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Starbucks Aims for Downtown Corner

As long rumored and widely expected, the coffeehouse chain has submitted an application for the recently-vacated Eye Works shop at First and Main streets, according to the Napa Valley Register.

Napa city officials have confirmed that Starbucks Coffee has applied to make facade changes at the former location of at the corner of First and Main streets, according to a report in the .

While officials could not confirm the coffee chain has a lease agreement for the space, the Register reports that the application includes sign review and outdoor seating.

Members of the group Napa Local, which was formed in opposition to the rumored advent of a downtown Starbucks across the street from the , are pondering their next move, according to comments on the group's Facebook page Wednesday night.

How does this news strike you? Please tell us in the comments.

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tom merle May 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
How can you have a downtown without a Starbucks which is so much more than a chain coffee retailer. They are a lounge with plenty of compfy furniture, wi-fi, and without the din of a place like Bounty Hunter. So think of it has a mini community center. The local place across the street is cramped, the space unappealing. But now people have a choice, which is always good. And Starbucks lifts everyone's game. While I think Napa should hold up Carmel as its ideal for reshaping down down read what happens in Carmel when they keep out Starbucks. http://theshot.coffeeratings.com/2007/02/carmel-espresso/
Scott Yeager May 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Are you trying out for a Starbucks cheerleading squad? Bounty Hunter isn't a coffee shop. Not a good comparison. Just a block and a half away exists a very nice place that just opened it's doors and it is exactly as you described Starbucks (comfy and wifi etc.) and it was even featured here on Napapatch. My wife is an avid coffee drinker and likes Starbucks but she would tell you that Weavers Coffee, which Molinari's features, is light years ahead of what Starbucks offers. http://napa.patch.com/articles/molinari-caff-to-open-its-doors-next-week
Mary Ziegler May 10, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I would like to see a Starbucks go in at Third St where the former Hedgerow flower shop was its a great location for tourists and locals alike. Mary Ziegler
Steve Schrader May 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Steve For those of you who have tasted burnt coffee, then Napa Roaster is for you. For the rest of us who want good coffee then Ricks and Starbucks is the answer. If Napa Roaster can't hold its own then they bare the responsibility to not offer a quality product. Oh yes, take a look at what it looks like and cared for on the inside.
jennifer May 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
There are steady 8 Starbucks in Napa! Let's keep the money local!
Scott Yeager May 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM
As I pointed out earlier there is now another option just down the street. How many Starbucks does this town need?
tom merle May 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I'll have a look Scott
R. Garrett May 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Oh where to begin Mr. Merle, I take it you're not a resident of Napa and I suspect an agent in the mix to create support for such a wrong thing. Starbucks doesn't belong in the heart of downtown, directly across from a coffee shop that has been in business since 1985. Money spent at a local business is spent locally and is need for a healthy economic ecosytem. Money spent at Starbucks, leaves the community immediately. Sure Starbucks gives... to Africa and others in need. Bottom line is this location is wrong! It will shut down NVCRC. Example: Petaluma, CA., 1994-2006, Deaf Dog Coffee...Starbucks caused this cafe to fold when they moved directly acroos the street. Mr. Merle, there are at least 4 Starbucks locations in Napa already. If you truly feel this is the environment for you, you have choices! I'll stop here, for now. Friends don't let friends do Starbucks.
R. Garrett May 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Mr. Schrader, Starbucks doesn't belong in the heart of downtown Napa. It's bad for the community on an economic level. PERIOD Downtown store fronts should reflect the community. As for the lack of local business and empty store fronts, this has to due with the premium rental rates that building owners want, therefore the type of business that works is anything that creates high volume and sales, i.e. food and beverage, salons. Enough is enough. Friends don't let friends do Starbucks.
Stephanie R. Cole May 11, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Being a just give me a cup-of-coffee lover, I haven't gone to Starbucks in a long time. Their coffee is super bitter... and I have had it taste the same across the US. When Consumer Reports came out with a blind tasting a few years ago they had Starbucks on the bottom of the list and McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts of all places on top... I felt vindicated. Now they do make a mean Mocha.... but I have long since given the high calorie, fat, cost coffees out of my diet.... So I will continue to support the Napa Valley Roasting Company just out of pure taste preference.... Now if Pete's moved in that space all bets are off... For a hysterical look at Starbucks drinks/drinker's choices... check out this web site: http://www.buttafly.com/starbucks/index.php
shane May 11, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I love coffee,really love it. Starbucks is "ok", I frequent it time to time, more so because of time and convenience. Keep Starbucks out of Downtown Napa. And Napa Roasting Co, you better get w/ it. Last time I was there...Meh.
tom merle May 11, 2012 at 04:08 AM
