Your two neighborhood coffee shops? ‘Indie’ Starbucks coming to Broadway

Soon, the world will see more Starbucks-es in indie clothing. In fact, it seems that, soon, the world will see two right here on Capitol Hill.

File this one in the rumor mill but CHS has found a rather interesting liquor application for a business listed at 700 Broadway East.

Coffee House Holdings Inc. is at it again:


Liquor license action details
Location     700 Broadway Ave. E.
Application date     August 4, 2009
Applicant     COFFEE HOUSE HOLDINGS, INC.; RUBINFELD, ARTHUR; MALANGA, MICHAEL; FINK, MICHAEL P; LAUTCH, RICHARD H
License number     405270
Event type     New application
License types     Restaurant — beer and wine
Action type     New liquor license application

CHH is the same entity Starbucks used to apply for the licenses and permits for 15th Ave Coffee and Tea before it opened to curiosity and animosity.

Also, while investigating this story about a possible move for the Broadway post office, CHS was told that the developer of the 700 Broadway Apartments had been negotiating with Starbucks to rent the large retail space next to Kinko’s. As one might say, ah hah! Caught you!


View Larger Map

It’s late and that’s all we got but the gets are pretty good. One obvious question is which local businesses the Broadway Coffee and Tea (ok, we made that name up!) will draw its inspiration from. We’re pulling for the nearby Museum of Mysteries. You?

UPDATE: Our calls to Starbucks media relations seeking to confirm the new shop were not returned.

30 thoughts on “Your two neighborhood coffee shops? ‘Indie’ Starbucks coming to Broadway

  1. I can’t wait to see these same idiots protest this one. The best way to protest is not give the shop your business.

    I also can’t wait to see the comments from people saying Starbucks isn’t local and they are being dishonest. Stumptown isn’t local. Victrola is owned by someone on Whidbey Island so it isn’t local either. Who really cares.

    If I don’t like a particular business in my neighborhood I don’t give it my business rather than complain and moan in comments on a blog.

  2. I can’t wait to see these same idiots getting pissed about comments on blogs. The third best way to protest is make your opinion heard. (Maybe on a blog comment thread).

    I think the issue is that we like to support our local independent coffee shops. duh. We know the owners and staff aren’t making a killing but they still provide us with a great product and unique atmosphere to enjoy it. I want to give them my money. Joe Bar is amazing and it would be a shame if a Starbucks showed up and snagged a bunch of their business. There is nothing wrong with being a corporate behemoth coffee shop with yucky coffee. Some of us just don’t want them elbowing their way into the indie coffee shop market and like to bitch about it.

    If I don’t like a particular comment on a blog I just pass it over or rebut, rather than complain and moan in comments on a blog.

  3. but it’s still a public corporation and I prefer private companies myself. they’re usually more responsive to their customers and more responsive to their staff.

  4. The only way it would snag Joe Bar’s business is if it provided a better value to those who are giving Starbucks the business than Joe Bar.

    You can’t really complain about that but offer a better value.

  5. You drop every business that you might have frequented at one point because they become really successful? I hope Victorla, Stumptown, and other local businesses don’t have any desire to grow and expand because you would stop being their customer.

    I bet you use a Mac. Which private company did you buy that from? You probably don’t use a computer to post comments but send them by carrier pigeon.

  6. I am impressed at your sleuthing skills! How did you find the liquor license online. I always thought it made some sense to have at least 2 of the indie stores near each other – they can borrow each others’ employees for coverage, and/or get supplies from each other. From a practical standpoint it may be easier to manage 2 nearby stores than one. Of course all of that is irrelevant if the neighborhood doesn’t fall in love with the business. We’ll see. I think 15th Ave Coffee and Tea is slowly gaining a solid following.
    Melody (@starbucksmelody on Twitter)

  7. Got it. Companies without stockholders are “usually” more responsive.

    The good news is there are many large multinational companies that fit your private criteria.

  8. I don’t like the idea that I’m being duped by a large corporation (local or not) into thinking I’m, at a small independent coffee shop.
    When it comes down to it I go to Stumptown because I prefer their coffee over everyone else’s- so they’re Portland based – that makes them regional…Superior product wins my dollar every time.

  9. I agree w/ the duped part. One thing that’s important in the relationship between me and any business is trust. I haven’t always loved Starbucks–they put too much sweet stuff in their drinks and their food is consistently yuck–but they have always been a trusted brand in my book. Not so much anymore. They did a great job styling their 15th Ave place, their sustainability goals are noble, and their food appears to be fresher and yummier. But why should I trust that their food comes from where they say it does? Why should I trust that they really do sustainable building? It is not a trusted brand anymore. But I don’t wish them ill. I wish they’d be out there with their plans, really getting to know their neighbor businesses and really getting to be part of the community. I could get behind that, no matter who owns their shares.

