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Vancouver's first upscale Starbucks 'Reserve Bar' among coffee chain's local store permanent closures

Starbucks Canada is proceeding with plans to shut down up to 300 of its locations nationwide.
In 2017, Starbucks opened Western Canada's first Reserve Bar store at Main and 14th in Vancouver. The coffee company closed the location permanently on Jan. 31, 2021 as part of its five-year transformation plan. Photo via Google Maps

Starbucks Canada is proceeding with plans to shut down up to 300 of its locations nationwide, and among the losses are some significant Vancouver outposts of the coffee chain.

One of the casualties of Starbucks' "restructuring plan" is the high-end Reserve Bar location in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant at Main and 14th. The renovated and expansive location was the chain's first Reserve Bar location in Western Canada when it opened in 2017. 

The upscale Starbucks closed its doors for good on Sunday, Jan. 31.

The Mount Pleasant Reserve Bar shared news of its closure on its Instagram page, adding: "Although we have a heavy heart today, the happiness and joy this store gives us will not be forgotten."

In late 2018, Starbucks opened a massive Reserve Bar location in Vancouver at the corner of Pender and Granville Streets. The biggest 'bux in the city - it's 4,000 square feet and can seat 150 when not restricted due to the pandemic - is still operating. 

However, another well-known Starbucks location that closed its doors for good on Jan. 31 is the coffee shop by Granville Island at 1500 West 2nd Ave. 

Starbucks began closing down locations last fall as part of its five-year "transformation strategy."

The restructuring includes adding new drive-thru locations, the expansion of delivery and a pilot of curbside pick-up only coffee shops.

Vancouver has seen several locations close, including in Yaletown, the West End, and Downtown.

Closures are happening in other Lower Mainland communities as well. Among those shuttering is the one next to city hall in Port Coquitlam.

“Our little home is closing,” said Leah Whitmore, who is transferring to another Starbucks at the Prairie Avenue and Coast Meridian location on the city’s north side.

“The community is sad, a lot of people are regulars,” she said.

V.I.A. reached out to media reps for Starbucks recently for more details on which Vancouver locations were closing, however, the company did not provide that information.

With files from Diane Strandberg/Tri-City News and the Canadian Press 

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