Two cafes close near campus

Tom Andrew

City College students, and faculty, will be looking for other ways to get their daily caffeine fix now that Starbucks and Maui Wowi, both by the City College trolley stop, have closed their doors for good this past September.

Sara Putnam, the manager of the now closed Maui Wowi, explained that the cost to run the store was just too high.

” I would get to the store every morning to find graffiti all over the windows, that and the many homeless people, kids and high school students didn’t help business. We were doing better every day, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Maui Wowi, a franchise, has another location in Oceanside and while the owners saw that business was getting better they just felt the area wasn’t what they had originally thought.

Putnam mentioned the possibility of the space being leased to someone else, but at the moment those plans have been put on hold while the interested parties wait to hear back from the owners.

As for Starbucks at the corner of 11th and C Streets, baristas made their last Caramel Machiattos on Friday and also closed its doors forever, leaving many regular customers concerned about the companies’ future.

“Aside from the fact that the closest Starbucks to the City College campus is now at 10th and Market, I am beginning to wonder when, and if, they may get word that they need to close as well” said Alex Ojeda, City College student and regular customer. Ojeda added, “I may not be a coffee drinker per se, but I do get my morning tea here and the occasional iced mocha.”

Last year, Starbucks announced that in the next year it would be closing 600 stores countrywide, 30 of them in the San Diego area. The campus Starbucks is now the third location to close in the downtown area, leaving City College students scrambling to find the closest spot to get their cappuccinos.

Jeff, a barista at the now closed location and also a City College student, says that he will either get his morning coffee at the 28th and B location, or at 10th and Market. “That means I have to get up earlier, not only so I can get a coffee, but also so I can find parking, which continues to become more, and more, scarce.”

Fellow baristas, managers, and assistant managers, from the now closed campus location, feel the same uncertainty about the company, and find that even though they are all moving to other locations, many wonder if their jobs may be safe in the future.

As Ojeda sipped what was left of his iced mocha, he said, “We don’t really have too many choices left. Either we get our coffee on campus, at McDonalds or here at the Honey Bee Hive, and frankly, this wasn’t very good.”

With 26 more Starbucks locations closing in the next seven months, and no hope of Maui Wowi reopening anytime soon, these growing concerns may be well founded.