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.