After several years of trying, the City of San Gabriel finally got their first Starbucks and it was worth the wait.
By Cheryl Cabot
Located in the new elegant Sheraton Hotel at 303 E. Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel, it has pride of place on Valley Boulevard, and as Starbucks District manager, Sherri Jones said, “this is the crown jewel of the district.”
So how did the City finally get its first Starbucks? According to Fred Kokash, Director of Sales and Marketing for the San Gabriel Sheraton, it was the owners’ idea (Hazen Investment) to put a Starbucks in this location, “They contacted Starbucks and the Pyramid Hotel Group that manages the operation of the hotel, to see if it would work. They got the deal and then the city got involved to get all the permits.”
Angelica Frausto-Lupo, Economic Development Manager for the City of San Gabriel, met with the developers early on and shared with them “that San Gabriel residents want more national retailers, and how can we be a city in L.A. County without a Starbucks? We share that information with every developer that we meet with, so we shared it with the owners…and they went with it.”
A Starbucks like no other in SGV
The result is a beautiful Starbucks like no other in the San Gabriel Valley. It is expansive with high ceilings, large windows and stunning art work. It’s quiet and, as an extension of the hotel, seems to have more relaxed atmosphere than most Starbucks.
Marigine Batuhan, Sheraton Starbucks manager, said:
It’s not so fast-paced. When people come in here, they sit, relax and enjoy the ambience. The good thing about this too, [is that] we have the lobby space in the hotel. There’s a fire pit on the side. So, if we’re running out of space here, they can jump into the lobby.
“We’re not only Starbucks employees,” Batuhan continued, “we’re Sheraton employees and we’re also part of the Marriot (the parent company of Sheraton.) We follow the rules of Starbucks. All the drinks and products are the same. Our employees are trained by Starbucks, and follow all their rules.”
Only open since May, more people are learning about the new Starbucks. “This is definitely a destination site,” Butahan said, “but we do get people from the hotel and we do get a lot of locals. We also have regulars that come every day.”
Busy enough that the hours have recently been expanded from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. There’s plenty of parking with 20- minute parking on Valley right in front of the Starbucks, as well as free parking in a lot across the street and under the hotel. By using hotel parking you can come up the elevator and walk through the grand hotel lobby which has several
comfortable seating areas as well as work tables where both hotel and Starbucks patrons gather.
San Gabriel City Councilmember Juli Costanzo said:
Almost every city in America would like to have a Starbucks enhance one of their retail corridors. For the longest time I felt like San Gabriel was the only city without a Starbucks. With ongoing communication between the retailer, city staff and Councilmembers and the exciting new opening of the Sheraton, we were finally able to establish a perfect location for them. I hope this will be a catalyst of more to come as we continue to work hard to expand our national retail brands within our community!
“We’re proud to be here,” Kokash said. “We have the first Starbucks in San Gabriel. Has it been a good decision? Yes! It’s been an awesome decision.”
We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)