downtown los angeles, historic core

New Starbucks Opens on “Indie-Rich” Spring Street in Downtown LA

A new Starbucks has opened at the corner of 6th and Spring in the Historic Core

Less than two months ago, we broke the news that electronics store Stereoline was being replaced by Starbucks at the corner of 6th and Spring St. The news of a large coffee chain coming to a street already dominated by many independent mom and pop coffee shops (giving Spring St the title of “Coffee Row”) was controversial with two generally opposing camps split down the middle. Some embraced Starbucks and some saw it as a threat to the unique character of Spring Street’s established indie vibe.

Over the weekend, Starbucks opened and marks another change in a constantly evolving Downtown LA — once forlorn and now the center of attention in a very crowded Los Angeles market. Stopping by on Saturday, I was glad to see this corner of 6th and Spring clean and activated. The fear of everyone ditching their local cafes was definitely not the case as I saw plenty of customers at Spring for Coffee, Coffee Bar, and Syrup (all three located nearby Starbucks). Oddly enough, there were less people inside Starbucks than there were at the other cafes nearby.

Click here to read the initial community response to Starbucks opening at 6th/Spring.

Entrance into new Starbucks

Plenty of seating available

Plenty of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows

Soaring ceilings and an industrial design different from most other Starbucks

An elongated mural stretches along the wall by the barista

A newly branded “Starbucks siren” greets customers by the front entrance

A sign posted inside Starbucks

Starbucks opened this past weekend at the corner of 6th and Spring

22 Comments

  1. Clark says

    YEAH! I was in on Sunday before visiting the farmers market on 5th – was glad so see a steady line at the register. Was even more happy to see a full patio of Spring for Coffee.
    We can all co-exist!!!

  2. it’s probably a bit early to judge the impact of their opening. it happened so fast, many people probably don’t even realize it’s really open.

    and seeing how independent restaurants have struggled with permits and the opening process, it’s fascinating to see how starbucks can move so quickly.

  3. Construction workers working until midnight on many nights just to open up what is essentially a McDonalds. Feel really sad that the neighborhood didn’t support Spring for Coffee and Coffee Bar and Syrup and block McStarbucks from moving in.

  4. Lawrence says

    Ultimately there’s room for both Independents and a few chains on Spring. From what I see, the neighborhood is very supportive of businesses like Spring for Coffee, Syrup and the new Tierra Mia Cafe. As Clark noted, they can co-exist. I think the Starbucks is a much better use of that corner than the previous business that was there.

  5. D-Town says

    No outdoor seating? Have to say I’m a little disappointed by that. Otherwise, a welcome addition to the hood!

  6. Block Starbucks from opening? Why? It makes no sense. They can co-exist in other downtowns. Walgreens is coming. Are you going to try and block them. Good grief!

    • Lawrence says

      Completely agree! I don’t think blocking businesses from coming downtown is a precedent we want to set, especially considering how much underutilized retail space downtown has.

  7. im very happy to see starbucks on 6th and spring st. Everyone is welcome and it brings more traffic to our corner. Business owner here that is very happy. Oh and im still a Syrup customer..

  8. I’m thrilled that Starbucks is opening if only because the other places all keep crappy “Indie” hours that don’t suit business people well. Open early and stay open late! Starbucks achieves that for me.

  9. sebastian says

    I would like to see a two story starbucks in downtown.

  10. Amit Parekh says

    If you told me 10 years ago that Starbucks would WANT to put a store on Spring Street, I would probably have laughed at you. The way I see it, we should be honored that a national chain WANTS to be in downtown. That means that downtown is gaining attention and visibility with (national) retailers and such. This is a great addition to the neighborhood.

    If you don’t like Starbucks, continue getting your coffee elsewhere. As many others have said here, the two can co-exist.

