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Starbucks to close public restrooms in Manhattan locations

Starbucks, known for their lattes and free bathrooms, is expected to close their restrooms to the public. Coffee, however, will still be available.
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Starbucks across Manhattan are expected to close bathrooms to the public. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY – Next time you’re in Manhattan and decide to stop at a Starbucks for a nice pumpkin spice latte in between sightseeing or holiday shopping, it might be wise not to choose a Venti.

Starbucks’ shops in Manhattan are starting to close some of their restrooms, and may possibly leave tourists, commuters and everyone else in the bustling city out in the cold with no place to go.

Read more at GlobalPost: Virginia man sues Starbucks for bathroom spy cam

The New York Post reported that the elimination of Starbucks bathrooms is due to the fact that the coffee giant’s employees have to wait in line and compete with customers when it’s time to tinkle. Employees are faced with two options: either wait or skip to the front, inevitably ticking off already edgy New Yorkers who have to use the bathroom, too. Starbucks’ solution? Convert public bathrooms to employees-only and leave the rest of us struggling to find a place when nature calls.

“Starbucks cannot be the public bathroom in the city anymore,” a source told the NY Post.

There are currently 196 Starbucks locations in Manhattan- no wonder this city never sleeps- that serve not only as coffee havens, but as public restrooms. Try finding a decent, mostly clean bathroom in Manhattan for free and you’ll understand this is no small matter. New Yorkers rely not only on coffee but these bathrooms.

So far only a few locations were pointed out in the city to have closed their bathrooms. One being in Times Square, the tourist capital of the universe, and one close to Lincoln Center. Granted, many a time there will be a long line for a Starbucks restroom, and only one person will have a frappacino in their hand, but is it fair to close restrooms completely to the public? Even after we've bought a delicious, yet not cheap beverage?

But a Starbucks company spokesman shot back at the claims, telling All Media NY that “reports that we are eliminating public restrooms are completely false."

“Starbucks stores will continue to have public restrooms available," said the spokesman to All Media NY. “In rare cases at large stores with two restrooms, we have converted one of the restrooms for employee use.” Apparently, if a food establishment has more than 19 seats it must offer restrooms to the public.

But whether you’re a tourist, a resident or just passing by, you’ve found yourself using a restroom even if it means you don’t buy something in the establishment, either in the Big Apple or anywhere else across the globe. In an expansive and expensive city, free bathroom locations are vital to many, and Starbucks is an important part of that equation. Sure, some McDonald’s offer free restrooms, but why tempt yourself with a Big Mac and those fries? You know who’s going to win that battle.

Fugghedabout New York for a second, where do you use the bathroom in your city or country usually when you’ve got to tinkle? It’s tough finding a clean and free spot, but where would you recommend to tourists especially?

Read more at GlobalPost: Withold politican donations, Starbucks CEO says

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/starbucks-close-public-restrooms-manhattan-locations

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