“We’re trying to do what’s best for our dealers and customers, and everyone should do their bit for some kind of self-regulation.”
Clothing store owner David Rubenstein said the number of homeless people on the streets, either drinking or sleeping, is the number one problem on metropolitan streets.
“It’s not what people like to see,” he told Fox 8.
Meanwhile, Rubenstein said his business was fine and “better than ever.”
‘Yes, [Starbucks] had a little problem,” he said. “I think a lockdown shouldn’t symbolize this whole street and that’s my concern.
Rubenstein added that nothing is perfect and his company is happy with the location.
“We’re not going,” he said.
New Orleans’ Downtown Development District told Fox 8 that Canal Street is a busy area with heavy foot traffic. The organization spends more than half of its budget on public safety.
“We are very aware that public safety is of the utmost importance to our stakeholders,” the company said while expressing disappointment with Starbucks’ closing.
Meanwhile, other cafes remain open and are booming with business in the area.
Starbucks sparked fury in 2018 after employees at one of its Philly stores called police about two black men waiting to use the bathroom.
The pair were later arrested and then released without charge amid a nationwide outcry that saw Starbucks close its cafes for an afternoon to provide employees with training on unconscious bias.
Meanwhile, the chain’s founders are busy revamping their wildly popular cafes with new gadgets like frappuccino makers and cold press machines designed to make drinks faster and make life easier for workers.
Starbucks also opposes workers’ efforts to unionize stores, though 200 have so far resisted bosses forming unions.