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Lincoln Hills Starbucks on chopping block?

By: Cheri March The News Messenger
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Rumors have been flying over the fate of several of Lincoln’s Starbucks in the wake of the announcement that 600 Starbucks nationwide are scheduled to close their doors. According to the Seattle Times, one of the stores on the chopping block is the Sun City Lincoln Hills location, at 1520 Del Webb Blvd. The information reportedly came from a source that said the store would be closing at the end of the month. That store was not on the 30-day closing list released by Starbucks on Friday, however, and so will not be shutting its doors in July. An employee at the Sun City Lincoln Hills Starbucks, who did not want to be named, said the store had been contacted and informed it would be closing, but no date was given. Loyal Lincoln Hills coffee drinkers were distressed by the news. “This (Starbucks) is a specialty niche,” said Myron Tessler, who frequents the Lincoln Hills location with his wife, Cecelia, and their Siberian husky. “It’s a perfect stopping point and one of the few places you can have a dog and be served outside.” While the couple could go elsewhere for their caffeine fix, he said, it’s the location, not just the product, they’ll miss. “It’s the Starbucks experience – it’s more social than anything else,” Tessler said. “You come here to see your neighbors.” Sally and Wally Etterbeek also prefer the patio for sipping java alongside their pet. “We come out here almost every day,” Wally Etterbeek said. “It’s too bad – maybe someone else will come in here and serve coffee. It’s really hard to take dogs to the Starbucks by Safeway.” Margy Austin said she usually stops by the café on her way home from the Sun City fitness center. “It’s kind of like my little reward,” she said. “It’s just so close. If this one closed, I’d probably go to another (Starbucks) once in a while, but not as much.” Starbucks will close 600 U.S. stores between now and March in an effort to boost profits, the company said. The first 50 closures were announced by the company Friday. Further closures will be announced each month. after employees receive 30-day closing notices. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz says the company wants to inform workers about the closures in person; company insiders say Starbucks is not releasing the full list because it is still working to modify and cancel some real estate contracts. Meanwhile, Starbucks employees are telling people about closures unofficially. Both full-time and part-time retail positions will be eliminated, but the company said it will work to place many of the affected employees into available positions at nearby Starbucks stores.