NEWS

Kitty-Corner Vancouver Starbucks closes

05/29/2012 03:52 EDT | Updated 07/29/2012 05:12 EDT

One of two famous duelling Starbucks on the same intersection on Vancouver’s Robson Street closed its doors for good Monday night.

The iconic Starbucks on the southwest corner of Robson and Thurlow has been at the location for 24-years, but a planned rent increase forced the company to finally close the popular hangout.

The details of the new lease demands are confidential, but CBC learned earlier this month when the closure was announced that some Robson Street owners are demanding rents of up to $250 per square foot, or $375,000 a year for a 1,500-square-foot space.

For loyal customers the other Starbucks just across the street doesn’t take away the sting of losing their beloved coffee shop.

“For the last 24-years I come here everyday,” said Dina Saatchi who owns a jewelry story down the street. “Every morning before I open the store. So, such a shame.”

Marie Payne, a long-time customer, said she has become fond of the coffee-makers in the green aprons.

“To be honest some of these baristas feel like my kids," said Payne.

Starbucks district manager, Diane Shakeshaft shares their disappointment.

“It’s such an iconic location, and I’ve been here for six years, it’s history," said Shakeshaft.

Free coffee fundraiser

Last night baristas and loyal customers got together for a final farewell, and made sure they did some good while they had a little fun. All drinks were free for a donation to the Doctor Peter AIDS Foundation.

Executive Director of the foundation Maxine Davis was in attendance for some of the festivities.

“They called us today and said, 'Guess what, we’re doing this for you today,'” Davis said.

The raucous wake wrapped up at 6 p.m PT when the doors were locked for the last time. Staff snapped some photos, handed out hugs, and then marched the stock to the nearest Starbucks, across the street.

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