Starbucks to close Smith Tower store February 17, 2012: Farewell to a great store!

I’m saddened to hear that Starbucks will be permanently closing their Smith Tower location, at the corner of Yesler and Second.  Its final day of business is Friday, February 17, 2012.  Farewell to a wonderful store!  I know lots of colleagues and friends that are fervent fans of this location.   For myself, when Starbucks launched the Clover, I really slowed down in going to that store; but for years now, off and on, I’ve been a customer of the Smith Tower Starbucks.  It’s not all that far from work.  I definitely have a big soft spot for this store.  It’s always maintained a very friendly environment, and the partners work hard to make sure the experience is perfect.  And it is a gorgeous historic building.

I wish I had lots of old photos of this store.  I specifically remember taking a few photos when the Vivanno smoothies were launched.  Unfortunately, I am having difficulty finding them.  But thanks to Winter, here are two photos of this store dating from August 2002:

Thank you Winter at for allowing me to use your photos.

I think the decision to the close this location is largely due to the unique dynamics of this area and problems with this building.  There aren’t all that many thriving businesses near Yesler and Second, and the Smith Tower Building is reportedly only 19% occupied, as per a Seattle Times report.  I know that the retail space adjacent to Starbucks (the space sharing the southern wall of the store) has been empty since about 2008.  I think (or at least I assume) that when Starbucks moved into the Smith Tower there were many more tenants in the building.  Sadly, this extremely historic landmark in Seattle is in foreclosure, and up for auction next month.

I think the store has done everything they can.  I know the current manager, Brie, and I have no doubt that she has poured her heart into her store.

Goodbye Smith Tower Starbucks!  You’ve been a well-loved store for about a decade!

If you want to visit this store before its final day of business (2-17-12), here’s the address:

Smith Tower Starbucks (Store #3359)
502 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 381 038

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  • Sebastian

    Too bad that there are still such cool stores closing…I love the design of that building. Thank you for sharing!

  • purple1

    It is sad when a store closes especially when there are probably loyal customers that make it feel like home. For those that will not be able to go here anymore, where are the closest SB stores for them? I assume the partners in this store will move to another store?

  • Clark Kent

    Oh no!! I love that store too. I always thought the Smith Tower was such a cool building. I wonder why they can’t find sustainable tenants?

    The fortunate thing is you only have to go 2 blocks to the Starbucks store on 1st & Yesler.

  • Molly

    I’ve only gotten to go in that store a time or two since it’s not a neighborhood I get to visit often. But I do love the area. Hope this isn’t foreboding of other small shops in the area not making it. Tat’s Deli is right there, too, and they are AMAZING! I know Starbucks is a big corp. but each store is like a small business in many ways…

  • Michelle

    This store looks familiar. I think I may have visited it, would it be near the Underground tour?

  • Melody

    Hi Michelle, I just have a quick min, on my phone, sorry sloppy. This store is close to the Underground Tour – I think just a couple blocks away. The next closest Starbucks is at 1st and Yesler, also close to the tour.

  • Melissa

    awww, I remember when they were called Vivannos.

    I’m not from Seattle but it’s sad to hear about this store closing.

    I still haven’t tried the clover.


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