Sarah Sullivan, FCRH ’12, GSE ’15, has been coming to Starbucks three to four times a week. For her, it fills in the full-service-coffee-shop-sized hole that the Blend has left on Fordham Road with its closing last year. Today, she was stopping in to get a cup of joe before work. She says it seems popular among Fordham students.
“The morning before summer classes [began] you could tell,” Sullivan says. “And there’s always a lot of staff in here as well.”
The international coffee giant opened this new outpost on June 16, about a month after spring semester classes let out. This location at 440 E. Fordham Rd. is actually Starbucks’ second attempt at opening up shop on the street (not counting the Starbucks coffee served at various locations across the Rose Hill campus). According to a city-data.com thread, there was once a Starbucks on the corner of Fordham Road and Kingsbridge Road that failed to make enough money and was forced to close. This new location made a splash soon after opening, when a newsstand in the rear lobby of the office building hosting the store was apparently barred from serving low-priced coffee. The situation seems to have been righted now, but the “brew-haha” made The Daily News, DNA Info, and more.
By 9:20 a.m., the store has calmed down to just 10 customers. The store provided a great environment to study off campus. April Rich, FCRH ’18, agrees. She has come to Starbucks to study with a venti-sized Biology textbook before her 10 o’clock class.
“I’ve been here a lot, actually,” Rich says. “It’s air-conditioned, and my apartment is not.”
An anticipated rush of students getting a drink before 9:30 classes never materializes, short of one student who responds to an interview request with a hurried “I’m really late, sorry!” before quickly rushing out the door with an iced tea.
At 9:41, Starbucks employee Khyre Ross, 25, wipes down open tables. While Fordham students may not be rushing the counter at the moment, he says they’ve been a constant presence since the store’s opening. He estimates 70 percent of customers are somehow connected to Fordham. The international students Rose Hill hosted over the summer loved Starbucks, Ross says, but sales paled in comparison to last week.
“Move-in day,” Ross says. “They were here like crazy!”
The store’s popularity means it has even won over some business from Little Italy. Peter Coffman, GSB ’15, describes himself as a “big coffee drinker.” He usually goes to Palombo on Arthur Avenue for espresso, but this is convenient.
“It’s right by campus, right by the library,” Coffman says. “Options were limited prior.”
Coffman says he’ll still go to Palombo’s for espresso, but today? “Feeling festive with the pumpkin spice.”
Visual arts major Kate Doheny, FCRH ’15, knows drinking at such a place is not good for her cred as an artist.
“I feel like it brings out the mainstream person in me!” Doheny says. “But I love it, I’m a little bit addicted.”
Doheny lives in Campbell Hall, the residence hall nearest to Starbucks. She calls it “senior privilege,” but she says seeing a Starbucks on Fordham Road is “a little weird.”
“Because you’re in here, you’re like wow, this is awesome and brand new and then you look outside and you’re like ‘oh!’ still in the Bronx. Which isn’t bad, it’s just weird!”
It’s 10:21 a.m. now, and Doheny keeps smiling as she stares out the window at a series of buses, idling near the fenced-in plaza, lying empty and eagerly awaiting their own pick-me-up.
Jeff Coltin is the Bronx Correspondent for The Fordham Ram.