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    HomeNewsSad, but True - Big Gay Starbucks in WeHo is Closing After...

    Sad, but True – Big Gay Starbucks in WeHo is Closing After 27 Years

    It’s sad, but true–the Starbucks at 8595 Santa Monica Boulevard, in the Ramada Plaza, is closing July 31st, after operating on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount Drive since it first opened its double doors in 1995. An employee confirms that The Big Gay Starbucks in West Hollywood is closing due to safety and security concerns.

    Although a local blog is trying to pin the closure on the new minimum wage hike in West Hollywood, 16 other locations across various cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon are also closing at the end of this month with no connection to the recent employee benefits impacting WeHo.

    Big Gay Starbucks West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

    Our source says business has been steady at the WeHo location despite some shortage in foot traffic after 24-Hour Fitness Super Sport gym closed across the street this past November. He says it all boils down to the escalation of heated arguments and confrontations at the store–not just from people experiencing homelessness and individuals with mental health issues, but also from irate customers who are described as entitled, angry, and who are becoming more physically aggressive.

    Big Gay Starbucks West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

    “There is a higher crime rate in West Hollywood right now,” said the barista. “Unfortunately, it is reflecting inside our store. There is only so much we can do. The idea of getting a security guard would only be good for eyewitness accounts. We’re having a lot of issues that seem to be escalating. There have been fights over things. We’ve had customers be rude to us; call us names. You’ve be surprised how often I’ve been called a f**got, and it’s like, do you know what city you’re in?”

    The Starbucks employee says the closure comes strictly from a corporate level. No one locally had any control over the decision. The district manager at the WeHo location found out with the rest of the employees. An employee meeting took place at 4:30 p.m. yesterday. “None of us knew what it was about, and then our manager broke the news to us. I think she only found out a few days before. It was a corporate level decision. We were shocked.”

    The Santa Monica & Fairfax Starbucks Located at 7901 Santa Monica Blvd, also closed permanently in West Hollywood this year, on Friday, February 6, 2022. That location experienced a lot crime as well and was constantly getting its windows smashed. The company opted to not renew their lease.

    The closing of the Big Gay Starbucks in West Hollywood is a huge blow to a community that is still recovering over the loss of the 24-Hour Fitness Sport gym. The coffee chain has been a part of that West Hollywood area for decades. Many may remember in the late 90s/early 2000s, when the location was dubbed “The Weho Beach” because gay men liked to sit outside shirtless and work on their tan lines.

    The West Hollywood sober community will also feel the loss. This location has been home to fellowship groups who gather after local 12-step meetings. It has also been a quiet space to do some 12-step work.

    Employees will have the option of transfer to local stores. Our source tells us to keep an eye out for special events and promotions as the store in WeHo nears its last day after serving coffee, teas, pastries and other breakfast items for almost three decades.

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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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    Havrey
    Havrey
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    4 months ago

    Why not have security at the door like the clubs, and when homeless folks show up just say “Not Today”

    Woody Thicke
    Woody Thicke
    Offline
    4 months ago

    It’s not sad. Starbucks is worse than 7-Eleven in terms of the number of stores they have polluted the landscape with. They are just making people fat, and setting them up for heart disease with their addictive, toxic beverages and horrid pastries.. The only sad part is you can’t go to that particular Starbucks to socialize, or use it as a library with your Starbucks drink in hand perhaps, or use the rest rooms there. Anyone with at least two synapses firing knows that this is the culmination of several factors. WeHo has become an increasingly unfriendly city to consumers… Read more »

    Scott Anderson
    Scott Anderson
    Offline
    4 months ago

    15 years ago when I first came to Weho it was a very busy happening clean safe gay and lesbian kind of spot. The minimum wage shouldn’t be an issue since its in the current LA City range of $16.04 (July 2022) and Weho is $16.50…while high it shouldn’t be too impactful since its been going up yearly now. However the Starbucks is no longer vibrant and active many surrounding businesses have left. LASC the mens fashion left, Power Zone shrank in size, SuperCuts vanished, 24hr Fitness went away. Now its lots of all day one coffee campers with laptops… Read more »

    Jja
    Jja
    Offline
    4 months ago

    While I’ve enjoyed this Starbucks overs the years as a Weho resident for near 20 years, I’m willing to wager that it’s closing, like many Starbucks are, because its business overall is on a marked downswing. And it’s no wonder, as they keep hiking their prices to near comical levels. Do their profit margins need to be that much? Buh-bye.

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    Reply to  Jja
    4 months ago

    They stated why they are closing. It’s not a safe location anymore. That speaks volumes.

    Woody Thicke
    Woody Thicke
    Offline
    Reply to  Enough!
    4 months ago

    I side with Jja. The pricing of their drinks are ridiculous. They probably did that to recoup the loss from lock downs and to satisfy their share holders. However it’s probably backfiring in some demographics like this particular one.

    And Starbucks is over-saturated. They still have too many stores.

    Jja
    Jja
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    Reply to  Enough!
    4 months ago

    Just because a multi-billion-dollar corporation makes a “statement,” doesn’t mean it’s true. Corporations aren’t people, after all! /s

    David
    David
    Offline
    4 months ago

    If the WeHo Sheriffs walked the beat, instead of giving free Helicopter tours to real estate investors, enough money could be saved to pay for more officers – and they should be walking the commercial districts anyway.

