NYC Starbucks: West 4th & Washington Square East

19 Mar


Ever been to a Starbucks that just didn’t… feel right? You couldn’t quite put your finger on it but something was off. It could have been the service, the location, or just a general “vibe” you got. Ever think you may have been at a non-corporate licensed Starbucks?

Today I am sitting at one in the heart of New York University (aka Washington Square Park). What’s a licensed Starbucks, you ask? Basically, there are some locations that look like a Starbucks, taste like a Starbucks, and act like a Starbucks — but in fact, they are not. Hotels, universities, airports, and amusement parks are the prime suspects for these licensed stores. Target stores are a prime example. Obviously most consumers cannot tell the difference, and both Starbucks and the business want to keep it that way.

Licensed or corporate owned, this NYU Starbucks has me sold. Simply because it is a gigantic location filled with mostly empty chairs. You could fit 4-5 Midtown Starbucks locations in this space alone. The decor is pretty spot-on with standard Starbucks, and they even have framed black & white pictures of NYC hung throughout. This is definitely a great location for study groups or business meetings, and the fact that it’s in the southeast corner of Washington Square Park is just gravy.

Like I said, this Starbucks has me sold, but others may not agree. Since it is NYU owned it may not be as welcoming to those who aren’t students of the university like I am. For instance, it’s WiFi services are through NYU not AT&T — meaning you need a student ID and password to gain access. Also the hours are a major setback. It’s only open until 7pm daily. Do students not study at night anymore? Apparently not past 7pm.

The Good:

The Size… A whale of a location — simply giant.

The Seating… Seating everywhere — and not crowded together. This location is so large the seating can actually be spread out.

The Crowd… Not too crowded and very studious — what would you expect right?

Location… Washington Square Park — enough said.

The Bad:

The Hours… Only open until 7pm each day. Gasp! If any location in the city deserves to be 24-hrs I would think it would be the university location.

License not Corporate… If I have my facts straight, that means you cannot accrue or use reward points at this location

Restroom… Just one, and you actually need to swap your license for a key to access it.

WiFi… You need student access.

Barista Friendliness:

They may not be official “Starbucks partner” but they could have fooled me.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande Iced Vanilla Latte… in other words, a Caramel Macchiato without the caramel sauce and stirred together.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

Longer hours would have made this location a 5-Cup — easy.



3 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: West 4th & Washington Square East”

  1. rebecca (@_rebecca5) March 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

    It wasn’t busy this week because it’s spring break… trust me that location gets insanely crowded.

    • Harlequin Boy March 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM #

      That’s a very good point. I completely forgot about the break. I may need HK reassess this one later.


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