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San Francisco

Starbucks cuts back to handful of San Francisco locations amid COVID-19 crisis

Many San Francisco coffee shops remain open under California's shelter-in-place order, serving coffee to go while maintaining social distancing.

But when it comes to getting their Starbucks fix, locals may have to go a bit farther afield. 

In response to COVID-19, Starbucks announced last Friday that it would be shifting to drive-through and delivery service only at all its cafes in the United States and Canada. With no drive-through locations in San Francisco, the move would have effectively shuttered all of Starbucks' local stores. 

In response, the chain is keeping five San Francisco locations open: 1899 Union Street (Marina), 3595 California (Laurel Village), 1700 Owens (Mission Bay), 350 Parnassus (UCSF) and 1390 Market Street (Fox Plaza). Starbucks locations inside Safeway grocery stores in San Francisco will also remain open.

"We believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things," Starbucks spokesperson Jory Mendes told Hoodline. "The health and well-being of our customers and partners, as well as playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials."

Five Starbucks locations remain open in San Francisco. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Starbucks emphasized that a big part of its decision to remain open was to assist health care workers and first responders.

Those workers, as well as customers who cannot get to a physical location, can also have their purchases delivered to them through a partnership with UberEats.

Starbucks' location at UCSF (350 Parnassus) remains open. | Photo: Incredible Health/Twitter

The company also plans to pay its employees for the next 30 days, whether they choose to go to work or not. Those who do work will receive an additional $3/hour in pay through April 19.

"It is the responsibility of every business to care for its employees during this time of uncertainty, shared sacrifice, and common cause," wrote Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement.

"I hope to see many business leaders across this country doing all they can to retain jobs, pay employees, continue benefits, and demonstrate compassion as they make critical decisions," wrote Johnson. "Not every decision is a financial one."

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