  10. I am completely and utterly at a loss to understand the notion of being duped by the “not-a- Starbucks” First of all, if you try the place and like the coffee – then great. Does it really matter that the store is owned by a large, locally based coporation? If you try the coffee and don’t like it – then great. Would it have really mattered if it was roasted in the garage next door by your neighbor Bob?

    Beyond that – I walked into 15th street just to see what the commotion was about and identified it as a Starbucks right away. There’s a Clover Machine and Tazo Tea prominently displayed. So much for the stealth operation.

    Look – if Starbucks can find a way to fit in local neighborhoods better, rather than imposing the Starbucks look – then isn’t that a good thing? It seems to me that this is a story of a large corporation (oh! the humanity!) actually trying to be responsive on a local level.

  11. At least they gave credit this time:

    “The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog broke the news early this morning that…” -The Seattle Times

  12. So Toyota is duping people with the Lexus. To name one of many “dupes”. I think that is actually called “branding. It is quite common whether it is a local company or not, private or public to have different brands.

  13. Oh great. As much as I (personally) like 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea, there is a Starbucks a few blocks from there, one inside Harvard Market QFC and several great independent shops. I suppose they’ll probably look at Joe Bar (crepes to this new one?), Vivace (umm… not sure, since a lot of the same things Vivace does beyond roasting are already part of 15th ave Coffee/Tea), Dilletante (premium hot cocoa?).

  14. Why exactly does it matter? I have never heard why “in general” not just specific to Starbucks.

    And why can’t you just not give the company your business. There are lots and lots of people who like Starbucks. You don’t, so don’t go there. Go somewhere else.

  15. I guess I’m in the minority. I like starbucks.

    They introduced the US to the $2-5 cup of coffee thus making all those other independent coffee shops possible in the first place.

    The scale at which they buy stuff brings production up and cost down for the makers of cups, lids, espresso machines, and every other thing that goes into those smaller coffee shops.

    The relative consistency of their product sets the mark for everyone else to exceed (not that that’s terribly difficult, but at least a mark is set for what you have to be better than.)

    Every time they add something or try something new, they are essentially doing the market research for all those independent stores. Saving them all those dollars.

    Would there be good small independent coffee places without starbucks? Sure. Just not as many of them.

  16. I wonder how many of those starbucks haters buy books at Amazon or Barnes & Noble rather than at a local bookstore like Elliott Bay or Baily Coy?

  17. They can’t buy anything at Amazon (local) or Barnes and Noble because it doesn’t fit with their view of the world.

    They also type comments on this blog using locally produced computers and software.

  18. I’m guessing that many of us would be *amazed* at how many “Indie” businesses are *secretly* owned by *big* orgs. “Invisible partners” go way back.

    Take gay bars, for example – many, many owned by mafiosos (at one time anyway)

  19. Oh yeah, and I’m with Heritic … Starbux caused the quality of coffee *everywhere* in the US to improve *vastly*. Even MacDonald’s stopped selling that dishwater swill. Groceries now carry *good* coffee instead of just the sweepings off the floor stuff like Hills Brothels and Failgers and Yerbun.

    No more guessing about where to go for a decent cuppa if you’re someplace strange … so, no more *travel swill* either.

  20. But why should I trust that their food comes from where they say it does? Why should I trust that they really do sustainable building?

    Swing by around 5:30am each day to see Essential Baking Co. drop off pastries, or again at 10ish to see lunch delivered.

    Ask about the origins of things inside the store. Discover the wall panels that were once a ceiling, the old 801 side panels that are a community board, the wooden pour-over holders that were built with pieces of old espresso machines and discarded wood…

  21. I would just like to clear something up in my mind here so I have this straight. Some of you are advocating going to an “independant” coffee shop, just because it is independant? And you don’t like Starbucks because it is has more than 3-5 locations and stretches beyond the Seattle city limits? Would one of you please explain why this is so important to you? Keep in mind that the product they sell and make a profit off of is not even produced in the U.S. (except for some minor production of coffee in Hawaii). How is THAT considered local? I’m an not even trying to be a smart-ass, I am genuinely confused.

  22. I almost forgot…. Trophy Cupcakes and Cupcake Royale are expanding. Indie cupcake lovers….. start looking for a new place. And BTW Viviace has TWO locations on Broadway…let us know when it is time to stop going there.

  23. Exactly right. If not for Starbucks, the local coffee shop would be nothing but a pipe dream. The costs associated with running a small local shop would be extraordinarily high and nearly impossible to maintain a business let alone make a profit. In reality, Starbucks is good for business. Don’t like ‘em? Don’t buy their coffee. People protest because they need something to believe in. You can’t knock someone for that, but why not be proactive and make a difference rather than try and convince everyone else to change? I think the number is about 6.8 percent of all plastic is recycled in the U.S. I think that might be a bigger issue to talk about. Just another opinion though.