After Battling To Get Into San Diego's Ocean Beach, Controversial Starbucks Location Set To Close By Year's End

November 20, 2022

After battling to enter San Diego's notoriously anti-corporate neighborhood of Ocean Beach, Starbucks on Newport Avenue will serve its last coffees this December. 

On March 25th, 2001, the first "No Starbucks in OB" protest took place throughout San Diego's bohemian beach town of Ocean Beach. Hundreds gathered throughout the streets of OB to demonstrate to the Seattle-based conglomerate that the community was not looking for "Big Coffee". Starbucks responded to the protest by almost immediately signing a lease for a quaint space on the corner of Newport Avenue and Bacon Street.  

Starbucks eventually opened at 4994 Newport Avenue on September 11, 2001, the same day as the 9/11 terror attacks. When it opened, the OB Starbucks was one of sixty-seven locations of the coffee cafe chain in San Diego County. It has since been known as one of the least profitable in the city. 

Starbucks sole Ocean Beach branch will shutter after service on December 12, 2022. Employees will be offered positions at other area stores. Earlier this summer, Starbucks announced the closure of many stores throughout the country due to ongoing safety issues. 

"After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions," a Starbucks spokesperson previously told Insider magazine for an article published this past August. 

Incidents mentioned that could precipitate store closures are reported to involve customers and other members of the public using drugs in the stores, and the closures are for the safety of customers and employees. There has been many reports of homeless encampments and public drug use in the area around the Ocean Beach location.