In its latest remodel, the Castro Starbucks (4094 18th St.), commonly called Bearbucks in the neighborhood, has removed all of its seating in a switch to a grab-and-go format.
On a recent visit by a Hoodline reporter, contractors working on the remodel confirmed that all the seating had been removed.
Gone are the benches and tables up against the wall and a long communal table in the middle of the cafe.
Additionally, the coffee bar has been extended the entire length of the cafe, removing a smaller standing area for customers awaiting their orders.
Contractors working inside the Castro Starbucks, the coffee bar has been extended. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
Benches out front, which are often locked up, have not been removed at this time.
"As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers," said a Starbucks spokesperson in a statement to Hoodline. "We can confirm a renovation is taking place at the Starbucks located at 4094 18th Street in San Francisco, CA to better meet customer needs."
The spokesperson tells Hoodline that the Castro Starbucks temporarily closed on March 13 and will reopen on March 18. The spokesperson did not respond to Hoodline's question about why the seating was removed.
While seating inside the store had been available, for months store policy no longer allowed customers to sit down. Castro residents in search of a cafe to work from will now have to look elsewhere in the Castro coffee cluster.
Seating inside the Castro Starbucks has been removed. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
"The repairs did not pose a health or safety hazard to Starbucks employees or guests," said a Starbucks spokesperson at the time.
This isn't the first time that the Castro Starbucks has undergone a remodel. Longtime Castro residents will recall in 2012 the Castro Starbucks was remodeled and the seating was rearranged.
Artwork depicting the Castro Starbucks prior to 2012 remodel. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
Since then, artwork depicting the cafe before the remodel has hung on the wall as a reminder of what it used to look like. Hoodline can confirm that the artwork remains, but has been moved to a new location.
The Castro Starbucks was formerly home to Pasqua Coffee, a San Francisco-based retail coffee chain that was named The Pedestrian Café when it opened in 1983. Pasqua started as a single store and grew to almost 60 locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City before it was acquired by Starbucks Coffee in 1999.