NYC Starbucks: 39th & 8th

19 Feb


How do you know you’re in the Garment District? Just look for the array of textiles and beading in the shop windows. You’ll know.

New York City is the fashion epicenter of the United States. Young fashion-forward minds flock to New York for many reasons. NYC Fashion Week and the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology are just a few of the siren-like calls that attract those seeking a life in fashion. And at the heart of it all is the small neighborhood known as the Garment District.

I must admit that I don’t have the strongest inclination toward the fashion industry. While I don’t dress haphazardly — at least I hope not — I lack the visionary eye for fashion as an art form. And if you put me in-front of a sewing machine you’ll end up with the fashion equivalent of a finger painting. But still, I have an appreciation for those who can list off designers like family members and take a simple sketch of a design and turn it into reality.

This Starbucks on 39th and 8th isn’t adorned with fabrics nor do I see particularly fashionable people here, but it is certainly surrounded by enough wholesale fabric shops. When I first walked in I was initially disappointed by the lack of space and seating. Then I spotted a small stairwell behind the barista bar. Up the staircase exists a split-level seating area equipped with dozens of tables and chairs for all to enjoy. Yes, there’s a crowd up here, but it’s certainly not overcrowded, and there’s enough space between each table to spare you from claustrophobia that’s so common with NYC dining.

But every Starbucks has its flaw. And this one’s is its lack of power outlets. There are literally none on the second floor. In fact, what were once outlet plugs are now simply metal slabs. It’s such a tease — you know there’s power beyond it, but you have no way of attaining it. I have two theories for this unusual find. Theory #1 is that people were attempting to make this Starbucks their home, and cutting off the outlets was the only way to keep the crowds down. Theory #2 is that this particular location is a part of grass roots anti-technology movement, and cutting off the outlets is an attempt to get people to bring a book in place of a laptop.

Despite the lack of outlets, this location still has an excellent environment. I would even recommend it as a great place to hold a study group (or any kind of informal meeting), and that’s not something I can say about most Starbucks in the city.

The Good:

The Space… Two floors with plenty of room to spread out.

The Seating… The second floor is a plethora of seating — from large group tables to comfy red chairs with side tables.

The Bad:

Power Outlets… There are none! A beautiful seating area with no power — were people living on the second floor or something?

Restroom… Just one, and it’s downstairs. There are several random doors upstairs but not for patrons.

Barista Friendliness:

On par service.


Drink of Choice: 

Iced Skinny Caramel Macchiato… Whether you say carmel or caramel, give this one a try.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

This Starbucks would have been a 5-Cup if not for its lack of power.



2 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: 39th & 8th”


  1. 23rd & 5th | Starbucks and the City - February 28, 2013

    […] they have covered the available power outlets with metal plates. I’ve only ever seen this at one other location in the city, and its definitely a big turn off to any cafe […]

  2. Reflection: February | Starbucks and the City - March 1, 2013

    […] this month was most certainly the Union Square West location. Although the Astor Place and Fashion District shops deserve honorable mention. As for my least favorite location — Chinatown — all I […]

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