If we are talking coffee beans I will stand with Starbucks. I only drink Espresso made mostly at home and mostly using Italian beans. Not Illy (overrated) or Lavazza, but Segafredo, Caffe del Doge and Filicori Zecchini. The last company from Bologna has coffee houses around the world and I invited them to consider coming to Napa (they ended a relationship with a café in Palo Alto recently). A long shot of course. Starbucks espresso beans are among the best of the domestics, IMO. To me, it really doesn't matter how many Starbucks already exist in Napa and that they are a mega company. This is one tiny retail space and I would prefer that it be filled with chairs, couches and tables. I did just visit Molinari's and it's a good space, though it could use a bit more furniture. Had an espresso, a dinky single for $ 2.15. Weavers is fine roaster. Nonetheless, downtown can absorb another coffee house and it might as well be a Starbucks.
Michael Haley May 11, 2012 at 05:43 AM
According to the manager at CRC in St Helena, Starbucks and CRC use the same beans. They roast them differently. Just reading this it is clear that people have different subjective experiences of coffee, different interests. I think Starbucks is ok but mediocre. Everything I get there is loaded with sugar. My problem is that over the long term if we keep filling downtown with chains like this it will fail. What works in the short term may not in the long term. Why would anyone visit Napa or drive downtown if you live here to go to Starbucks? On the other hand, people do go to Oxbow for their unique shops. We need unique, local shops to make it interesting. We can stand a few chains, but they don't add much.
Scott Yeager May 11, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Unique is not good. Downtown should be filled with chain stores so you can't tell if you are in Napa or some city in Ohio.
Scott Yeager May 11, 2012 at 03:38 PM
How considerate of you to invite Filicori Zecchini to come to Napa. According to my wife, who is a coffee lover, a single espresso is the same size no matter where you go and if it came down to a taste test of espresso lovers between starbucks and weavers it would be a landslide win for weavers. She also said if it came down to a coffee lovers choice between starbucks or ritual roasters, blue bottle coffee or weavers, starbucks would not be the choice. Of course, this is all a matter of taste.
tom merle May 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM
The debate on the merits of the various coffee beans used is really beside the point, much as beer was in German beer gardens (and this outlet will probably serve relatively inexpensive beer and wine). Starbucks offers "A Great Good Place" to gather in comfortable surroundings. It matters not that they are a much hated chain. They've got the formula down. They contribute to sociability, here in Napa or among docking stations in cyberspace, contributing to a modest reduction in isolation. We can never have too many of these public living rooms. Scott: talk is cheap, particularly the kind that bashes. Do something, don't just rail against the night.
Scott Yeager May 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM
My issue is with your characterization of Starbucks and now Molinari's. As I said from the start you almost seem like a cheerleader or as it now seems after all your posts you might have some kind of interest in the chain other than as a customer. You compared it to a wine bar/restaraunt which is inappropriate. Then you describe Starbucks as a lounge, mini community center and now a "public living room" when it is actually a coffee chain that is the equivalent of a fast food restaraunt. It has market saturation like a McDonalds. They are everywhere. It does business like a fast food place as well because it is a business. I have been in them when you can hardly hear yourself think let alone talk because they are busy and crowded, which is the point, to do volume. A lot of it. You could be in one in Napa or in Des Moines and it would be hard to tell. They are not unique as you said yourself they have the formula down. As for your bashing comment, I am simply reading your posts that seem almost public relations style in their content and zeal. I am doing something, I am responding to your posts. You're right though, talk is cheap.
tom merle May 11, 2012 at 08:17 PM
We just disagree. I like them for their auxiliary functions. Their uniformity is irrelevant, except insofar as they meet universal human needs. Likening Starbucks to fast food joints disregards this communal function. People gather all over the world in much the same ways. I cited BH because it is another place that people meetup, just they do at Downtown Joe's. The beverage doesn't matter. I have no interest, and yes I am a cheerleader for anyplace that allows someone to read a paper, go online, meet a few friends and contribute to civility. Responding to my supportive posts is hardly doing anything about offering a concrete alternative.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
It's Molinari's seven-week anniversary today and I'm having a nice, surprisingly strong latté there right now. What a pleasure to have a real Italian-style caffé among our coffee alternatives! And the pastries are also very good.
Matt Grantham May 30, 2012 at 02:09 PM
What happened to the other posts here?
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Which ones, Matt? I don't think anything is missing here, but we have had a series of Starbucks articles with comments.
tom merle May 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Matt may be thinking of another thread where we traded barbs. Can't remember which one.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM
For our mutual convenience, I'm trying to tag these articles in such a way that they all end up here on this topic page: http://napa.patch.com/topics/occupy-napa-and-napa-local. Hoping that makes it easier to find earlier comments.
Matt Grantham May 31, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I could be wrong thanks for the responses

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