Starbucks no more? Beloved coffee house to relocate

The Starbucks located at 40695 Winchester Road is set to close its doors April 15 in order to move to a new location, but many longtime customers are upset about the move because they say the new location will be difficult to get to and will not have the same ambience as the current location.

For more than a decade and a half, the Winchester Road franchise has been drawing in a steady group of customers who have taken advantage of its quiet atmosphere to prepare for work, study for exams, and hold bible studies.

Many of the customers consider themselves regulars and know each other by name; some have even gone as far as spending time together at social functions outside of the walls of the franchise.

But now, as the Starbucks seeks to add a drive through by moving to the former Carl’s Jr. building near the entrance of the Northbound 1-15, customers feel as though it’s the end of an era.

“It’s just a real great location,” said Customer Deborah Hughes. “We’ll be sad to see it close.”

Hughes has been one of the franchise store’s oldest customers. She said she’s been grabbing her morning cup of joe there for at least the past 15 years.

She remembers what it was like to be a Temecula resident in the late ‘90s before the housing boom took off and before the city was a place to visit.

Back in those days, she said, people were more laid back and could often be seen wearing jeans and t-shirts. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry.

But then the city became more of a desirable place to live; people came in, houses sprung up, and demographics changed.

Hughes’ life has changed, too. In these past few years she’s been finishing up her bachelor’s degree at the University of Phoenix and has plans to attain a master’s degree. She’s also a mother of three now.

But amid all the change happening throughout the city, the Starbucks on Winchester Road has remained a constant both for Hughes and for other self-proclaimed regulars. Now that it’s going to move to a new location, many of those individuals are trying to determine whether it’s time to find a new go-to spot.

For Deborah, the problem is getting in and out of the location.

“It looks to me like there’s very little parking (in that lot),” she said. “There might be 20 to 25 parking spots total, so that’s a concern.”

“I would not be able to make a left,” she said. “I would have to take the access road and continue out onto Ynez and go through the next light or two to make a U-turn and head back down onto Winchester.”

Some customers meanwhile have been trying hard to keep the Starbucks from moving in the first place. Bill Kirkpatrick is one of those individuals.

Kirkpatrick scheduled a rally Saturday, March 1, where he encouraged customers to grab a cup of coffee and bring some friends along.

His said his hope was that high sale levels might indicate to higher-ups at the corporate level of Starbucks that the location was worth keeping. Unfortunately, the weekend’s rain kept the location from being much busier than it usually is, as many people opted to stay inside the comfort of their warm homes.

Still, Kirkpatrick said he hasn’t given up on the idea of finding an alternative solution to moving the Starbucks to where the old Carl’s Jr. used to stand. He said he’s not opposed to seeing the Starbucks move if it really must, but doesn’t like the idea of having it in that location.

One of the primary reasons the new location doesn’t work for many customers, he said, is its proximity to a homeless encampment.

“With the homeless hanging around it’s just not conducive to an environment for single women or families going in there,” said Kirkpatrick. “Or even to have my daughter go in there to study for a college exam just because of the alcohol and drugs and some of the things that go on over there.”

Starbucks management has declined to comment on the franchises’ intended move.

However, Kirkpatrick said he’s been in talks with higher-ups at Starbucks and has expressed the concerns that he and others have and they’ve suggested possible alternatives like opening up the Promenade Mall Starbucks an hour earlier to accommodate people’s schedules.

Nothing is set in stone yet though and Kirkpatrick, Hughes and others are still waiting to see what happens to their coffee house of choice. They said they’ll still be working hard to save the Starbucks from moving over the coming weeks.

“We’re just trying to start this small fire and turn it into a big fire so our voices can be heard,” Kirkpatrick said.

11 Responses to "Starbucks no more? Beloved coffee house to relocate"

  1. Location, Location   March 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    It would have helped to reference the Starbucks slated for closure as being the one in the Trader Joe’s shopping center. The move sounds like a mistake and Starbucks might want to question why Carl’s abandoned that location. Corporate probably wants a freeway-close Starbucks with a drive-thru, but that is one of the heaviest congested intersections in Temecula not worth navigating for a cup of coffee.

