February 20, 2019 | 33° F

Starbucks in 'The Yard' remains closed due to contractual dispute

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

On Jan. 20, one-and-a-half months after opening, the Starbucks at the Yard @ College Avenue closed. Christopher Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, said Starbucks revoked the establishment's operating license. It is unclear whether the location will reopen.

Many students took note when the Starbucks at The Yard @ College Avenue abruptly closed on Jan. 20.

The store has not reopened since, and a Starbucks spokesperson gave no indication that the situation was temporary.

"We can confirm that the Starbucks store located at 38 College Ave. has closed," the spokesperson said in an email. "As part of Starbucks' standard course of business, we continually review and evaluate our locations to ensure a healthy store portfolio. We will continue to serve the Rutgers community and encourage our customers to visit us at our other locations in the area."

The Starbucks at The Yard is 1 of 3 permanent Starbucks locations within a half-mile radius. It originally opened for business in the beginning of December.

The Starbucks mobile truck also made its debut on campus last summer. The vehicle offers students many of the same drinks and food options as the stores, which can be paid for with RU Express, The Daily Targum reported.

Unlike the establishment at the Yard, the Starbucks truck is owned and operated by Rutgers Dining Services.

“We were shocked by the sudden closure of the Starbucks and were given no prior notice by the operator,” said Christopher Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) in an email. “Apparently Starbucks has revoked the operator’s license due to contractual issues.”

DEVCO is the private non-profit company that partnered with Rutgers to create The Yard @ College Avenue. All negotiations with the vendors operating beneath the apartment complex are conducted through DEVCO rather than through the University, according to Jeffrey Tolvin, a University spokesperson.

Starbucks has not yet confirmed a specific reason for the closure, though the company does have an extensive Business Ethics and Compliance code set forth for its partners and operators. 

Paladino assured, both to The Daily Targum and through social media that DEVCO is still working to remedy the situation.

“We are working with Starbucks to expedite the reopening of the store at The Yard under new management. Both DEVCO and Starbucks corporate are confident that we will be successful,” Paladino said. “I am personally hopeful since it was my first stop every morning since it opened.”

Kira Herzog is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is a correspondent for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @kiraherzog1 for more.

Kira Herzog

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