  11. Diana says

    I love that the neighborhood is maturing, but dislike that it’s taken this route. Downtown is one of the few places left in LA where everyone knows their neighbors and part of what keeps the seams together are our coffee shops, bars, and cafes and the people who run them and are genuinely interested in the community… we have our own distinct culture different from most of the city.

    So why does a Starbucks fit in here?

  12. Lawrence says

    Downtown is a neighborhood, but is also in many respects the urban heart of a huge metropolitan area. It’s a place that can support local neighborhood coffee shops and the chains that people outside of downtown can recognize as well. There are simply not enough independent businesses out there to fill the immense amount of underutilized retail square footage that downtown has. I think its premature at best to jump to the conclusion that a Starbucks spells the beginning of some end. Having traveled to many different cities, I’ve seen thriving communities that are served by a mix of both indy businesses and chains and I don’t see how or why Downtown L.A should be any different.

  13. @Diana if downtown were kept to a small community – it would be an a failure in my opinion in many regards. I still believe the coffee shops you speak of will help maintain a sense of community for you and the others. But in a larger scope, these types of international retailers are inevitable. In this case, I see this doing much more good than harm – in terms of development, aesthetics, cohesion of pedestrian experience, tourism, etc.

    On a different note – it looks to be a very handsome starbucks. Is it? I’m not living near the area so I love to hear some feedback on it. Is it the best looking starbucks in DTLA?

  14. Lisa says

    The crappy, no name instruments and lame electronics store was always a waste of cool corner retail space. I’m so glad to see a beautiful store replace it, and I don’t even drink coffee. (I will miss their green disco lights that blinked all over the sidewalk though.) Now just get rid of the dog shit and piss and we will be doing great on Spring Street!

  15. I think I’ve heard enough of this independent only stuff. It’s ridiculous to think this way. This is downtown Los Angeles, not Plains Georgia. I welcome Sally Sue’s vintage clothing and Acme Shoes. But I also welcome Target, Gap, Urban Outfitters, Nike and Nordstrom.

    • Elvis says

      only 2 comments in this whole thread – one questioning it, and one against it… 17 comments for it and / or challenging those 2… but yeah, i can see how you’ve “heard enough”… it’s called a lively discussion – and it’s worth having. It’s not ridiculous. You’re ridiculous. I hold the “all businesses can coexist” opinion. But I will not put down someone who is proud of our local independents and start-ups. Starbucks was once a start-up as well, you ninny.

  16. Excuse me Elvis but think again. Did I say something derogatory about someone? No. Anyway, love the fact that it’s open till midnight. I was in there Friday night around 11:30 and it was pretty busy.

  17. Curt Flood says

    Starbucks — 6th & Spring Downtown LA — This place is filthy! Counted three customers bringing leashed dogs into the store in less than an hour. Standing in line and fixing their coffee with a non-service dog on a leash is just disgusting. Spoke to the cashier and she said “they (dog owners) tell us they’re service dogs and we are not allowed to ask them for proof — so there is nothing we can do.” What?? Service dogs are required to wear vests and the owners must have in their possession a card that provides registered proof. None of the three had vests. Nor did the Starbucks employees (now all four behind the counter knew my health code violations concerns) never asked one of dog owners for any verification. So I approached the last dog owner while he was fixing his coffee, whose animal had been sniffing and licking between its legs and scratching, and asked whether his dog was a service animal, and he said “Why don’t you mind your own business?” “My own business.” I see. The staff thought the whole “concerned about the possibilty of a health code problem” patron, was a joke. The only employee that appeared to have any authority whispered to another employee, they both glanced in my direction, said something in Spanish, and laughed. Nice. This to a regular customer who spends $5-10 EVERY morning– seven damn days a week — in the place. Never again. Can’t WAIT until Peet’s opens a store downtown. Been living downtown three years. Starbucks is closer to my place than Bottega Louis. That distance is now a non-issue. And can’t WAIT until Peet’s opens a store downtown. Certain they know the meaning of valued-customer respect and the California Health Code.

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