Highland Park Starbucks most depressing in America?

HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While many rely on Starbucks coffee as a vital pick-me-up, one of its shops is bringing people down.

A Starbucks in the 6200 block of York Boulevard in Highland Park has some residents and an article in LAist.com calling it the most depressing Starbucks in America.

Nestled in an up-and-coming community, the location had many people calling the drive-thru/walk-up anything but cool.

"A lot of Starbucks have an inside. This one is just outside and it's not that clean," Highland Park resident Delilah Valdez said.

People point to its dreary style, cheesy seating options and the claustrophobic windows for its baristas.

"You can't really sit and relax here. You kind of feel like you're in a jail with those bulletproof windows," Eagle Rock resident Daniel Garcia said.

Catherine Garrison, a Highland Park architect, said maybe the company doesn't understand the neighborhood's demographic.

"A lot of people in Highland Park have pride in the neighborhood and they expected to be treated as equals with the rest of LA and felt like maybe they didn't get that," Garrison said.

She added, "We expected at least something like the regular Starbucks, but instead we get this sort of Frankenstein of styles."

Starbucks agreed that changes are needed and expects to release a plan next week.

"We agree this store is not representative of this neighborhood, and are committed to taking specific actions that will address the concerns we've heard," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

But some java-junkies defended the stripped-down Starbucks, saying the naysayers have it all wrong.

"It's depressing that they're trying to bag on it like it's depressing, because it's convenient for us," Highland Park resident Kari Gonzales said.

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