Just down from the Capitol building in Boise is this unique corner on Capitol & Idaho. This corner used to be a Starbucks, then became a Tully’s Coffee, then became Caffe’ Capri Coffee and now is a Sushi joint. I have a history of drawing cool local sites, only to see them go out of business or become something else more “hip”. This is one of those.
There’s a coffee shop in Seattle down on Pike Place called Starbucks, you may have heard of it…What’s special about this particular Starbucks, is this is the first one EVER! Where it all started. The mecca. The birthplace. The temple. True coffee addicts anywhere in the world can be blindfolded, spun around 10 times and accurately point toward Seattle…but this Starbucks is always PACKED and a long line typically to the cash register because 99% of the visitors who come here are buying souveniers from the original Starbucks. (like I was…) Inside, it looks a lot more like a warehouse from 1971, with brown boxes everywhere, stacked along the walls, counters, windows, anyplace that doesn’t violate a fire code packed with every mug, cup, tumbler etc, etc, with “Starbucks Pike Place Market” on it you can imagine. One time I was there, waiting in a long line with my gift mug, it was crazy packed. I got to talking to an employee and she said it was a “slow day” (it was pouring rain outside) and the line usually goes out the door and down the street and they close the line down an hour before closing…Oh yea, there is a small area in the back, where you can actually get a coffee. But that’s not why most people are here.
While I’m not a big fan of Starbucks, it’s more of a convenience thing because they are everywhere, and I’ll stop there if there’s nothing else available and I’m getting it to go, and that’s ok, because they are usually really good at being consistent, so you know what you’re getting. It’s kind of how you don’t go to McDonald’s because the burgers are so awesome, you go because they’re convenient and you know what to expect. But this is truly an iconic historical place that birthed an entire culture in America and around the world with over 21,366 locations worldwide. Surprise! Starbucks didn’t invent coffee or espresso. Espresso had been in Europe for many years before Starbucks, around the 1880s. $tarbucks just figured out how to market it.
This is an older drawing from last year, and while I am not anti-Starbucks, I will stop there– it’s just not my first choice. Living in the Northwest, Starbucks is EV-RY-WHERE, in the supermarket and in the parking lot of the supermarket where it’s already IN the supermarket. But there are other places if I want good coffee and I prefer the local independent shops. They just seem to be able to give more care to their product quality. And the atmosphere is usually much more inviting.