Opinion: Freret Starbucks falls short


Katelyn Fecteau

People work quietly on laptops, Feb. 21, 2018, in the new Starbucks location on Freret Street and Jefferson Avenue. At peak times, the coffee shop is often congested with students, both college and high school alike. Photo credit: Katelyn Fecteau

Alana Davis

When I signed a lease on a house on Freret Street last year, I was excited to be close to all the food and fun that this vibrant Uptown street has to offer. Dat Dog, Mint and tons of amazing happy hour specials would be practically on my doorstep. The closest of these amenities was Village Coffee and Tea Co., which my roommate and I could literally see from our front porch. Through a summer of construction on Jefferson Avenue, we waited for our coffee shop to open up, eagerly awaiting the day where we could walk 88 (we counted) steps from our front door to get our caffeine fix, like our own Central Perk from “Friends.” One day, when construction workers took down the sign for Village Coffee, we told ourselves that maybe they were remodeling.

Then it re-opened as a Starbucks.

Not only was it disappointing to see a local, New Orleans-based coffee shop replaced, but it’s also just not the same quality of coffee shop. I already had easy access (and Wolfbucks to spend) at the Starbucks on campus, but I found that it has the same problems as the one we have in the Danna Center at Loyola: it’s full of Tulane students.

I gave this new Starbucks a try. I would go in there and do my homework (especially when our house’s Wi-Fi wasn’t working for a week) or grab a quick latte to go. To their credit, the employees tried to hone in on that personal, local coffee shop mood by remembering my name, but it just wasn’t the same. Luring in students with free Wi-Fi (that doesn’t work) and cramming them into those leather chairs with their Pink Drinks has commercialized the coffee shop experience that I used to love at Village Coffee.

Maybe this new Starbucks will ease the volume of non-Loyola students at our own Danna Center location, but I doubt it. Until then, I’ll keep passing it on my way to Mojo Coffee House, a New Orleans-local cafe with better food, coffee, service, Wi-Fi and atmosphere.