It's an absolutely beautiful perfect day in Venice, 76 and sunny, everyone looking and feeling great as I cruised down the Boardwalk on my morning visit to the ocean. There have long been rumors that a Starbucks was going to take over the space vacated by the Venice Freak Show, but no one ever thought it could really happen - not here in Venice, one of the most unique places in the world that actively shuns corporate interests and homogenization. But it has. The doors are now open for business at Starbucks (THE symbol of gentrification) in the Freak Show space, in what is the biggest possible slap in the face to a community perhaps ever. Anyone who thought this was a good idea is sadly out of touch with reality.
The business that was the MOST perfect Venice Boardwalk attraction possible has been replaced by the LEAST likely place to ever be welcome in this town ... and people are upset. I'm upset. WHO thought this would go over well? I believe Snapchat is still the landlord of the building, so we'll continue to despise them and wish their stock to fall ever lower in a karmic comeuppance that is celebrated by Venetians every time we hear of a new low. Whenever I see someone grown putting one of Snap's stupid filters on their face, I lose a little respect. Seriously. But, STARBUCKS?! On the BOARDWALK?! This is war.
There was a security guard (what coffee shop needs a guard? They know we don't want them.) holding court outside the place (as I'd NEVER step a foot inside), and I asked if it was open. He replied that it was, and I nearly cried. I told him this was outrageous and to please tell his employer that we don't want them here and they are not ever going to be welcome. I know some misguided people like their Starbucks coffee, but if I ever see anyone from Venice going into this location, there's going to be words. If you must have that swill, there are plenty of other locations that don't spit in the face of Venice. A Starbucks on the Boardwalk was always a joke, like yeah right, that could never happen. But here it is. It's times like these that you really miss the V-13.
It was quiet when I was down there, with maybe one or two tourists going in, but I'm hoping this is the calm before the storm. The storm of outraged people who love Venice and realize that this seriously puts the entire history and legacy of Venice on the endangered list - if not quite extinct yet. The storm of protests that greet this corporate behemoth every day they open their doors. The storm of a backlash so big that it puts this Starbucks location out of business before their lease is up.
Starbucks just wrecked my beautiful morning, and I'm pissed. People are making signs of protest as you read, and I hope that you will give this terrible joke of a space the double middle fingers every time you pass by - until it's gone.