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Threatened Newton Starbucks draws fans

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor July 22, 2008 05:03 PM

Change is brewing in Newton. And resident Denis Goodwin is boiling mad.

Last week, Goodwin created an online petition to protest the closing of the Starbucks at 70 Union St. As of late yesterday, nearly 100 people had offered support at savemystarbucks.com.

Starbucks Corp. plans to close 600 stores nationwide, seven in Massachusetts. There are efforts afoot to save other stores across the country.

Goodwin, who visits the Union Street shop about five times a week, said he hopes to persuade the company to instead close the more generic "McStarbucks" nearby at 1269 Centre St. To drum up support, he leaves fliers in the Union Street store directing patrons to the petition.

The Union Street location, he said, "is kind of an example of how a big company can still be kind of unique." This Starbucks is in a historic Green Line train station.

In a statement, the company said several factors went into its decision to close certain stores.

Goodwin's cup runneth over with support: Many who commented on the online petition cited the Union Street site's warm ambience and convenient location at the Newton Center T stop.

But some customers said they prefer to have their joe on Centre Street. "That whole Union Street is one of the most beautiful in Newton," said Taraneh Farhangmehr, 18, of Newton. But the other location, she adds, "is more practical because it's on a main street."

Others, like Aaron Gilbert, 44, don't care. "I think there are other causes a little more vital than petitioning to keep a Starbucks open," said Gilbert, who visits the Union Street shop several times a week. "As far as political activism, that doesn't go to the top of my list of things to do."

1 comments so far...
  1. I hope the Starbucks corporate drones noticed that (1) the Starbucks did less well last year due to the temporary shutdown of the D line, and that (2) perhaps 5% of the Union Street customers will find their way to Centre Street (I know I wont), and (3) Many of the Centre Street customers will find their way to Union Street.

    Starbucks COULD figure this out by examining card sales over the past 12 months and seeing how people flowed out of Union Street during the D line shutdown. I wonder if their analysts have been smart enough to dig into the data.

    Posted by Mike WIlson July 22, 08 09:37 PM
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