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One of San Diego’s Oldest Starbucks Locations Closes Due to Homelessness

One of San Diego’s Oldest Starbucks Locations Closes Due to Homelessness

The Starbucks logo is displayed on the exterior of a Starbucks store in San Francisco on Oct. 29, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Julianne Foster

Julianne Foster

7/17/2023

Updated: 7/17/2023

A San Diego Starbucks—which has been in business for nearly 30 years—closed June 29 due to the company’s inability to protect employees and customers from issues regarding homelessness, according to two local officials.
Located in the community of Hillcrest on the 3000 Block of Fifth Avenue, the Starbucks branch was one of the oldest in San Diego.
The outlet closed, according to the executive director of Hillcrest Business Association, because of dangers associated with its surrounding homeless population.
“The tragedy is they’re not closing because they’re not making money, they’re closing because [of] the street environment around them,” the association’s Benjamin Nichols told CBS 8 news.
According to Mr. Nichols, homeless persons often stole from the store and its patrons regularly. He said the store often intentionally kept its shelves bare to prevent such theft.
“Before they closed, if you go into that Starbucks …  [there were] no retail items available because [they would have been] stolen. No prepared food for sale in the little cooler they have because it would’ve gotten stolen, chairs are gone. It is like they’re on lockdown,” Mr. Nichols told the news outlet.
The Starbucks logo is display on a cup and bag at a Starbucks store in San Francisco on Oct. 29, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Starbucks logo is display on a cup and bag at a Starbucks store in San Francisco on Oct. 29, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Starbucks, however, wouldn’t confirm if the closure was due to homelessness.
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond released a statement about the closure and how officials need to be using taxpayers’ dollars responsibly to address the homelessness crisis.
“The focus [in our policies] should be on providing a hand-up, not a perpetual handout,” Mr. Desmond said in his statement. “Taxpayers deserve accountability for the exorbitant amount of money being spent, and they are rightfully tired of witnessing the problem persist and worsen.”
Six Starbucks locations in Los Angeles were closed in July 2022 due to chronic homelessness and safety concerns for employees and patrons, the corporation reported at the time.
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Julianne Foster

Julianne Foster

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