Starbucks closing popular New Orleans outlet citing ‘racism, mental health concerns,’ locals tell different tale

A Starbucks situated in downtown New Orleans is closing its doors for good on Oct. 3rd for a number of stated reasons, two of them being “mental health” concerns and alleged “racism,” but the evidence suggests the real reason is something else.

The specific store in question is “a high incident store,” according to a statement from Starbucks spokesperson Sam Jefferies.

“Our stores are windows into America, and every day, our partners witness the challenges facing our communities – challenges to personal safety and security, racism, a growing mental health crisis, and issues magnified by COVID. These challenges play out within our stores – affecting our partners, our communities, and our customers alike,” Jefferies said in a statement to local media.

But no examples of “mental health” dilemmas and “racism” were cited in the statement. Nor was BizPac Review able to find any on its own.

Examples pertaining to “personal safety and security” also seemed slim, though some were cited by local media.

“Tiffany Adler says the closure of Starbucks is unfortunate for the area, admitting there has been some criminal activity in the past but says her high-end jewelry store is doing fine just a few doors down,” station WVUE reported.

Notice though how she said her store has been doing fine. David Rubenstein, the owner of the clothing Rubenstein’s, said the same.

“Yes, [Starbucks] have had a little bit of a problem. We don’t have anything. Business is better than ever. I think one closure shouldn’t symbolize this entire street, and that’s my concern,” he told the outlet.

“I mean you can just see the people. Everything is not perfect, but the world has changed. Yes, we are concerned, but we are very happy at this spot. We’re not leaving.”

So what’s the deal with Starbucks then? Rubenstein believes it’s the homeless.

“Rubenstein … said the issues for businesses mainly have to do with occasional harassment of customers by people on the street and homeless people who sometimes sleep in doorways,” according to

This is highly relevant to Starbucks because the “woke” franchise is known for welcoming the homeless, drug addicts, etc.

It started in 2018, when the company eliminated its no loitering policy because of, you guessed it, alleged racism.

Specifically, the employees at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the cops on two loiterers who happened to be black.

This in turn sparked protests:

But instead of sticking to its completely justified policy, Starbucks bent the knee to the “woke” mob and decided to allow any and all loitering, with the only stipulation going forward being that loiterers behave themselves.

“When using a Starbucks space, we respectfully request that customers behave in a manner that maintains a warm and welcoming environment by: Using spaces as intended; Being considerate of others; Communicating with respect; Acting responsibly,” the franchise said in a press release at the time.

An Entrepreneur magazine contributor responded to the announcement by warning that Starbucks would pay a heavy price for pursuing such a so-called “inclusive” policy.

“Once word of this new policy spreads — and it will spread quickly — my expectation is that this location will be residence for many indigent people…all day long. If you were homeless, wouldn’t you do the same? As long as you’re ‘considerate of others’ and ‘communicating with respect’ (whatever that means) you can sit there from opening to closing and enjoy warmth, security, a bathroom and as much water as you can drink,” contributor Gene Parks wrote.

“It’ll be interesting to see the impact this has on all the other customers who use that location as a place to meet friends, study or relax with a latte and a book. My prediction: Bye-bye, Starbucks,” he correctly predicted.

Indeed, the Starbucks in New Orleans is one of many that have been shuttered this year alone.

“Starbucks will close 16 U.S. stores, mostly on the West Coast, by the end of July because of safety concerns, according to the company. Most of the stores set to close are in the Los Angeles and Seattle metro areas,” CNBC reported in July.

“We’ve had to make the difficult decision to close some locations that have a particularly high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe for us to operate,” a spokesperson told the outlet.

Now ask yourself — what are Los Angeles and Seattle known for? If you guessed homelessness, then you hit the nail on the head …


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