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Starbucks a-Brewin' On the South Side

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 16, 2004 7:51PM

2004_07_16.starbucks.jpgA new Starbucks is opening on 71st Street and Stony Island Avenue (across from Moo & Oink), the southernmost Chicago location yet for the world-domination coffee beast. Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston has been trying for years to bring “high-end” business to her district but says that developers and city officials tried to dissuade her. After rejecting fast-food chains and a drugstore, Hairston got in touch with Magic Johnson and the Johnson Development Corporation. JDC and Starbucks have an Urban Coffee Opportunities partnership that puts Starbucks locations in under-served communities. And that’s how a baby Starbucks is born.

Many neighbors see the shop as a mark of newfound respect for black buying power and a harbinger for more new stores. Hairston, for one, dreams of a Target, a Best Buy and maybe a Kinko's. ...

And in a part of the city where most basic shopping is still a long car or bus ride away, neighborhood advocates recognize that they still have a long road from that first grande latte to a thriving local economy.

However long that road, Hairston believes that “'You are officially a neighborhood when you get a Starbucks.’”