Jun 14, 2006

Would you like a cup of jo Martha?

I know it's trendy to hate Starbucks and how they blindsided our landscape by putting shops in almost every corner of the world. Here in the northwest you'll find one on almost every block. Many grocery stores have them inside and the grocers decided to accommodate their shoppers by putting cup holders on the carts. Small business coffee shops have suffered the almost Wal-Mart approach Starbucks has taken in inundating themselves into consumer culture.

Now the caffeine giant has stepped up and decided to mark themselves into our nation's history by placing a bid to set up shop in the historic Maryland Inn. For those of you unfamiliar the Maryland Inn was a popular destination for many American revolutionaries including George Washington. In the 70s the Inn became a jazz club. Why I don't know.

Years later the Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission decided to preserve the site which still has some of it's original structure such as a fireplace. Given the amount of tourists that frequent the place Starbucks has made it so they can sell their heroin, err coffee, to all that visit.

Now this doesn't seem like a big deal to most, but would you be okay with Target setting up shop on the fields of Gettysburg? Would you sit idly by while Tower Records opens a store in Monticello?

"I'm so spoiled - I must have a Starbucks vanilla latte every day. Otherwise, it's going to be a bad day. I also love Jelly Bellies. But that's bad. Don't tell my mom." - Katie Holmes

Sip on this: George Washington haunt a Starbucks?

1 comment:

Mattbear said...

[Rant 1, begin]I hate Starbucks, but not because of their ubiquity (you like that? bring it, Miriam-Webster!). I hate them for the same reason I hate McDonalds - their product sucks. But our culture being what it is, the lowest common denominator wins.

As far as them harming the "little guys", I think that's bullshit. Now, living in the Seattle area my view is clouded by the ubiquity (ooh, twice, I love that word!) of coffee shops/stands in general. But here's the thing: Before Starbucks, coffee pretty much meant drip, and there were a few specialty places that did cappucino or espresso. After Starbucks: A million places to get a double tall skinny half-caff breve mocha. Without Starbucks, the "little guys" never would have been.

And they still do plenty of business. Why? Because the average Starbucks junkie will stop at any ol' stand when they need a fix, if they don't see a Starbucks within a block. Plus, there's enough backlash against Starwhores because they are the mega-giant corporation and because their coffee sucks, that little places get business from those backlash people. I know, I'm one of them. i frequent a little stand in Fall City, because they actually make good coffee. [Rant 1, end]

[Rant 2, begin] As far as the historical site, it can only be so historical. It is a functioning hotel. I'm pretty sure the rooms and other amenities aren't the same as they were in 1780. So why resist the modernization of a Starbucks?

The only reason I see is that it is the Starbucks brand name, and the knee-jerk hatred reaction to it. This wouldn't even be a story if the Maryland Inn were opening up a little "George Washington Cafe" or something.[Rant 2, end]

Whoa, I just got unleashed. Sorry about the long response.