Starbucks often takes its lumps among the local coffee cultures. Some of that is deserved. My own tastes swing away from Starbucks but I don't consider stopping in a blue moon a transgression.
All of our coffee places have their weak points. I've been to just about every Nashville-proper java-pulling joint enough to see the warts, so none is perfect.
But those of us in the North End have not seen any of the local coffee fiefdoms show an interest--let alone make a commitment--in our area like Starbucks is about to do near the intersection of 8th Avenue and I-65. Salemtown Neighbors received an e-mail from that store's manager with an invitation to attend pre-opening festivities for "friends and family" for free beverages and pastry samples. They also want to distribute $5 gift cards to the association. Finally, they are offering to support the local community by partnering in future association projects.
While our association is currently in the process of discussing the offers, this is a no-brainer to me. I don't have to make Starbucks coffee my personal favorite in order to recognize good-will and savvy networking that is mutually beneficial. We can't wait on Bongo forever. Portland Brews won't open on Sunday mornings (which I believe are the busiest coffee mornings of the week) and they can't even spend the money to get the AC at their Murphy Road store fixed after a couple of years.
So, I think that we should climb in bed with Starbucks. When I'm there, I'll just order an extra expresso shot to my coffee to firm it up a little. I'm not so much of a coffee snob that I jettison my practical sensibilities. This partnership is good for Salemtown and we should embrace it. Then, if the other suitors finally start noticing us, we can just be coffee-whores and jump in bed with the next java-pulling joint that wants to move in.