    But the Helicopter tours have to be curtailed.

    Woody Thicke
    Woody Thicke
    Offline
    Reply to  David
    4 months ago

    The Sheriff and Police are butt-hurt by the “Defund The Police” mantra ringing in their ears.

    customer
    customer
    Offline
    4 months ago

    This is a failure on so many levels, but due in no small part to bad decisions from West Hollywood City Hall. Equating rude customers to the issues of violence and money/profits seems to be missing the point. Starbucks closed this store and others for the company’s own good reasons. We’ll never know the full truth. This is very sad for many people.

    David
    David
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    Reply to  customer
    4 months ago

    The truth is they were paying high rent, it was probably going to be raised again. Money and profit are the only driving forces.

    Enough!
    Enough!
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    Reply to  David
    4 months ago

    well of course. They’re in business to make money..not friends.

    Enough!
    Enough!
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    Reply to  customer
    4 months ago

    I’m sure that with the high rent, unfriendly WeHo business practices, lost of customers with the gym closed and the fact that the area is not that safe anymore all let to the decision.

    Woody Thicke
    Woody Thicke
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    Reply to  Enough!
    4 months ago

    The 24 hour Fitness center closing was probably a big cut to their foot traffic. WeHo has become a hot mess…It hasn’t changed for the better in the last 25 years business wise. I sure do miss that French cafe next to the Rage. Oh, The Rage isn’t there any more either… Sad…

    JMS
    JMS
    Offline
    4 months ago

    Although a local blog is trying to pin the closure on the new minimum wage hike” – LOL! After 10+ years as a reader, I finally removed W*hoville from my browser favorites bar just this week. I so appreciate that Weho Times is still here to deliver ACTUAL news and OBJECTIVE reporting on our small city.

    Weho Native
    Weho Native
    Offline
    4 months ago

    Thank you for acknowledging the affect closing 24 hour fitness has caused the neighborhood. I know it sounds stupid, but that gym brought a lot of positive foot traffic to the area.

    Woody Thicke
    Woody Thicke
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    Reply to  Weho Native
    4 months ago

    It doesn’t sound stupid. People who exercise are more sane.

    WehoQueen
    WehoQueen
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    4 months ago

    As soon as Lindsey Horvath gets back from her rumored luxury vacation in Paris, France, (I guess so she doesn’t have to answer for this), she can let us know if forcing business to pay unskilled people two and three times what they are really worth, was a great idea. And her defunding the police, encouraging more homeless to hang around our city with all kinds of invites and incentives for them to stay here. Lindsey, tell us about Paris. How much is Starbucks over there? Your email autoresponse says you’ll be back July 22. Ooo La La Lindsey! I… Read more »

    Zwanette Trava
    Zwanette Trava
    Offline
    Reply to  WehoQueen
    4 months ago

    Envious and exploitative. What a piece of work you are.

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    Reply to  Zwanette Trava
    4 months ago

    Queen is spot on.

    Jja
    Jja
    Offline
    Reply to  WehoQueen
    4 months ago

    I’m no fan of Lindsey Horvath, but I also don’t accept the Starbucks corporate-speak press release that blames all their closures on safety issues. After all, their stock prices have been tanking for over a year.

    Jay
    Jay
    Offline
    Reply to  WehoQueen
    4 months ago

    Paris is filled with crazies and homeless too. I saw homeless tents set up right by the entrance of a mall in London. It’s all over the place. It’s probably worse in the US because of its ridiculous healthcare or absence thereof. Now you saying a “unskilled” worker are not worth 16 bucks an hour, makes me think you’re in favor of turning back the clock to slavery days. And quit using the defund the police as an argument to their sudden absence from the streets. Even if a couple millions were cut from their budget they’d still have plenty… Read more »

    James
    James
    Offline
    4 months ago

    WeHo is rapidly becoming one of the most business unfriendly communities there is. Businesses continue to close their doors for good, and new ones can’t get the inspections and permits on a timely basis to move in. Why is the City Council not addressing this?

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    Reply to  James
    4 months ago

    Because they have their heads up their butts and refuse to recognize that their extreme policies are failing. They just keep pushing forward – ignoring the facts in front of them and the uproar from residents.

    Brian
    Brian
    Offline
    4 months ago

    This is so sad. I’m going to miss the amazing team at my favorite Starbucks in the neighborhood. I cannot believe that the store is going out of business due to an uptick in crime and threats of assault, it’s so disheartening.

    Kenneth Jensen
    Kenneth Jensen
    Offline
    4 months ago

    Crunch West Hollywood is next! A health department issue!

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    Reply to  Kenneth Jensen
    4 months ago

    Well, that’s within Crunch’s ability to fix. If the health department closes you down, you got problems. But you should be able to clean up or fix depending on the situation.

    Jay
    Jay
    Offline
    Reply to  Kenneth Jensen
    4 months ago

    A lot of gyms should face the same demise. They just take your money and are not even able to offer a clean bathroom for you to use. They all have become filthy dirty. You never see cleaning personal anymore and they expect the customer to clean equipment for them after use. At least starbucks, “unskilled” and not worth 16$/h workers, kept their bathrooms cleaner than these gyms. It’s time they should all start receiving hefty fines or be outright shut down. Hopefully more honest people will take their place.

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