Jul 6, 2023 - Business

Black Coffee Northwest to replace closed Central District Starbucks

Photo of the old Starbucks at the corner of 23rd and Jackson in Seattle.

The Vulcan-owned property where Black Coffee Northwest plans to open. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Black-owned coffee shop Black Coffee Northwest is taking over the Central District building where a Starbucks used to be.

Why it matters: Black Coffee Northwest aims to fill a void created when Starbucks closed the location at the corner of 23rd Avenue and Jackson Street, which had become a gathering place in the historically diverse neighborhood.

  • Black Coffee Northwest also provides free after-school programming, leadership opportunities for underserved youth, free mental health therapy, a podcasting studio program, tutoring, a music program, job training and more.
  • With the new location next to a bus stop, Black Coffee Northwest is hoping the cafe will become a safe space for young people to also do homework and connect with friends, the owners said in a statement.

Driving the news: Owners Darnesha and Erwin Weary had been eyeing the Central District location since the moment Starbucks decided to leave, the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported.

  • The original Black Coffee Northwest — where a white chocolate mocha is called "The karen" — was opened in 2020 on Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline.
  • That spot was closed last month after a dispute with the landlord, the owners have said.
  • The Wearys are currently fundraising to get their Central District cafe open by fall, according to their Facebook page.

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