Soon, Santa Monica will have more Starbucks than post offices (three), fire stations (five), libraries (five), and City Council members (seven) combined.
The 21st Starbucks coffee in Santa Monica is slated to replace a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Pico Boulevard at Stewart Street, according to documents filed with the Architecture Review Board.
The Seattle-based coffee giant wants to replace the drive-thru KFC with a drive-thru Starbucks, the second drive-thru Starbucks in the city. They’re seeking approval of the building design, colors, materials, and landscape plans for the project.
Last year, a Starbucks replaced the Tommy’s Burger on Lincoln Boulevard at Pico Boulevard. Starbucks also sought an alcohol license for its new location across the street from City Hall. It got an initial approval, drawing ire from some residents, but ultimately the request for a license was retracted.
Santa Monica has a long history with Starbucks. Earlier this month, the Frappuccino, which was invented at a Starbucks on the Third Street Promenade, according to an article by the food blog Eater LA, celebrated its 20th birthday.
According to Starbucks’ website, there are already 20 locations throughout the city. Seven are located inside other stores, like Vons, Ralphs, or Barnes & Noble, while the other 13 (soon to be 14) are freestanding locations.
According to City Hall’s list of the city’s principal employers, Starbucks employed 194 people throughout the city in 2012, the most readily available statistic. That was good enough to place them among the top 50 largest employers in the city, just ahead of companies like Apple and the Viceroy Hotel.
And it’s not just Starbucks. Santa Monica is loaded with coffee shops.
On top of the 20 Starbucks, there are eight Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations throughout the beachside city, according to that company’s website.
Last year, when Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first West Coast location in years, people camped out overnight to be first in line when the chain, which is blandly ubiquitous on the East Coast, served its first cup of coffee.
Philz, the Bay Area coffee franchise with a cult follow, brought its first Southern California location to Santa Monica last year to much fanfare. Bulletproof Coffee, which enjoys a similar cult-like adoration from its fans, will open on Main Street later this month.
Funnel Mill, on Broadway, is the go-to Los Angeles-area coffee shop for people who like paying $90 for a cup of coffee made from civet (a ferret-like rodent) crap.
Bob Dylan is rumored to own the 18th Street Coffee House on Broadway, though no one has been able to confirm that.
Dogtown Coffee, on Main Street, occupies the space that formerly housed Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions, which is widely cited as the gathering place for the Z-Boys, a group that popularized aerial skateboarding in the 1970s.
The Architectural Review Board will consider approving Starbucks’ design requests at its meeting tonight.