Starbucks customers on Vineland Avenue and Ventura Boulevard will no longer be able to sip their coffee in the store.
“The baristas here have been harassed and otherwise spoken to,” says regular customer Devlin Wilder.
While it’s unclear what exactly prompted the change, a large area inside the cafe remains cordoned off and empty. Starbucks said in a statement that their “first priority is to make sure our partners are safe at work.”
“Our local leaders have always been able to use the many resources at their disposal to adapt retail operations and create the best experience for our communities,” the company said in a statement.
Alec Poladian, the owner of nearby Roxy Cleaners, said he’s glad Starbucks made the change, along with the heightened security, as it helps deter thieves into his business.
“It’s been a lot less,” said Poladian. “We don’t clean anything in the front anymore because they walk in and steal it.”
The move comes after six other Starbucks locations in Southern California closed last year due to theft and security concerns. While the Studio City location remains open, executives pointed to rising drug use and a growing mental health crisis as reasons for the changes.
“The reason why our team has worked so hard to accommodate people in encampments in the district is because I just don’t agree that our workers and entrepreneurs should handle this crisis on their own,” said Councilor Nithya Raman.
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