Hey, Your Lawn Chair Is Blocking My Starbucks!

The parking situation at Starbucks is well known. If had a nickel for every photo I ran of entitled drivers in that lot, I might be able to afford a Venti iced skinny hazelnut macchiato, sugar-free syrup, extra shot, light ice, no whip.

When the Brook Cafe was across Cedar Street, folks parked there. No problem; peak times for coffee-lovers and gay bar-goers never overlapped.

Then the building was torn down. A new one rose in its place. A few parking spots were created on the east side. Starbucks users grabbed them.

That was fine when the building was empty. But now it’s home to Patio.com, and the owners have decided, logically enough, that they’re not responsible for Starbucks’ overflow parking.

They put up signs. Those had the same effect as the ones reading “No Parking,” “Handicapped Parking Only” and “Hey Dipshits: Stop Parking In the Exit Lane” in the Starbucks lot.

Here’s Patio.com’s latest solution:

Patio - Starbucks

The lawn chairs invite lounging. I’d stay off of them, though.

In their quest for coffee, Starbucks patrons might easily decide those spots are still up for grabs.

(Hat tip and photo credit: Allison Adler)

14 responses to “Hey, Your Lawn Chair Is Blocking My Starbucks!

  1. Nancy Powers Conklin

    I just had to laugh when I saw the lawn chairs lined up in a row. Way to go, Patio.com! It takes ingenuity to beat the slugs in Westport!

  2. Robin Scarella

    Love the one about Ben E. King, the mom who wrote about store with naughty sign right on – really crude, but the Starbucks stories seem to always win out. You r most creative about parking and Starbucks well and handicap spots. How much u want to bet someone will still park right in front of chairs and prob sit in one of them. I will bet u that Venti!!!!

  3. Jeffrey Reilly

    Ceaderbrook spirit lives on!!!

  4. Betsy Pollak

    To Patio.com owners…
    How about changing the signs from “We Will Tow” or worse blocking spots with chairs you might otherwise sell, to “Bring in your Starbucks receipt for 10% off any purchase” or at least “We welcome Starbucks customers because you’re our costumers too.”
    Get with the times… Wouldn’t you want all of the people buying $5 dollar coffees to feel instead connected to your brand? Or are you wanting to alienate most of your potential customers? Think about it!!!

    • Andy Yemma

      seriously? “We will tow?” good luck with that one.

    • Matt Murray

      Betsy has it right. Embrace that people will park there and use it to their advantage. Maybe set up a few of their products so people could sit in them or place their drinks on a table. Not drive potential customers away. Was it really a surprise that *some* people *might* use their parking (whether briefly or not)?

  5. Starbucks folks are going to start using the Patio.com furniture as an outdoor cafe’.

  6. The parking spots on the side of the building were clearly planned for patrons of the store. By putting the lawn chairs in these spots, they are blocked for everyone, including it’s intended users. It’s as if patio.com has said, “If we can’t have any fun, no one will.” Perhaps patio.com store employees could park in these spots, or better yet, arrange a parking lease deal with Starbucks to let Starbucks employees park there to free up spots in the Starbucks lot for Starbucks customers. It doesn’t seem like the front (main) lot of patio.com is overwhelmed with customers who are unable to find a spot there.

  7. jerrymacdaid

    In their old location, they always had various things displayed outside, particularly this time of year. It may just be that rather than trying to annoy Starbucks customers. Though I don’t really have a problem with that either. 🙂

  8. Lynnley Browning

    Such good writing!

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. There’s a patio furniture store in New Canaan with a large – largely empty – parking lot across the street from a Starbucks. The furniture store’s unfriendly, even hostile, “don’t even think about parking here unless you’re going to spend money in our store” signs were so off-putting I vowed to never set foot in their store. Yes – it’s their parking lot. But who wants to patronize an establishment with such a unneighborly attitude? I agree with Matt Murray’s post. Better to attract potential customers by inviting Venti sipping Starbuck’s clients to sit on your beautiful outdoor furniture than to repel potential clients by adopting a Scrooge-like attitude.

  10. Dick Lowenstein

    What’s not new is Patio.Com displaying their wares outside of the store. They did it for years at their previous location in the Fresh Market shopping center.Old, bad habits die hard. Looks like a 24/7 sidewalk sale.

  11. Peter Blau

    I’m the first to complain about “entitled” behavior (as long as it’s someone else’s!) but I think the real problem here is a disconnect between reality and arbitrary zoning rules saying you need X parking spots/1,000 SF of space.

    Clearly the parking spaces at 925 Post Rd E are not sufficient for a Starbucks — but probably just fine for a bank or nail salon because, as everyone knows, there’s roughly one of these establishments per household around here.

    SO the better way to regulate would be to say that it’s the tenant’s responsibility not to overtax the parking spaces — as measured by some formula, e.g. lot cannot be over-full more than 10% of the time. In case the lot is overused, the tenant would pay a fine until able to negotiate with neighboring properties for access to extra spaces.

  12. Steve Clarke

    Three in one day?