Cities/metros without Starbucks

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Likes
0
Points
19
#21
BKM said:
As for marketing: its that, and the sheer ubiquity of the chain. Can anyone really claim that any of the processed junk that McDonalds and Burger King extrude tastes good? (Even their fries are mediocre, imo) Yuck, but they are multibillion dollar businesses. Starbucks, like McDonalds, is "comfortable" for a middle class clientel.
Somebody's been reading Fast Food Nation again lately, haven't they! ;)

Actually, I've never claimed to be an arbiter of good taste - in fact, some wags claim I'm a philistine - but yeah, sometimes the processed junk at McDonald's and Burger King taste good to me - damn good. That's not to say that you don't have a point re: "comfort." But that ain't necessarily a bad thang (not that you meant it as such - or did you?).

As for coffee, I just don't care for Starbucks at all. I'd cross the street to avoid it, but there's one over there too. I like to make my coffee at home (plain ole, boring, Chock Full o' Nuts), black, no sugar, and strong enough to float an ox.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#22
Never actually read the book, but as a Kunstler quoting semi-leftish over-educated BOBO, I probably HAVE inhaled many of its arguments.

I am a food snob :) But, I just like non-overprocessed stuff better. I really don't like McD's very much-I can stomach the hamburgers, but the "Shakes" (processed, sugary soy) and, remember the McRib? My god, is that all the culture the US will be known for? Blahhh.

Even when I was growing up, mom never foisted all the processed junk on us.
 
Messages
6,544
Likes
0
Points
29
#23
Long, and a little ranty... beware!

I think I don't like Starbucks because everything tastes so burnt. And... their coffee is *so overpriced*. I can't taste the difference much with the fru-fru drinks they serve (mochas, etc), but I don't like those much in general. I'm a regular black coffee kind of gal, and generally I like medium to dark roasts. At Starbucks that means highly acidy and burnt. Peet's coffee is every bit as strong as Starbucks, but without the burnt ashy aftertaste.

I don't have too much of a problem with smaller chains (such as Peet's), it's just that some of them get out of control. And it's sad when chains end up being substitutes for the real thing. As an example, Vienna has four Starbucks. I'm sorry, but Vienna IMO does not need a Starbucks. It has perfected cafe culture, so what does it need a Starbucks for? Well... maybe to have coffee (or Starbucks' facsimile thereof) in a "to go" cup. But that negates the whole Vienna cafe experience.

I think that's the reason that people don't "like" Starbucks. Take something great like a coffeehouse culture, water it down (or in Starbuck's case over-roast it), and then mass produce it for the world. The idea of all that homogeneity is what peeves me.

Hmmmm... I think I was starting to wander there. I better go grab some coffee (at the local coffehouse I may add)...
 

Planderella

     
Messages
5,354
Likes
0
Points
31
#24
I will always support one of the local coffee houses before I spend my hard earned cash at Starsucks. Some of the best coffee is made right here in this city. **in Homer Simpson voice** Mmmmm........chicory coffee.......
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Likes
0
Points
19
#25
BKM said:
Never actually read the book, but as a Kunstler quoting semi-leftish over-educated BOBO, I probably HAVE inhaled many of its arguments.

I am a food snob :) But, I just like non-overprocessed stuff better. I really don't like McD's very much-I can stomach the hamburgers, but the "Shakes" (processed, sugary soy) and, remember the McRib? My god, is that all the culture the US will be known for? Blahhh.

Even when I was growing up, mom never foisted all the processed junk on us.
I did read it, and as a Friedman-quoting semi-rightish over-educated former BOBO (I was the ONLY conservative art major), I tried its arguments, but I NEVER inhaled. ;)

Don't get me wrong BK(that ain't BURGER KING)M, I don't usually go for the McD's or BK taste, but sometimes it just...well, hits the spot for some reason.

I grew up in KY, and while my mom never foisted any of the processed junk on us either (due in part to the fact that we couldn't afford it - processed was MORE expensive back then, not less), everything we were served was soaked in bacon grease, salt, and redeye gravy. Maybe that's what deadened my tasebuds...
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#26
Childhood Recipe Hijack!

El Feo: I bet your mother's version of spaghetti was something like mine's:

Pasta cooked until soft (and broken into short lengths to avoid the "wrapping" issue!)

Tomato juice (from a can)

Hamburger pan-fried with a little onion

Cheddar or "Longhorn Colby" cheese from County Line Cheese Company (RIP-bought out by another damn conglomerate and ruined) A great American style cheese maker-to this day I still can literally not stomach "cheese product" like Kraft Singles or Velveeta.

Sugar to taste.

