' attempt hit a snag at Tuesday's City Council meeting, when members voted 3-2 to oppose the coffee giant's liquor license application.
The City Council cannot stop Starbucks; officials noted there isn't a legal reason to fight the application before the state Alcohol Beverage Control agency.
But the community is operating on another front, launching a campaign to push the chain to change its mind about adding beer and wine to the menu in Coronado.
Mayor Casey Tanaka objected strongly to his colleagues' decision, pointing out that the nearby had a beer and wine license. “I’ve yet to see kids sitting next to a wino,” he said.
Because alcohol sales are working at Cafe 1134, he didn’t see why it wouldn’t work at Starbucks.
“It won’t be the end of the world and the sky won’t fall,” he said. “Cafe 1134 does it well and from what I’ve seen Starbucks doesn’t run a slipshod operation.”
Councilwoman Carrie Downey voted with Tanaka, but not for the same reasons. She viewed it from a legal perspective, arguing that Starbucks is located in a zone where alcohol can be served.
"It's a matter of fairness," she said.
She then spoke as a mother of five teenagers who is disturbed by the idea. “It’s a dumb move,” she said. “I plan to send an e-mail to the corporate headquarters and tell them, shame on you and you should fire the person who picked the one city that would oppose you.”
Others on the council sided with Coronado SAFE, which vehemently opposes the idea and is trying to dissuade Starbucks from following through with its plans.
In a letter to Howard Schultz, Starbucks’s chief executive, Andrea Webster, SAFE’s executive director, argued that Starbucks is one of the few places in town people can go to where alcohol is not served, and because of that it has become a magnet for kids.
“Our teens take great joy in frequenting your business as it is and our parents feel at ease allowing their children to gather there anytime day or night,” she wrote. “We love our Starbucks as it is.”
The rest of the council agreed. “I don’t think liquor belongs in Starbucks,” Councilman Al Ovrom said.
Councilman Mike Woiwode pointed out that it isn’t just parents and kids who see Starbucks as a haven – recovery groups use the spot to meet. “Alcoholics feel safe there,” he said.
Tanaka added that to limit alcohol sales in the area, it would have to be re-zoned, which would take several months. Meanwhile the state could approve Starbucks' application.
Downey suggested a resolution, instead of a formal objection, but the idea never took flight.
Starbucks that it would expand an experiment to sell beer and wine, reaching into markets in Southern California, Chicago and Atlanta. Other liquor license applications are pending, . The plans call for new menu options as well.