I’ll have a double espresso and a glance at the neighborhood economies, please. Starbucks can provide more than an array of caffeine rich products. It can tell us a bit about the vitality of neighborhood economies. How? Hours of operation.
Starbucks and the Hood
Starbucks is an indicator of neighborhood economic activity because its operating hours, more often than not, coincide with that of its neighbors. For example, in South Beach, Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road and Pennsylvania closes at 2AM on Saturdays, a half hour after Starbucks across the street. Nearby Van Dyke Cafe opens its doors one hour after Starbucks, daily. In Brickell, Publix (in Mary Brickell Village) opens its doors a little over an hour after the nearby Starbucks, and PF Changs, right around the corner, closes at the same time as Starbucks on Saturdays and just one hour later on the weekdays. The correlations repeat wherever you go.
One Here and Another There
For the purpose of this (un)scientific study, I took two Starbucks in Downtown and South Beach, and one in Brickell, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, gathered their operating hours on Wednesday and Saturday, and deduced the average hours of operation per store. South Beach and Coconut Grove have been late night hubs for years, so their 18 hour average work day is no surprise.
Early Bird Brickell
The Mary Brickell Village location is open until 12AM on Saturdays which indicates what we already know: economic activity in the Brickell area is stretching into the night, certainly on the weekends. It’s worth noting that the Brickell location opens at 5:30AM. Brickell’s 17.5 hour daily stretch is just trailing behind South Beach’s 18 hours.
Uptown Up Early
The Starbucks on Biscayne Boulevard and 30th Street (let’s call it “Uptown”) is another early bird, opening up earlier than the Brickell one, at an excruciatingly early 5:00AM. Its closing time of 10:15PM shows neighborhood night owl activity to be limited for retailers.
Out to Lunch, Downtown
The Downtown Flagler location, which tallied up the least hours, unlike all others, is closed on Sunday. Its nearest downtown counterpart, located at 110 SE 3rd Avenue, is open on Sundays but closes relatively early during the week at 8PM. Collectively, Downtown’s Starbucks operate for an average of 12.5 hours a day; considerably behind the rest of the urban fold. It is a microcosm of the limitations of the retail sector in Downtown which is a great place for weekday lunch but not much more.