Castro Starbucks removes all seating in latest remodel

In its most recent remodel, the Castro Starbucks (4094 18th St.), commonly referred to locally as Bearbucks, removed all of its seating and switched to a grab-and-go format.

During a recent visit by a Hoodline reporter, contractors working on the remodel confirmed that all seating had been removed.

Gone are the benches and tables along the wall and a long communal table in the middle of the cafe.

In addition, the coffee bar has been extended the full length of the café, removing a smaller standing area for customers waiting for their orders.

Contractors work at the Castro Starbucks, the coffee bar has been expanded. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Benches in front of the door, which are often locked, have not been removed at this time.

“As a normal course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio against various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers,” a Starbucks spokesman said in a statement to Hoodline. “We can confirm that Starbucks at 4094 18th Street in San Francisco, California is undergoing a renovation to better serve customer needs.”

The announcer tells Hoodline that the Castro Starbucks will be temporarily closed on March 13th and will reopen on March 18th. The announcer did not respond to Hoodline’s question as to why the seating was removed.

Castro residents looking for a coffee shop to work need look no further in the Castro Cafe Cluster.

Seats at the Castro Starbucks have been removed. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Hoodline readers will recall that Castro Starbucks was closed for four months between December 2021 and April 2022 while facility issues were fixed.

“The repairs posed no health or safety risk to Starbucks employees or guests,” a Starbucks spokesman said at the time.

This isn’t the first time the Castro Starbucks has undergone a remodel. Longtime Castro residents will remember that the Castro Starbucks was remodeled in 2012 and the seating rearranged.

Artwork depicting the Castro Starbucks before the 2012 remodel. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Since then, artwork has hung on the wall showing the café before the renovation, as a reminder of what it used to look like. Hoodline can confirm that the artwork survives but has been moved to a new location.

The Castro Starbucks was formerly home to Pasqua Coffee, a San Francisco-based coffee retail chain that was called The Pedestrian Café when it opened in 1983. Pasqua began as a one-man shop and grew to nearly 60 locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City before being acquired by Starbucks Coffee in 1999.


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