Let me preface this post by saying that this Starbucks is actually between Madison and Park on 42nd Street; however, for clarity’s sake I named it after the cross-street I felt it was closer to.
This Midtown Starbucks’ absence of a bathroom finally inspired me to research New York City’s codes and laws concerning public restrooms and food service establishments. And — of course — the New York Times was there to provide me with my answer. Check out this 2012 article about NYC’s shifting policy on restroom rules in restaurants. Or if you’re lazy (it’s okay, I understand) just read below:
Restaurants with under 20 seats: NO RESTROOM REQUIRED
Restaurants with seating between 20 and 30: ONE UNISEX RESTROOM REQUIRED
Restaurants with 30 or more seats: TWO GENDER SPECIFIC RESTROOMS REQUIRED
And there you have it. It all makes sense now. Since most Starbucks probably are capable of seating between 20-30 patrons, the one-unisex restroom makes perfect sense. Whereas a Starbucks of the same size in Florida would most definitely have two gender specific restrooms — and that’s because of the differing city codes. Space is of great value here in NYC, so why waste space on one or two bathrooms when you don’t need to.
This Starbucks has only 7 seats, so despite the fact that they are in a highly trafficked and see many patrons, they are well below the city code for a restroom requirement. Keep that in mind the next time you walk into a Starbucks, small deli, or cafe. Do a quick seat count before complaining that they need to have a restroom. Maybe they do — maybe they don’t.
The Location… Very conveniently placed when transportation is concerned. Directly between Times Square and Grand Central, so you can get anywhere in the city.
The Seating… Just 7 stools against the wall.
The Crowd… Very touristy — which makes sense considering it is near Bryant Park and Grand Central.
The Restroom… None… see above.
Drink of Choice:
Iced Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte… It’s probably my least favorite of the lattes that Starbucks offers, but still packs a punch of espresso.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
Seven seats. Zero bathroom. Tons of tourists.