NYC Starbucks: 23rd & 5th

28 Feb


On this last day of February, I figured I would explore one more new neighborhood: The Flatiron District.

Apparently this small neighborhood has had an identity crisis over the past century or so. Former names include Toy District and Photo District because of the popularity of toy stores and photography studios at certain times in the 20th century. And yes, I know what’s going through your mind. And to answer your question: no, this neighborhood is not currently known for its sale and distribution of Flatirons. It is actually named after the Flatiron Building pictured above. The name was apparently a marketing ploy by real estate agents in the 80s to attract new residents to the area.

Too bad this Starbucks is not as attractive as the name of the neighborhood in which it resides. Although the service was good and the restroom clean, this was probably one of the most uninviting Starbucks I’ve been to in NYC. I think the drastically dim lighting is what turned me off initially. Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate a romantic candle lit dinner as much as the next person — but when it comes to my cafes: “Let there be light!”

Also, the seating was inadequate for filling the demand. I was lucky enough to grab a seat after receiving my drink, but there was a consistent crowd of people hovering around. One patron actually perched herself on the tiny windowsill and uncomfortably read from her giant textbook while waiting for a seat to open up. Also worth mentioning is that 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 goer.

I’m starting to differentiate the Starbucks of New York into two distinct categories: those worth lingering and those you grab on the go. This one belongs to the latter.

The Good:

The Location… Right off of Madison Square Park. Plenty to do here. Or jump on the N/R to get elsewhere.

The Line… Neither the coffee nor the restroom generated a long line — possibly because of all the other Starbucks in the area.

The Bad:

The Seating… Just a few seats scattered in the front and a small bench with tables in the back.

The Lighting… Dim — like REALLY dim… I moved to a window seat the moment one become available.

Power Outlets… All covered up. I hope this isn’t becoming a trend.

Barista Friendliness:

Service on par.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande Iced Green Tea — this is my drink of choice if I’m looking for something light. TIP: If you really like green tea, get it with no sugar and ask for “no water.” It’s strong but good.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

Dim lighting… lack of outlets… I get the picture.




2 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: 23rd & 5th”

  1. over roasted sbux manager March 3, 2013 at 5:14 AM #

    Our locations have dim lighting due to the fact that we are using LED lights, which have low watts output. And our electrical outlets were covered to discourage “customers” from making our stores into their own personal office(s). Which has been a good strategy for most of our stores.

    • Harlequin Boy March 3, 2013 at 6:10 PM #

      The dim lighting thing is just a personal preference — I’ve seen plenty of Starbucks with bright/neutral lighting. And I get the outlet covers. Trust, I’ve seen some people of New York act as if they own their Starbucks. But at the same time, removing them entirely is a shame.

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