Another Reason I Love Starbucks

StarbucksYou all know I’m a Starbucks fan.

If you don’t, you just haven’t been reading. Which is fine! But, you know, it’s in the standard Facts About Jeffe.

And yeah, yeah, yeah – I’ve heard the whole song and dance about corporate coffee and how, eyew, Starbucks coffee tastes burnt and I should support local coffee shops. The thing is, I go to local coffee shops and 1) chances are it will take forever to get my beverage, 2) it’s a total crapshoot what it will taste like and what kind of caffeine impact it will have. These things are important to me. I like that roasted Starbucks flavor, because it tastes great in my lattes, which I can depend on being just the way I like them, because I order them that way. You might laugh on the caffeine impact, but I’m a sensitive flower – there’s a fine line for me between “rev-me-up” and “omfg-my-heart-is-going-to-burst.”

Beyond that, I can count on Starbucks – really any Starbucks – being fast, efficient and offering a friendly atmosphere. I like their corporate policies and that they treat their employees decently.

So, not long ago, David and I flew into Albuquerque early in the morning and were driving home up to Santa Fe. We wanted coffee! so I used my phone to find the nearest Starbucks, of course. We went to the one at 3400 Central Ave SE, which is in the “Nob Hill” part of town. The building looked kind of funky, but I couldn’t place it. That’s a pic of it above, from Google Street View, so it’s kind of sucky. I should have snapped a pic, but I didn’t think to at the time.

It’s even better inside, with that arched barn roof and a cozy fireplace. And that odd sense of childhood familiarity.

I asked – and the building is a refurbished Arby’s. Yeah – you can see it, right? That old Arby’s architecture.

I love that they did this.

See, for a long time (20+) years, I lived in a town in Wyoming plagued by the Abandoned Building Syndrome. They’re a true blight on any community. Our town had a Walmart – an enormous warehouse that was abandoned when Those Who Did Not Care About Our Community decided to build a SUPER Walmart a quarter-mile away. Because, for them, it was less expensive to purchase new land and construct the even huger warehouse. That parking lot became the brightest point in town, by far – the first light visible flying in at night. Meanwhile, the old building moldered, adding its sorrowful tale to the decrepit former Long John Silvers just up the road, which hosted various Chinese restaurants until it ungracefully fell completely to pieces.

So, this is one more reason for me to love Starbucks – that they repurpose these old buildings. I’m a big fan of reusing what we already have. I even contributed an essay to an anthology once, called “Home Recycling,” about why I like buying older houses.

Thus, if you’re ever in and around Albuquerque, stop by the Starbucks in Nob Hill and take in that rehabbed Arby’s ambience. It’s really quite awesome – both aesthetically and energetically.

~Toasts with Pumpkin Spice Latte~