  2. Kim Ransom   March 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Does nobody see the irony in this? Wow Starbucks is moving down the street and will be near a homeless encampment. Starbucks is a luxury. Anyone living in a homeless encampment certainly can’t afford Starbucks and likely doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from let alone their next venti latte. Don’t people have anything better to do than worry about the minor inconvenience of an address change? I sometimes frequent the Starbucks in the Target Plaza. I often see homeless people as well as people high on drugs. I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe.

    I’m appalled that this is front page news and extremely disappointed that the people quoted in this article can’t direct their time and effort into something worthwhile. Lord knows there are enough places to do so.

  3. JJJ Schmidt   March 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

    "One of the primary reasons the new location doesn’t work for many customers […] is its proximity to a homeless encampment."

    I can’t even. I agree that the proposed location will be inconvenient for regular customers, seeing as it’s one of the most inconvenient of locations to get to, but God forbid they should have to see another destitute human being. Same on them for worrying over their overpriced coffee while others should want for a hot meal. Truly, Kirkpatrick’s head is in the clouds.

  4. fallbrook lady   March 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Homeless encampment aside, as others have mentioned, that is one of the most inconvenient centers to get in and out of in all of Temecula. Who dreams this stuff up? Oh well, it will languish for a couple of years and then hopefully be relocated once again. At least there will be more parking available now in the Trader Joe’s center, another difficult place to park much of the time.

  5. Jeff K   March 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The article is about the loss that will be felt when the closing of the gathering place of many friends will soon be upon them.

    The article is not about the price of a cup of coffee.
    The article is not about the homeless.
    The article is not about whether or not Starbucks is a worthy enterprise.

    The article presents no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull and sickening realization that what we once and presently hold dear will soon be gone.

    As Deborah Hughes, who is diligent, hard working (BS, MS, mother of 3 girls), extraordinarily beautiful, and the kindest and smartest observer of the human condition one can find so poignantly states:

    We’ll be sad to see it close.

  6. karen   March 9, 2014 at 12:14 am

    You folks act like it is a magical one of a kind place! It is a dang starbucks, with corporate designed EVERYTHING. Get over it. As someone who moved to temecula in 1985, when it was still rancho california, i have seen much more unique and truly local businesses actually go under…so a relocation of a corporate shop is so not important.

  7. Tom   March 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Starbucks is smart in moving and hopefully this will make less congestion in the parking lot. The area over there is growing with the connection of Ynez to Jackson in Murrieta to come.

  8. Reality Checker   March 10, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The new location will be ok, they will gain the business of all the park-n-ride people, the added drive through business, and better parking, too. It’ll be a morning commuter benefit mostly, for those commuters hauling butt down Winchester trying to get to the 15 South. Then again, that’s a dang NHRA drag race trying to get three lanes of jammed up traffic on Winchester down into one lane for the southbound 15 on ramp. At least until the empty acreage over by the new Mercedes-Benz dealership starts to lease out. Now THAT would be the ABSOLUTE BEST location for a Spankin’ new HUGE Super-Nice Starbucks!! On a side note, that would be an awesome spot for Temecula’s own Cheesecake Factory, too! The two of those together would be great right there!!!

  9. Carlbucks   March 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    The move is going to happen. The conversion of the Carl’s to Starbucks is underway. Much abrew over nothing.

  10. just coffee   March 11, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    It’s just GD coffee people! Get over it! You can go to another EstrellaBucks!

  11. Matthew Piekutowski   April 16, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I used to combine a Trader Joe’s trip with a Starbucks trip in one parking lot – I loved and love the store. I’ve been away for 2 years in Hawaii and Poland and I just can’t believe what a mistake Starbucks is commiting and what a lack of BASIC CARE AND RESPECT THEY DARE COMMITTING AGAINST US – CUSTOMERS. I feel betrayed by the company. Corporations can suck as this is the case here. If they had any heart they would have kept this location open and opened the other one in Carl’s junior place. No respect.


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