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Motown Is No Town For Starbucks


pointless and expensive bridge to nowhere near Detroit Metro Airport

Jim Romenesko asks on his Starbucks blog why Detroit has only five Starbucks -- 41 fewer than San Jose, which has about the same population. I responded in the comments:

The Starbucks in the Detroit area are mostly in the nice, safe suburbs -- in places like Birmingham and Grosse Pointe. Why? The guy who mentioned the Kevlar vest above makes exactly the right point. I dunno about you, but I'm not sitting out with my laptop in the middle of murder row.

And frankly, Detroit just isn't the kind of creative town (a la Richard Florida's Rise Of The Creative Class) where there are the same level of independently employed creative types like in NYC, Los Angeles, Seattle, and other places, who use Starbucks as a meeting place/workplace/resting place on weekdays.

Starbucks in Detroit is basically a place where white collar workers grab their coffee enroute to the office, and where people hang out on the weekends. And even then, the weekend crowd there is way different than the people you see in urban creative centers, and not in a good way.

The last two times I was in the Grosse Pointe Starbucks, I was the only one with a laptop, and the same three religious nutters tried to convince me I'd burn in hell if I didn't believe in Jesus. (Don't ask -- I guess I just have that 666 look tattooed across my godless harlot forehead.) Anyway, the point is, Detroit's not exactly the gay-friendly, creativity-fostering environment Richard Florida talks about...hence, no need for many Starbucks.

It's sad...I see from my boyfriend's research on the old Detroit that it used to be a pretty interesting, vibrant city. I did love what was still left of downtown in 1982 -- like the big old J.L. Hudson department store -- when I worked at WDIV Channel 4 during my senior year of high school. But, mostly, Detroit, for me, was just a place to leave ASAP.

Posted by aalkon at May 22, 2006 12:48 PM

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Forgive the proselytizers -- they don’t meet a goddess every day.

Posted by: Lastango at May 22, 2006 6:35 PM

Don't complain, Jim. I moved to a town that didn't have a single Starbucks. Not a one. Thank god(dess) they've seen the light and have finally opened one.

Posted by: Jennifer at May 22, 2006 7:01 PM


Is true , you will burn in Hell

Posted by: Roddy at May 22, 2006 11:33 PM

Sometimes I wish there was a Hell. I've been told I'm on my way there, and all the cool people seem to be going.

Posted by: Kimberly at May 23, 2006 12:24 AM

Frankly, if I have to choose between sitting around on a cloud without any good magazines to read (recent New Yorker cartoon...can't find the magazine to credit the specific cartoonist)...and between being chased around by a guy with a whip and a spiky leather tail...well, the latter sounds like a lot more fun.

Roddy, why is it that the religious fanatics always write and spell like they've got teeth missing?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 23, 2006 12:47 AM

Forget heaven or hell

I was always told by my catholic father, since I have not been baptised, that I would end up floating around in limbo

I always responded, I wouldn't mind cruising around in Limbo City in my limbosine sippin' limboade... :-)

Posted by: nikki at May 25, 2006 9:35 PM

Oh, please. These people get their information where?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 25, 2006 10:29 PM

Ironically, Richard Florida is married to a native Detroiter... who still writes a weekly column for the News. Go figure :-p

Posted by: Anonymous at December 16, 2007 2:25 PM

Had no idea.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 16, 2007 2:28 PM

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