Tag Archives: Starbucks

A Semi-Shoutout For Starbucks

Recently, Starbucks moved across the Post Road. It exchanged comfy, friendly digs with limited parking near the diner for cold, unfriendly digs with equally limited parking — but a drive-thru! — near Bank of America.

Fairly quickly, customers noticed that the coffee chain with the green logo was anything but environmentally green. The outside was a mess — though that’s been cleaned up a bit.


The new Starbucks, a few days after opening.

Meanwhile, inside there was no way for customers to separate paper and plastic goods from everything else.

Robie Spector had spent years trying to get managers at the previous Starbucks location to recycle. Facing defensiveness and obfuscation, she stopped going there.

Robie gave the new place a try. She was distressed to see no recycling.

She tried again. Again, she got the same lack of answers and “a dash of odd vibe.”

She contacted Starbucks corporate. A district manager called back, blaming the landlord.

Robie contacted the first selectman’s office, who told her to call Public Works. They had good news: State law mandates that businesses recycle.

However, there are no inspectors. So companies do what they want, unchecked.

As they chatted, Robie and Scott Sullivan of Public Works realized that Panera by Home Goods does a great job of recycling. Robie set up a meeting with Sharon, the general manager, who was quite helpful. She emboldened Robie to keep pressing Starbucks’ district manager.

She did. Finally, Robie says, Starbucks is recycling.


At least, it seems that way. Of course, it could all end up in the same place out back. (Thankfully though, that trash has been cleaned up.)

As Thomas Jefferson sort of said, eternal vigilance is the price of a grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk.

Too Much Trash?

We won’t say there’s a direct correlation between “06880”‘s recent posts about the garbage, parking and staffing problems at the new Westport Starbucks, and Howard Schultz’s decision today to step down as CEO.


Then again, we won’t say there isn’t.


As If Parking At The New Starbucks Isn’t Bad Enough…

…this was the scene around 7:30 this morning:


Perhaps the trash collection service has not figured out the new location.

Perhaps the baristas have not thought to notify them that garbage is piling up.

One thing is sure: This is not the sight our town — or the company — want to present to customers as they line up for their very expensive morning joe.

(Hat tip: Allison Adler)

Meet The New Starbucks. Same As The Old Starbucks?

If you were like most “06880” readers, you spent yesterday giving thanks for all your blessings. It was a day for feeling fortunate, happy and grateful.

Today we’re back to Starbucks-bashing.

Sure, fitting too many cars into a parking lots with too few spaces is a First World problem. Yes, there are far more important things in the world to worry about. I know, “06880” seems to have a fixation with entitled entitled drivers.

But come on, people. Seriously?


The new Starbucks (old Arby’s/even older Burger King/much older Carrols) has struck a nerve. Every day, someone emails me with a photo/gripe/horror story.

Among them:

I’m sitting in the new Starbucks for the first time as I write. I overhear several people saying how much they hate it — how it’s so cold, how stressed the staff is, compared to “warm” and “friendly” old place … Parking lot is scary for people on foot.

It’s comical and painful that a company supposedly committed to Paris climate agreement and sustainability puts in a drive-thru inviting 12 idling cars at a time. Sad, short-sighted, stupid.

To repeat: I know there are many more important issues in Westport — and the world — than Starbucks’ newest store.

But forgive me. I’m wired.

I just had my coffee.

New Starbucks, Old Problem

Any hopes that Starbucks’ move across the Post Road would solve its parking problems were dashed, in less time than it takes for a barista to whip up your drink and call your name.

The new location increases the coffee shop’s parking spots from 24 to a whopping 26.

So instead of parking across the street at Patio.com, the overflow now spills over to the  power transformer station next door.


And while a drive-thru window sounds great, it might be one of those be-careful-what-you-wish for ideas.

It was no problem for Arby’s (and before that, Burger King), because no one ever went there.

Now it’s packed. It’s just a matter of time before heavily caffeinated drivers start backing up into folks waiting in the drive-thru line.


The good news is: There’s another Starbucks a few yards away, in Barnes & Noble.

The bad news: That parking lot sucks too.

New Starbucks Replaces Old One On Post Road. Drivers Beware!

A new Starbucks opened a couple of hours ago, in the old Arby’s (previously Burger King, before that Carrols). It’s across the street and a few yards east of the previous incarnation, near the Sherwood Diner.

The new Starbucks...

The new Starbucks… (Photo/Matt Murray)

You would think that’s good news for Westporters needing enough spaces to park. (And bad news for “06880,” which may have to search elsewhere for photos of entitled/obnoxious/oblivious parkers.)



Alert “06880” reader Michael Traum reports:

After leaving their old Crazy Vin’s home with 24 parking spots and a relatively easy exit, their new home has a whopping 26 spots and a drive-thru (woo-hoo).

