The Anti-Starbucks Campaign in Ocean Beach 18 Years Ago – Photo Gallery

by on January 31, 2019 · 22 comments

in Ocean Beach

Local photographer Joe Ewing has graced us with a series of photos he took back during the Ocean Beach anti-Starbucks campaign. 18 years ago!

The photos are from protests outside the then-coming Seattle-based coffee giant, in 2001 2011. Many in OB were opposed – and the news of the campaign (before the common internet) went international.

Despite the protests, the boycott, the meetings with the corporate officials, the pleadings and despite the then-abundance of local OB coffee houses – Starbucks finally opened.  And it opened literally on 9 – 11, the day of the infamous terror attacks.

Even though over time the campaign sputtered out and the store never closed, to this day many locals exercise an informal boycott of Starbucks and refuse to go inside.

Thank you Joe!

The OB Rag has published several articles about the anti-Starbucks campaign in OB.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page January 31, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I’m one who has never set foot inside that Starbucks, although I am a Starbucks fan elsewhere. The rent they agreed to began the wave of rent increases in OB that saw other places close, like my favorite pet store on Cable and Newport. And, look at that corner now. This was the beginning of the end of OB keeping corporate stores out of OB.


ZZ January 31, 2019 at 1:13 pm

“I’m one who has never set foot inside that Starbucks, although I am a Starbucks fan elsewhere.”

Here I agree with Geoff!

Jungle Java and Your Mama’s Mug are great alternatives just across the street.

Speaking of that block, why is the grilled cheese store taking a year to open?


OB Mercy February 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Mad Munch Grilled Cheese is taking a long time to open like any place in SD because of the ridiculously long permitting process. Also, it’s not on the same block as Starbucks, but will be near OB Hardware.


Geoff Page February 4, 2019 at 9:41 am

OB Mercy, do you have any information to support your claim that the permitting process is causing a delay to this place opening up?


retired botanist January 31, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Yeah, it really was the edge of the wedge :(. Proud to say I haven’t been to a Starbucks in 10 years, anywhere. Don’t even know what a stupid pumpkin spice latte IS, haha!


kh January 31, 2019 at 9:51 pm

Geoff is that not the same pet store that is now across from Olive Tree?


Geoff Page February 1, 2019 at 10:02 am

kh, I’m not familiar with that store but I’ll check. The guy who ran the one on Cable was named Gary and he was a real curmudgeon but also good-natured. Maybe 5’10” probably in his late 50s. I had not heard he was back but if he is, I’ll go there.


kh February 1, 2019 at 10:49 am

I think it was actually where the hardware store is now, or maybe next to it… between cable and sunset cliffs. That’s the one that moved but is still in business.


Frank Gormlie January 31, 2019 at 1:22 pm

It’s all relative. When I was an attorney trying cases out in El Cajon in the summer, the Starbucks there was my respite. Air-conditioned and decent java. At that time, there were absolutely no other cool places to get coffee close to the courthouse. But I’ve never gone inside the OB one except to leave anti-Starbucks fliers.


Gary January 31, 2019 at 5:07 pm

At least you are honest about your hypocrisy! NIMBY’s to the left and NIMBY’s to the right.


Chris January 31, 2019 at 6:34 pm

OK I’m a bit confused here. Did it open on actual 9/11 or 2011? (The photos are from protests outside the then-coming Seattle-based coffee giant, in 2011.)


kh January 31, 2019 at 9:50 pm


Interestingly the protestors that carried on despite the heartbreaking news from NYC were heavily criticized for it. Yet nobody faulted Starbucks for carrying on that day.


Frank Gormlie February 1, 2019 at 11:12 am

Somebody – I forget who – actually convinced the staff to close early that day.


Frank Gormlie February 1, 2019 at 11:19 am

Sorry about that – the text originally said “2011” – which has now being corrected to “2001”. (Had to drag editordude off the bong).


editordude February 1, 2019 at 12:03 pm

That’s slanderous! I don’t hit the bong until all the blogging is complete, I swear.


Chris February 2, 2019 at 9:31 am

Ok. That being said, holy crap I can’t believe it’s been there that long. I think I stepped foot in there once to use the restroom. I always go to Jungle Java or Newsbreak.


Sam January 31, 2019 at 9:12 pm

It’s really disappointing to see all of the violent signs in the last photo. I thought OB was about being respectful of all people, even the ones you disagree with. #sad #bigly


Frank Gormlie February 1, 2019 at 11:13 am

??? What violent signs? Signs calling for a “boycott” are violent? Or was it the one about whoop-ass?


Sam February 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

The whoop ass sign as well as the threatening stay out of OB or else sign. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


kh February 1, 2019 at 9:53 am

One of them is holding a target sign.. she’s ahead of her time!


Debbie February 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

See this on Michael Moore – Starbucks and boycott and Howard Schultz.


Frank Gormlie February 2, 2019 at 11:33 am

Debbie thanks; here’s the lede: Boycott Starbucks for the good of the nation, urges Michael Moore

Last night on Late Night With Seth Meyers, ever-controversial filmmaker Michael Moore discussed ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s hotly contested presidential hopes. (Moore takes issue with Schultz’s claim of being a “self-made” billionaire, noting that Starbucks uses municipal water supplies to make their coffee.) His advice: “None of us should go to Starbucks until he announces he’s not running.” Eater


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