The concept of the coffee house: second home to the student, sanctuary to the avid book reader, abode for the writer, domicile to the poet, asylum to the early bird and refuge to young lovers.
Old Town is home to the best coffee shops in Fort Collins, catering to the romanticism and charm of its residents; however, the corporate coffee retailer, Starbucks, is preparing to make a splash in the neighborhood coffee shop dreamland, leaving the locals with mixed emotions.
Yes, the rumors are true. Starbucks will be opening on the first floor of the Northern Hotel in Old Town at the end of March. Because the state of the economy has cold sweat forming on the brow of the local entrepreneur, several businesses in town are optimistic that Starbucks will bring around more money and more business.
“Hopefully, the business generated by Starbucks will be all for the better of the town. I expect it to draw more people to our shop,” said Indigo Rose employee, Kim Schmidt.
Starbucks is infamous for bringing in clientele who have excess money to spend on their “double tall non-fat, decaf, Indonesian vanilla cappuccino.” And what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, then in a female frenzy, with a latte in one hand and some shopping bags in the other, hence bringing more prosperity to Old Town.
“The popularity of Starbucks is awesome for our clientele,” said Mike Lindsley of J. Pitner Clothing Co.
Although it appears that the majority of local businesses have given their nods of approval to the corporate empire, some aren’t so pleased. For the coffee houses that pride themselves on a unique environment and superior quality products, fear and disapproval of Starbucks “borrowing” customers, has the hair on the backs of their necks rising.
“Overall, I am opposed to the big corporation. I don’t think the new Starbucks will help bring more customers into our shop, but it certainly won’t take away from our college crowd,” said Marnay Haller, manager of Java Plaza.
Some CSU students also appear to be a little less than thrilled welcoming Starbucks.
“One of my favorite things to do is to go to Starry Night with all my books and have a leisurely evening with a cup of coffee, all the while enjoying the ambience and the people who surround me. Students who try to do this at Starbucks would not only miss the neat atmosphere, but probably would not be so welcome for all night study sessions,” said junior Samantha Frawley.
With so many different opinions of what effect Starbucks will have on the shops in Old Town, the most we can do for the time being is wait for the cause-and-effect of the coffee retailer.
One can only hope that Starbucks will only increase the popularity of coffee houses, without pushing the existing coffee hangouts into extinction. n