Where’s my Caffeine?


A saddening picture of the now former Starbucks location on 7th Street.

Miguel Gonzalez, Staff Writer

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Starbucks made the decision to close down many of their stores nationwide. The coffee location a block from Wilson was no exception, and was shut down shortly after school turned to a virtual experience.

With 400 Starbucks stores closing, the inclusion of the Wilson location had a large impact on the staff, students, and general environment of the campus. “I decided to ride my bike to school and was planning on going to Starbucks on 7th street after I arrived. That’s when I realized they were closed and it bummed me out big time” said assistant principal, Edward Steinhauser. “I knew that I wouldn’t have that location as an option to walk to in the afternoon anymore.” 

The closure has had a major impact on many of the staff working during the COVID season, such as Steinhauser, Melissa Galbreath, and Joshua Barnes. “Starbucks closing was disappointing because it was often a ‘break’ during my school day” said Galbreath. “I enjoyed walking to Starbucks to get a few steps in, enjoyed a mid-day cup of coffee, as well as socializing with whichever colleague joined me on the walk that day.” As for Barnes, “It was always fun running into students there as we all got our little cup of energy to get through the day.” 

As for the students moving to a virtual learning experience, it also had a slight impact on them despite not attending school. “Starbucks closing did not affect my school life since currently everyone is home learning so it doesn’t affect us.” said senior Jayden Phan. “It doesn’t affect us physically but mentally it’s sad because Starbucks was very popular amongst the Wilson family, so losing that is like losing a family member.” As for Wilson junior Fionn Cheng, it did not have a large effect on her. “Starbucks closing didn’t affect my school life because we’re all home, I was the kind of person to go to Starbucks after school with my friends and occasionally during lunch.”

Seeing how Starbucks was so iconic at Wilson, many are curious as for the future of the location, what will happen with the open space, and what effect it will have on Wilson’s environment. “While Starbucks was a big part of Wilson’s student life, the location was small and with such high demand, the space didn’t effectively meet our needs.” said Steinhauser. As for availability, “Starbucks was one of the two coffee shops within walking distance so hopefully students who frequently visit coffee shops will not be late to their classes if they decide to get something on their way to school” said Barnes. 

While the location has yet to be sold to a new business owner, many believe that nearby locations will take over in the meantime. “In the future a lot of people will be switching over to Buffalo Spot since it is next door to the old Starbucks location,” said Phan. A similar response was given by Cheng, as she said “This will affect the environment of Wilson since many are going to go somewhere else to buy food such as Daily Perks or Buffalo Spot.”

It is still unknown if this Starbucks location will return anytime soon or ever. Many believe that it will come back meanwhile Steinhauser believes that it will not be returning anytime soon. “I don’t think Starbucks will return.” said Steinhauser. “The location is challenging since there isn’t a drive-thru option. I have noticed that locations with drive-thrus have been able to navigate the pandemic better. Once society starts to open again, I think people will be more cautious about being inside with large crowds.” 

While Steinhauser believes it could be a possible ending to the daily dosage of caffeine, others are still optimistic about the reopening of the location. “I imagine Wilson provided a lot of business so with students learning remotely, it makes sense that the 7th street location would close for now.” said Barnes. “Hopefully they return when the students do.” As for the student’s perspective, there is a possibility of a return. “I have no clue why it closed initially since Starbucks was doing so well, so yes I believe it will open once the pandemic is ‘over.'”

The hope for Starbucks reopening is alive, but uncertain. There are many alternatives in case the reopening is no longer possible. “I can see more students bringing their morning coffee/tea from home or purchasing on their way to school. Maybe students will work to create a coffee shop on campus!” said Steinhauser. A similar response came from Cheng who says “If Starbucks does not open again, I’d probably go to the Starbucks near the traffic circle or make my own coffee at home.” There also seems to be many options that come from locations near the traffic circle. “I think students will go to the Starbucks near the traffic circle, but I know that not every student has a car which is why the 7th street location was so much more beneficial.” said Phan. “Another alternate decision would be Daily Perks on 7th and Ximeno.” 

Some interesting alternatives for coffee came up with Barnes referring to the Coffee Bean near the Vons gas station. “They are usually pretty quick and around the same price.” The most interesting alternative came from Galbreath who said “I would be very happy to see a local vendor take over that location. I prefer to support our local, small businesses!” 

Despite the various options to have a nice cup of coffee in the morning, Starbucks is going to be remembered as an iconic place by the Bruin family after its closure.