Starbucks leaving Windsor's downtown core after 15 years

A downtown Windsor staple is closing — the Starbucks at Wyandotte and Ouellette.

Joe Mikhail owns the building and said it's a sign of longstanding issues in the downtown core.

"We only heard second-and-third hand," said Mikhail. "We haven't been told officially."

Mikhail said customers were calling him to ask — so he went to the store to find out what was going on. The manager confirmed the store would be closing by the end of July. 

Starbucks has occupied the space for 15 years, according to Mikhail. "How do we fix downtown? This has to be the canary coming out. The largest coffee chain in the world decided they don't want to be here." 

Ward councillor Rino Bortolin said it's troubling to hear a business is closing, but he thinks the move is a corporate decision.

"It's not a testament to what is happening on the ground downtown," said Bortolin, noting this store didn't have a drive thru which may have affected its business.

Sanjay Maru/CBC

Mikhail said it's not troublesome for him from a real estate perspective — he just wants to know what's happening downtown. 

"For some reason, the pieces aren't coming together," said Mikhail, pointing to investments by the college and the university and the addition of Quicken Loans to the downtown. 

But Bortolin thinks the void will be filled quickly.

"There's a need for coffee shops downtown," said Bortolin. "There's no dispute ... if you're ever in Starbucks you can see the sheer volume that they do. I think it's a tough situation and we'd love to keep them, but at the same time I think this is just a corporate decision."