Earlier this week, a few websites reiterated a post from a Starbucks gossip blog—yes there is such a thing—claiming that several of the coffee franchise’s NYC locations were quietly covering up AC power outlets to dissuade computer users from loitering around for too long. And today, a spokesman for Starbucks says it’s true.
I visited a few of their Manhattan stores last night to see it firsthand.
Here’s some of the results:
39th Street and 8th Avenue: There was only one open outlet. The other eight or so were covered up. A worker says the modification was made “about six months ago.”
35th Street and 8th Avenue: The outlets were sealed “since July” according to a counterperson, who thinks it’s a good thing. “People were setting up offices and staying for hours.”
34th Street and 5th Avenue (Empire State Building): There was plenty of places to plug into.
33rd Street and 5th Avenue: “There’s one hidden one,” said a barista after moving a display box to reveal an outlet. “They took them all out about five months ago. They wanted to increase the flow.”
29th and 5th Avenue: None of the outlets were covered.
23rd Street and 5th Avenue: Six outlets towards the front of the store were covere “about three months ago,” according to an employee. The three in the back remained.