All melted together into a gooey mess!
 
Messages
41
Likes
0
Points
2
#27
re: Success of Starbucks

Not sure how true this view is - but to me, Starbucks is more of a lifestyle chain (read that, Martha) than a typical cafe. The rationale behind such is that one targets the neophyte, expereince conscious middle class with an cafe identity taken from a generic coffee house in an urban core, soften and idealize the feel with standardized decor, and 'brand' it an urbane, sophiscated city cafe (ironically, with a drive through).

So yes, there is a bit of snob in it all - the faux artist in the patron, perhaps?

GB
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Likes
0
Points
19
#28
Mmmmmmm...spaghetti.....

You shouldn't oughta done that, BKM...

Hamburger pan-fried with a little bit of onion was the foundation of many different meals...all full of gooey goodness...
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,849
Likes
58
Points
46
#29
One thing that the non-Starbucks cities in the United States have in common ... they're not seen as "bohemian" or "trendy" in the least. There's little or no "buzz" in those areas.

Consider New Mexico, where Santa Fe has five, but Las Cruces has zero. Santa Fe = arts, culture, black turtleneck shirts, and so on. Buzz. Las Cruces = college students, engineers, middle-class families, retirees and Hispanics. No buzz.

Let's take Urban Outfitters, for instance. Think they'll locate in a city without a "buzz," despite a ready market or population? Nope. UO is in Providence, Austin, Minneapolis and Portland ... not in Buffalo, Rochester, Cleveland or Oklahoma City. Rochester just ain't cool enough.

Maybe this is a stretch, but I think the lack of Starbucks in places like Little Rock and Youngstown can be attributed to sheer snobbery. Starbucks goes to the places where there's a "buzz," and thus a ready market. As they expand, they'll reach out into the cities that aren't as trendy ... Yeah, Buffalo has plenty of coffee drinkers, but they're not as hip as those in Denver, so money spent there will return less bang for the buck. Starcucks still has to grow, through, because it's what stockholders expect. Eventually, they might trickle down to the places that seem to elicit collective yawns among the public ... the Youngstowns and Harrisburgs.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#30
Confession

I think GeekyBoy and Dan have captured the Starbucks effect very well.

Sadly, by Geeky Boy's theorem, I am probably one of Starbucks' target customers. Heck, I buy furniture at Scandinavian Designs, read Dwell, etc. etc. Woe is me.

My only defense is I recognize it. :) And, my blue collar roots don't allow me to take any of it too seriously. And, I still prefer the independents.
 
Messages
41
Likes
0
Points
2
#32
Vaca:

"Sadly, by Geeky Boy's theorem, I am probably one of Starbucks' target customers. Heck, I buy furniture at Scandinavian Designs, read Dwell, etc. etc. Woe is me.

My only defense is I recognize it. And, my blue collar roots don't allow me to take any of it too seriously. And, I still prefer the independents"

LOL! There is nothing wrong with liking Starbucks per se - if the motive behind is a genuine preference for their coffee (not my thing - but everyone has different tastes) instead of, from personal observation, the attitude of some patrons that by somehow sucking up Starbucks latte, they have graduated into the ranks of sophiscated, urbane drinker.

I bet you that the whole "Grande, Venti, etc" thing has something to do with that snobbery. Just think about how jargonish when one rattles off "Grande Mocha, no whip for here" at 166 wpm.

PS: Confession #2

I had done the above when I was a bit younger than I am now...how childish.

GB
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#33
Starbucks Lingo

Yeah. When I do go to Starbucks (rarely, but the local one is closed on Sundays) I always feel a little embarrassed using their silly terminology. I would rather just say "large", but they force use into the jargon when they take your order.
 
Messages
82
Likes
0
Points
4
#34
Why I like Starbucks and other metros

I think the reason Starbucks, McD, BK, Best Buy, insert name brand here, is our nomadic culture. I have moved 4 times in the last 4 years, each time to a different city. I enjoy the local cuisine (in NJ pizza) and I don't go to a Pizza Hut or Papa Johns. But I do go to Home Depot, instead of the local hardware store even though I now know where one is. When I moved here, I needed to get some supplies so i looked up Home Depot instead of trying to find another local dealer. It was just too easy. Same with Best buy, across the street from each other there is a PC Richard, Best Buy, and a Wiz. i go to the Best Buy, all the prices are about the same but i choose the national chain I have dealt with before, and if I move again I may get better service. I go to Chipotle because I haven't found a good burrito in my area. It's safe and conformting and I know exactly what I am getting. BTW, the strangest thing out here is the Dunkin Donuts. They are everywhere as bad as Starbucks.

http://www.theonion.com/onion3709/starbucks_phase_two.html

Do i like the mom and pop shops, yes but it must have a reason like its cheaper, closer or better.
 
