The new Starbucks at Harbor Gate Shopping Center is set to open in Richmond on Oct. 2, according to Steve Anderson, president of the Marina Bay neighborhood council. Meanwhile, Cafe Pascal in the same shopping center is facing eviction.
Cafe Pascal’s owner, Joseph Shahabi, told KTVU (Ch.2) that his landlord “kept him on a month to month lease and on Tuesday served him with eviction papers.”
Shahabi, who has filed a lawsuit against the shopping center, believes that’s because the Starbucks deal bans any other business in the shopping center from serving coffee and pastries. Harbor Gate Shopping Center owner Ronald Nahas, however, says Cafe Pascal would have been grandfathered in, according to KTVU.
Nahas declined to state why Cafe Pascal was being evicted due to the pending litigation.
In October of last year, we first reported about the Starbucks store’s approval at the Planning Commission meeting. At the time, we called Shahabi for his reaction, and he was stunned by the news, as was other community members.
Like other businesses in the Marina Bay shopping center, Cafe Pascal was negatively impacted during 22 months of construction of the nearby Bradley Moody Underpass, which completed in 2015. News of the incoming Starbucks dealt yet another major blow to his small business.
But the Starbucks has also received a lot of support from the swiftly growing Marina Bay community, where just one developer has sold nearly 500 renovated condos in the last few years. Some view a Starbucks with a drive-thru that opens early and closes late is a highly desirable addition to a community that lacks many restaurants and amenities.
While he was on the Planning Commission, Richmond city councilman Ben Choi voted in favor of the Starbucks before criticizing other coffee shops in the area for bad service.
Cafe Pascal has its devoted customers, however, and they’ve launched a petition to save their beloved coffee shop, KTVU reported.