MILWAUKEE -- It served as a popular gathering spot for the community, but city leaders said crime was to blame for the closure of the Midtown Starbucks near 56th Street and Capitol Drive on Nov. 11. FOX6 News on Sunday, Nov. 24 spoke with a neighbor who launched a petition to have it reopened.
"This was like, my home away from home," said Kristen Rydstrom. "It was the place where it didn't matter if you knew anybody or not. You could always come and just feel comfortable."
On Sunday, Rydstrom described it was "a ghost town." Rydstrom launched a petition, collecting dozens of signatures in an effort to reopen the Midtown Starbucks.
"Lots of sadness about it, and anger, and disappointment," said Rydstrom.
"This was not just a place for coffee," said Alderman Cavalier Johnson. "This was a place for community."
Alderman Johnson said thieves ruined what was a good thing after several robberies over the years. He said he had hoped the property owners would have stepped up security before it came to this.
"Those folks came here, they robbed Starbucks, but they really robbed the entire community," said Johnson.
The alderman said he wants to see the property vibrant once again.
"These are good neighbors who have expressed to me and to others that they would like to spend their dollar in their neighborhood," said Johnson.
"There is something about this location that is really meaningful," said Rystrom.
Starbucks officials did not mention the robberies as the reason for the closure, issuing this statement to FOX6:
"After careful consideration, we’ve determined it is best to close the store at 5610 W. Capitol Drive, effective November 11. We are grateful for all of the contributions from our partners at this store, and all partners have been given the opportunity to transfer to a neighboring store of their choice."
"The Milwaukee community is special to us, our customers and our partners, which is why we remain committed to continuing to serve them and offering a warm and welcoming environment for the community to connect. Customers can visit our nearby locations at 76th & Good Hope, or in Brookfield at Capitol & 124th."