There’s nothing quite like the opening of a new coffee shop to make people nod their heads and agree that “Yes, that certainly is another place I can now buy coffee.”
It’s a lack of enthusiasm felt by hundreds of USC students last week in response to the christening of Icon Plaza’s very own Starbucks. Maybe a handful of students who call Icon home are excited about the coffee joint just down the stairs, but there are entirely too many coffee franchises on and around the USC campus.
Let’s take a moment to tally up just how many establishments within walking distance of Tommy Trojan are in the caffeinated beverage business.
The Tutor Center has a Coffee Bean. There’s the beloved Ground Zero. Literatea caters to the high-brow scholar. Popovich Café lies opposite. The engineering, law, and architecture schools all have their own cafes, while the School of Cinematic Arts boasts another Coffee Bean roughly a quarter mile from the first. A Seattle’s Best lies next to Freebirds, with Gateway slinging free joe just next door.
Top this off with the two preexisting Starbucks locations—one in the University Village and one which just replaced the former Trojan Grounds this past August—and Icon’s new coffee spot starts to seem excessive.
Still in doubt? Let’s not forget that the Tuscany area has yet another Coffee Bean of literally across the street from Icon Plaza. That puts the new Starbucks less than ten seconds from another coffee shop. Talk about overkill.
Was thirteen of these places really not enough? Surely there’s something more exciting that could have filled that location instead? It speaks to a lack of imagination that—much like this all-encompassing matrix of grounded bean dispensaries—is starting to leave a bitter taste in student mouths.