There have been vague rumors and news snippets that Starbucks has started to lock up its bathrooms. It's true!
Out and about in NYC in the last two weeks, I have taken advantage of Strbcks ubuquity to have my favorite, a Grande Capuccino caffinated and whole milk with lots of foam. While not personally in search of a bathroom, the five Starbucks I have been in had people, perhaps tourists, shocked to find the bathrooms "unavailable." I chalked that up to too many tourists.
Today, in my non-touristy neighborhood, in my own Starbucks, the bathroom had a large combination lock on the door. Shocking! When a woman asked the barista for the combination, she was reluctant to give it, I asked why. According to the barista there had been a change in policy meant to close the bathrooms to non-customers. And customers too? I asked. She gave the woman the number--written on a piece of paper (with invisible ink?).
I have always thought that Starbucks went above and beyond with its open bathroom policy. Truly altruistic. Truly philanthropic. So Now? Once again, the decline of civilization.