Starbucks stores including Roastery close for racial bias training across Capitol Hill, CD

(Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

Starbucks cafes across First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central District including its specialty Roy Street Cafe and Melrose Reserve Roastery will close early Tuesday afternoon as part of a nationwide day of training.

“For several hours this afternoon, we will close stores and offices to discuss how to make Starbucks a place where all people feel welcome,” the company said in a Tweet earlier in the day. “Thank you for your patience and support as we renew our promise to make Starbucks an inclusive gathering place for all.”

Around 180,000 employees at Starbucks stores and at its Seattle headquarters will receive training that will “focus on understanding prejudice and the history of public accommodations in the United States.”


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The training follows the April incident in Philadelphia in which a Starbucks manager called police on two black men who were waiting for a friend.

The incident came in a long line of bias incidents involving the ubiquitous coffee brand including a 2016 incident involving customers inside the Starbucks at Broadway and Pike.

The company manages at least 15 locations in the neighborhoods around Capitol Hill not counting a dozen or so downtown. Starbucks counters inside grocery stores with employees from the supermarkets chains will not be closed for the training.

Capitol Hill area training closures also include the Central District’s 23rd and Jackson location of the global coffee chain. That cafe was integral in one expansion path for Starbucks as it teamed with investors like NBA great Magic Johnson on a string of “inner-city stores” following the successful opening of the Starbucks cafe at the busy Central District intersection.

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6 thoughts on “Starbucks stores including Roastery close for racial bias training across Capitol Hill, CD

    • What? Is there some sort of magical black hole force pulling everyone into Starbucks when they are open? Even when Starbucks is open, why can’t people go to other independent shops to get their ‘coffee fix’? You seem really negative.

      • There is, “Why”. It’s called a loyalty program. The Starbucks card gets you freebies occasionally and convenience always. Also consistency of product. I’m not arguing it’s superior. But you always know what you are getting. Please visit your independent shops if that’s what you like. It’s a semi-free country.

      • I wouldn’t call it a magical black hole so much as inertia. People are creatures of habit. Sometimes not having access to something is what it takes to get people to try something new or different, and sometimes in doing so they actually find they like it better. Other times, they try it and find that nope, they’d rather go back to their old stand by.

      • Yes, inertia was what I was referring to. Should have said “will be obligated to” rather than “can.” Used the wrong verb. Sorry about that.