Messages
51
Likes
0
Points
4
#35
I believe Baltimore has only one. It is located in the Inner harbor. I would rather have a nice sweet Dunkin Doughnuts large with a french Cruller. Yum. We are lacking in quality coffee retailers.
 
Messages
3,239
Likes
0
Points
26
#36
Ahhh.. coffee

Well, I love Starbucks. I'll say it, I drink it every morning.. I've even got most of their large mugs, travel mugs, and a Barista coffee maker.. I love their coffee, it's a darker roast than any other out there I've tried. (that's why it tastes burnt to some, they've got a patent on their roasting and they roast their beans longer than others)

So does Temple, TX now have a "buzz"? I don't think so, it's just that Starbucks saw an oppourtunity and went for it off of I35, it's a top seller for them now. I don't think they are snobs.. it's just that they're looking to make a profit and see where the market is.. I wish I'd have come up with the idea!
 
Messages
2,095
Likes
3
Points
27
#37
Dan said:
Can you think of any? Why wouldn't Starbucks have a presence in these places, when in some parts of the country they're literally across the street from each other?

Largest I could find in the US with no "independent" Starbucks - El Paso, Texas

Largest I could find in the US with no Starbucks, period - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Las Cruces, New Mexico - 0
Fargo, North Dakota - 0 (one in a Super Target)
Amarillo, Texas - 0 (one in a supermarket)
Lubbock, Texas - 0 (one in a supermarket)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas - 0
Yuma, Arizona - 0 (one in a supermarket)
Ocala, Florida - 0
Jackson, Mississippi - 0 (one in a supermarket)
Beaumont, Texas - 0 (one in a supermarket)
Williamsport, Pennsylvania - 0
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - 0
Reading, Pennsylvania - 0
Altoona, Pennsylvania - 0
Danville, Virginia - 0
Wichita Falls, Texas - 0
Topeka, Kansas - 0
St. Joseph, Missouri - 0
Utica, New York - 0
Actually, Toledo, Ohio may be the largest city w/o a Starsux. The city's population is 320,000, and we don't have much in the way of cultural heritage, but at least we don't have a Starsux. :)
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#38
Toledo

Hey Cat: I'm originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I doubt we have a Starbucks :)

We used to drive to Toledo all the time to visit the zoo when I was a kid (a LONG time ago).

I always liked the parks, Toledo Art Museum, the river, the University area, etc. Has downtown come back any? Last time I was there, Portside was pretty much dead.

Sadly, I may have to be back in Fort Wayne within the week. My Mom's second husband isn't doing very well.
 
Messages
2,095
Likes
3
Points
27
#39
Re: Toledo

BKM said:
Hey Cat: I'm originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I doubt we have a Starbucks :)

We used to drive to Toledo all the time to visit the zoo when I was a kid (a LONG time ago).

I always liked the parks, Toledo Art Museum, the river, the University area, etc. Has downtown come back any? Last time I was there, Portside was pretty much dead.

Sadly, I may have to be back in Fort Wayne within the week. My Mom's second husband isn't doing very well.
In terms of historic fabric, downtown is worse than ever. They demolished about 12 historic buildings for a new ballpark that the voters didn't want but they went ahead and built anyway. Now I have to support it because if it goes under, we will all pay dearly (the taxpayers). Luckily 5/3 Bank paid about $1 Million for the naming rights. The name sucks but at least that will be one million that we won't have to cough up.

Portside went belly-up long ago. It's now COSI. Portside was one of the dumbest development projects ever conceived in a city of this size.

Yeah, it sucks to be here but at least we don't have a Starbucks....yet.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,465
Likes
0
Points
29
#40
Toledo

Too bad about the stadium and the destroyed downtown fabric. Probably plenty of parking lots, too.

I am a totally hostile atheists in the religion of professional sports, so I ain't too sypathetic to stadium boosters.

Vacaville' AAA baseball team owner just lost all of his insurance, so the local farm club is now defunct (literally in the middle of the game).

COSI sounds better than a fake nautical theme mall selling teddie bears.

Downtown Fort Wayne remains somewhat moribund, as well. Maybe a little healthier-the new park at the three rivers is nice.

I have to keep telling myself

"It is good for local banks and companies to disappear into the mass of national chains" After all, the CEOs get bigger bonuses, don't they?"

Oh well, I can thank Fort Wayne for steering me to the planning field-Coliseum Blvd is so ugly I wanted to find some profession that deals with those kinds of issues. :)
 
Top