"The Starbucks at Wilson and Magnolia recently got word from Corporate that it will be closing on March 7. The manager confirmed as much in a conversation this afternoon. All the employees will be given opportunities to transfer to other Starbucks. The manager told me that there was a possibility Starbucks will re-open in the Wilson Station when it is ready."We confirmed the closing with a representative of Cedar Street, the building's owner, who said Starbucks had been a great tenant and they were sorry to be losing them.
We don't know the reason for corporate's decision to close this location, but there's a glut of coffee shops in the immediate vicinity, which may have led to caffeine overload. There's Heritage Outpost and Baker & Nosh, both within a block of the store; Everybody's Coffee a few blocks east on Wilson; and two other Starbucks a short walk away, at Lawrence/Broadway and inside Target at Sunnyside/Broadway. That's a lot of competition for the same target market.
Starbucks on Wilson was controversial when it opened in 1999 as a Magic Johnson-owned franchise with the goal to "create economic activity in historically underserved ethnic communities." Johnson Development Corporation sold the store back to Starbucks corporate in 2010. You can read more about the history of the franchise here.
We're sad to see this closing, and sad to see that the entire retail building will be vacant as of March 7th. Having all the spaces empty will give Cedar Street plenty of options for reconfiguring the storefronts if they so choose.
We hear that Baker & Nosh will be expanding its seating area in the near future, a move that will benefit Starbucks' former clientele. Pass the madeleine cookies, put on a compilation CD, and let's sit back and see how it all shakes out.
Update: A former manager of Starbucks posted on Uptown Update's Facebook page: "There are several reasons for the closure. It was starbucks decision to close. the upkeep from the previous owner (not cedar) was terrible, the store needed an expensive full remodel and when the decision was introduced there had been several shootings in the area. I believe they looked into relocating nearby, not sure where that went. It had nothing to do with homeless."