If you're one of those people who thinks Starbucks would be much improved if all the hipsters disappeared, you'll love this karmic post.
A federal appeals court ruled today Starbucks owes Massachusetts baristas more than $14 million for tips that were shared with supervisors between 2005 and 2011, because state law bars managers from dipping into the tip jar.
Starbucks tried to pour cold water on a class-action suit on behalf of more than 11,000 former and current baristas by arguing that "shift supervisors" weren't really managers because they mostly did the same work as baristas and so were entitled to the perk of sharing in pooled tips collected from customers.
The Globe reports the chain will pilot wireless cellphone charging at 17 Boston outlets. You'll need a special mat to put under your phone to soak in all the wireless electricity, but Starbucks says it may have some to give away or to let customers borrow.
Wireless power technology has advanced a bit since the days when Nikola Tesla built his 187-foot-high Wardenclyffe tower on Long Island:
The Boston Licensing Board today granted a food-serving license to a Starbucks proposed for 11 West Broadway in South Boston, with hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In other Southie dining news, the board also approved a license for Al's Pizza and Grill at 402 West Broadway.
The Chelsea Record can't restrain its enthusiasm for the city's first Starbucks - finally, proof that Chelsea is no longer a gritty backwater where people have no appreciation for "a richer, sometimes exotically mixed cup of coffee" but instead a more refined community on the move:
A Starbucks in Chelsea is a good barometer of things that are happening here.
Better yet, it is a good barometer of things to come.
We welcome Starbucks.
What a wonderful addition to the mall.
The Boston Licensing Board today approved a license for a Starbucks at 1944 Beacon St., across the street from a Dunkin' Donuts.
Rhea Becker reports she was feeling kind of bad when a woman who turned out to be a Dutch tourist asked her if she knew of any nearby coffeehouses and all she could think of was a Starbucks:
I told [her] that I don't like to recommend chains. In fact, when I visited Amsterdam a few years ago, I loved the multitude of little cafes all over the city, all independently owned. She countered with, "But you don't know what you're getting in each of those cafes. The coffee could be bad. With Starbucks, you know what you're getting."
The Phoenix reports a 40-something guy walked into the Starbucks on Brookline Avenue this afternoon, shouted "I'M RICH! I'M RICH!" and then flung fistfuls of dollar bills into the air before walking out.
Tim O'Reilly tweets that as of July 1, Starbucks will eliminate fees for using wireless in its stores.
For some reason, the Globe today posted a map showing every single Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks in this great state of ours. Not surprisingly, greater Boston is just one giant blotch of red (the color they used to show Dunk's outlets). But that got me to thinking (often not a good thing). Where, exactly, is the galactic center of this vast coffee way?
Theoretically, should be easy enough to calculate: Just grab all the coordinates of all those pushpins, average them out, and voila.
Our roving reporter notes a Teamster picket outside the Starbucks at 755 Boylston St. this morning. He says the issue is not the taste of the coffee but "SB's supplier DPI has fired employees for trying to organize a union. DPI supplies SB with everything except the coffee beans."
Tammy loathes the lids Starbucks now slaps on its cold coffee drinks, because they wind up crushing the straws you put through them:
... I hate it. Especially since I get a Caramel Macchiato… and one of my favorite things about this drink, is that the caramel settles at the bottom of the cup and then gets sucked up through the straw. However, when the straw collapes like this, the caramel gets stuck on the other side of the crease! ...
With shocking photos of a straw being crushed.
Because I refuse to get a CrackBerry, I didn't get the last minute e-mail that the guy I was supposed to meet at the Starbucks at School and Province streets this afternoon got pulled into a sudden meeting. So instead I spent 20 minutes inhaling pure diesel fumes and carbon monoxide. Inside the Starbucks.
An NStar crew was doing some work down a manhole right in front of the place. They had their truck running the whole time. The truck was in bad need of a tuneup, or something, because it emitted a constant fog of smoke and fumes - except for when it would belch every so often and put out even more smoke and fumes. The exhaust pipe was pointed right at the front entrance of the Starbucks, maybe four feet away. Whenever somebody walked into the Starbucks, you could see the smoke come in with them. After awhile, I neared my limit and went outside for some fresh air. Still not knowing the guy wasn't showing up, I went in the back entrance for one last look. It was like walking into the Back Bay Station waiting area right after a commuter train has pulled in. Gag.
I pity the poor workers, and wonder where I can get my lungs washed out.
Alicia goes down to the Quincy Market Starbucks with a gift card, buys one of its new fruity Vivanno drinks, reports:
... The smoothie had a unique taste to it; it definitely didn't taste like oranges, mangoes and/or bananas, but it was sweet and I became slightly nostalgic drinking it. About halfway through the drink, I realized what it tasted exactly like: amoxicillin! Amoxicillin is the pink bubblegum flavored medicine I used to take for ear infections, and it was delicious (for a medicine.) I'm not sure if drinking Vivannos will cure a bacterial infection, but they sure taste like they will.
By developing a line of tasteless breakfast sandwiches that drip grease on your shirt - but still with that classic Starbucks faux-European name - Brian Kane reports:
... Even though their turbo oven is supposed to make things nice and toasty, this sucker was like half-cooked pie dough when I got it — not firm enough to retain its shape when picked up, so that it sort of drooped on my fingers like Silly Putty, but just firm enough to start to crumble when I tried to fold it up a bit. It was also almost completely devoid of any discernible flavor. ...