After seeing the photos provided, I'm a bit saddened. Not because Starbucks is pursuing this new approach but rather because this 15th Avenue is such a caricature of Third Wave and what we, as a community, are supposedly about.
They've managed to take the best elements that I've seen in 3W shops across America and combine them with the worst elements. All the capital resources available to them and I would have liked to see a bit better in design and approach. After working with environmentally-friendly construction techniques and artifact salvage these past two years, much of the materials incorporated in the finished product are not cheap but are presented in a way that really doesn't better the design of the 3W flophouses that look that way because of poor design approach and limited capital.
As I reviewed the images, thoughts of "Four Barrel", "Zoka" and others popped into mind. In the end, it's a cool idea whose execution and release doesn't really challenge anything that we are doing on the home front.
Sadly, it's a celebration of everything I see wrong with 3W/Barista culture.
http://blogs.reuters.com/small-business/2009/11/27/the-hidden-meani... Interesting update- last paragraph- the rebranded store 15th Ave store is doing 1/3rd of what the old Starbucks in same location did. Here is a link from the article to the website> http://www.streetlevelcoffee.com/
They're also trying to establish monopolies on certain coffees, hoping to strangle supply to smaller shops. The Blue Batak move could be a portent of things to come.
It's true sometimes consumers get more credit than they deserve, Al, but I don't think in this case. At least here in MI, there seems to be a growing interest in the supporting local business in order to try to preserve our towns. Signs for the 3/50 Project are everywhere... http://www.the350project.net/home.html Maybe people are starting to get fed up with the deceit and abuses of big corporate America.