Between cash, lunch and an errand, I walked the full length of the Irvine Spectrum today, and realized there will soon be 7 coffee shops in or near the shopping center—and 4 of them are Starbucks.
It opened with just one: a Diedrich Coffee, attached to Barnes & Noble.
Phase 2 (from the movie theaters to the carousel) added a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Phase 3 (from the carousel to the ferris wheel) doubled the number, adding a Kelly’s Coffee & Fudge, and a Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble, which moved into the new section.
Somewhere around then the Diedrich closed. Without the bookstore traffic, it was off in a corner where only people going to restaurants would see it.
Then they put in a Nordstrom, with a Nordstrom e-Bar.
Then they extended the mall past the Nordstrom, put a Target at the end, and put a Starbucks in the Target.
Then they built an apartment complex across the street, and put a Starbucks in the apartment complex.
Now they’ve gone back to the first section, adding a new row of shops in front of the movie theater. And they’re filling in a corner long left vacant…with another Starbucks.
The new shopping center, The District (built on a corner of the former MCAS Tustin base), has an ad campaign with the slogan, “A million reasons why.” Each poster shows someone posing with a random number and something that can be found, done, or resolved by going there.
Here’s a guy who has his priorities straight. They’ve got Peet’s, Seattle’s Best Coffee, there’s a coffee bar in the Whole Foods, and who knows how many more restaurants that serve it.
Of course, if he wanted more choices, he’d be better off going to the Irvine Spectrum. They’ve got a Coffee Bean, a Kelly’s, 2 Starbucks (and a third on the way), and a Nordstrom Espresso Bar. And once upon a time, they had a Diedrich…
Speaking of Diedrich, the one on Culver and Barranca is still around at least through next summer. I haven’t been by the one near UCI lately, but I seem to recall hearing October, so it may not be long for this world.
Hmm, you know what? That poster lists a lot of caffeine sources, but it doesn’t say anything about coffee. With luck they won’t be too confused if you just order a coffee, as in this strip from Real Life Comics. 😀
Bumper sticker spotted on a Corner Bakery delivery van:
It reminds me of the warnings you see on cardboard coffee cups that say things like, “The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot.” Though my favorite is still one from the late, lamented* Diedrich Coffee that said, “Of course it’s hot!”
*OK, they’re not completely gone—there are still two stores left in Orange County since Starbucks bought them out and either closed or converted the rest. *grumble*
We have four coffee-house chains in the area, in addition to local places.
My favorite is Diedrich Coffee, with a couple dozen locations in Orange County, two each in LA and San Diego… and three each in Houston and Denver. (In the last few months, Diedrich has started selling T-shirts that say, “Venti, Schmenti.”)
Then there’s Kelly’s Coffee and Fudge Factory, which had about five locations the last time I checked but now has about thirty scattered around Southern California with one more in Lake Havasu… and according to their website, they’re opening one in Riyadh. Yes, Riyadh.
And then there are the international chains. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is all over the American Southwest and Southeast Asia. Starbucks, of course, is everywhere.
At one point we had all four chains in one mall. The first phase of the Irvine Spectrum had a Diedrich Coffee attached to the Barnes & Noble, before the bookstore hooked up with Starbucks. The second phase added a Coffee Bean. The third phase added a Kelly’s, and the Barnes & Noble moved to the new section… and added a Starbucks coffee bar inside. Unfortunately the Diedrich’s was off in a corner, and without the bookstore to bring people in, it eventually closed.
Edit: I can’t believe I forgot these, but if you really look for them, you can find Peet’s and Seattle’s Best. Neither has many stores in the area, though.