Even caution tape and the smell of wet paint cannot keep customers away from their daily Starbucks fix.
Undergoing a $140,000 renovation that store managers expect to last four to six weeks, the caffeine-addicts’ hub on Chapel Street will remain open for the majority of the renovation process. Store manager Matt Veteto said although the store is being redone top to bottom, the renovation is being conducted in phases in order to avoid disrupting business.
“It’s going to be a step-by-step process, otherwise we would have to shut down the entire store, and customers would be outraged,” Veteto said.
Renovations began last week with the stripping of the walls and sections of the floor. The next steps will be to tear down certain walls, replace the entire floor, build additional seating and repaint the walls with brighter colors.
Starbucks will be closing at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week to allow contractors full access to the area, but it will maintain regular hours Friday through Sunday.
Veteto said for the most part, customers have been patient with the construction and receptive of the change. During the renovations, the menu has been temporarily displaced from the walls, but Veteto said fortunately, most people “already know exactly what they’re going to order” when they walk through the door.
Jackie Carter ’07 said she studies at Starbucks nearly every day, and has continued to do so throughout the renovation. She said it has been more difficult for her to concentrate during the past week not because of the construction, but because of the increased crowding.
“Because there is temporarily less seating available with part of the store closed off, there are more people in a concentrated area, which makes it harder to study,” Carter said. “But if the renovation means there will eventually be more seating and comfortable chairs, that would be pretty nice.”
Assistant manager Marty Caliern said the store’s renovation was a long time coming. Every year, Starbucks evaluates the quality of its stores, and this year the New Haven space was deemed due for a change.
“Customers have expectations based on other Starbucks they go to, and this is one of the older ones,” Caliern said. “It was a tired store, and it needed a face-lift.”
Veteto said his goal is to provide the cleanest, friendliest and most welcoming environment to his customers, and he thinks that the renovation is an opportunity to impress and attract New Haven residents, particularly Yalies, with the changes.
“We recognize that our Yale customers have very high expectations,” Veteto said. “Our goal is to promote an experience where they are wowed by the service, the atmosphere and the beverage.”
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