Starbucks on Sunny Dunes and Highway 111 to Close Permanently

Kamari Esquerra

Every morning, Ron Martinez heads to Starbucks on the corner of Sunny Dunes and Highway 111 to work in a comfortable environment with a hot cup of joe. 

“I’ve been coming to this Starbucks for 10 years, maybe even a little over 10 years,” said Martinez, a Palm Springs resident. 

But when Martinez came to the popular coffee chain today, he was disappointed to learn his beloved Starbucks would be closing its doors permanently. 

“Basically, it’s my neighborhood Starbucks. I’ve gotten to know all of the employees… I’ve met so many people here at this Starbucks,” said Martinez.

Martinez says the growing mental health and homeless crisis in the Palm Springs area have plagued the Sunny Dunes Starbucks and surrounding businesses for months. 

“A Starbucks here that was so much fun to come to, and the entire dining room would be filled with customers sitting outside, and now…”

The dining room is closed and the doors are locked. Customers can only place orders at the drive-thru. And it’s been like this for several months… 

On this exact date one year ago, frequent customers of Starbucks expressed concerns and frustrations similar to Martinez’s.

“I don’t like it. I’m not somebody that wants to stand in line behind 7 cars to get a cup of coffee. I’d rather go inside.” 

“I’ve been around this area and I’ve seen a lot of homeless people and I totally get their point, but also it’s affecting all of us.” 

“I understand why they want to close down for a while but I hope for the sake of the regular customers that they’ll reopen soon.” 

That hope is gone. Now a sign is posted on the doors announcing the closing. 

In a statement, a Starbucks spokesperson said, “Our stores are windows into America and every day, our partners witness the challenges facing our communities – challenges to personal safety and security, racism, a growing mental health crisis, and issues magnified by Covid. These challenges play out within our stores – affecting our partners, our communities, and our customers alike.” 

The Sunny Dunes Starbucks location will close on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. 

“It’s just unfair that businesses in the area are suffering,” said Martinez. 

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