But the exit is nothing short of hazardous. For example, I witnessed a worker’s pick-up with trailer collide with a GBT Bus at around 1:30 today. No one appeared to be hurt, but watch out leaving this “‘new and improved” location.

I work across the street. I don’t recall any accidents when Arby’s was there, but no one really went to Arby’s much.

Left turns out of Starbucks by distracted and caffeinated drivers will be an adventure.

Especially during the morning rush hour, when traffic heading west is heavy to begin with.

Be careful out there!

...and the old.

…and the old.

Friday Flashback #7

Earlier this week, I wrote about the exciting transformation plan for the Westport Library. If all goes well, the newest iteration of the library will be finished in 2019.

The Jesup Green building opened in 1986 (on the site of the former town landfill). A bit more than a decade later, it underwent its first renovation.

Westporters of a certain age think they remember the original library. Most of the stacks — and the famous art collection, and children’s section — were housed in the sterile Parker Harder building that now includes Starbucks, Freshii and HSBC Bank:


But the real first library — built in 1908, called the Jesup Library in honor of its benefactor Morris Jesup, and then in the 1950s incorporated as part of the “new” library — was located just east of that building. It sat on the corner of the Post Road and Main Street:


But our Friday Flashback digs even deeper than that.

Here’s what that 1908 “Jesup Library” replaced:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

(Photo/Seth Schachter via Bill Scheffler)

This view looks west, at the corner of the Post Road (left) and Main Street (right). You can see the outlines of the buildings that are there today, lining the left side of Main Street.

If you’ve got any Westport Library memories, we’d love to hear them. Click “Comments” below.

Starbucks Parking Problem Solved: The Follow-Up

Supposedly in Seattle, 2 Starbuckses squat directly opposite each other, across a street.

That’s not happening in Westport. But it’s close.

As reported first on “06880” last October, the Starbucks near the Sherwood Diner is moving. Its new home is across the Post Road, the former Arby’s. That puts it even closer to another Starbucks: the cafe in Barnes & Noble, a few yards away.


Arby’s is empty now (nothing new). After refurbishing, the site — formerly Burger King, and before that Carrols — will be open.

It will include a drive-through, for vanilla mocha pumpkin toffee nut latte-lovers who don’t even want to park.

Not that they ever could.


Green & Tonic Picks Up Westport’s Crumbs

Decadent, high-priced cupcakes did not work here. Twice.

Jeffrey Pandolfino is betting the 3rd time — with real food — will be the charm.

He owns Green & Tonic. The smoothie/salad/wrap/bowl/cleanse company just opened its 5th location here in Westport.

Green & Tonic moves eastward, from Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien and New Canaan. The new spot is the Jesup Green/Taylor Place corner vacated by bankrupt Crumbs.

Westporters poured into Green & Tonic last night.

Westporters poured into Green & Tonic last night.

Last night’s opening was packed. (It helped that everything was free.)

Green & Tonic’s tagline is “Revive with real food.” The menu offers “plant-based food and drink for everyday eating.” It ranges from berry and acai “power bowls,” through wheatgrass and bee pollen boosters, to salads like pomegranate kale with quinoa, and on into a sunflower seed tuna wrap and a curried lentil brown rice bowl.

There are also “cleanse programs and meal plans,” for those who want to “get back to basics.”

Green & Tonic owner Jeffrey Pandolfino.

Green & Tonic owner Jeffrey Pandolfino.

So how is Green & Tonic different from Freshii (across the street)? Pandolfino points to greater variety, and the ease of picking up pre-made meals.

“We’re the healthy Starbucks,” he said. “We want to be the place you come to every day.”

Also from, presumably, right across the street.

The Green & Tonic philosophy is never far from customers' minds.

The Green & Tonic philosophy is never far from customers’ minds.


Downtown Fire Disaster Averted

Quick work by the Westport Fire Department — with help from Wilton and Norwalk — averted a major disaster last night.

Flames poured from rooftop HVAC equipment atop the building housing Starbucks and HSBC Bank (the original Westport Library), on the Post Road  between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

The Post Road was closed while firefighters battled the blaze, reported shortly after 10 p.m. Damage was limited to the roof.

Many units responded to last night's fire at Starbucks and HSBC Bank. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

Many units responded to last night’s fire at Starbucks and HSBC Bank. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

Downtown has been the scene of several major fires — to a furniture store, the Townly restaurant and Sconset Square — though none in recent decades.

Main Street was also the scene of a fire in 1950 that wiped out housing where a number of black men and women, who worked in Westport homes and businesses — lived. That area is now Bobby Q’s restaurant. Click here for that fascinating — and lost — piece of Westport history.

Flames shoot up from the downtown building's HVAC unit. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

Flames shoot up from the downtown building’s HVAC unit. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

(Hat tip: Daniel Brill)