Why Boyle Heights gentrification foes aren’t worried about Starbucks

Boyle Heights Starbucks

A Starbucks in Boyle Heights is not viewed as a threat by gentrifications foe

BOYLE HEIGHTS —  Anti-gentrification forces  have staged noisy protests — online and in person — against newly opened art galleries and, most recently, a coffee house that they say will only serve to hasten the displacement of working place residents and turn the neighborhood into another Echo Park or Highland Park.  But many have asked why the Starbucks at the busy corner of Soto Street and Olympic Boulevard, which opened in 2014, has not generated the same opposition.

Wouldn’t a Starbucks have a bigger impact on gentrifying a neighborhood than a small, coffee house?  Not really, say those trying to get coffee houses and art galleries to move out of the neighborhood.

In an L.A. Times story on the Boyle Heights anti-gentrification protests, Leonardo Vilchis, director of Union de Vecino and prominent gentrification critic, told that times that a giant chain like Starbucks is a “post-gentrification” business that no longer threatens to the neighborhood. But a small, independent like Weird Wave, which opened last month on Cesar Chavez Avenue, is “a threat to local businesses and it’s one more sign of gentrification that we need to defeat.” he said.

Apparently everyone welcomes a Frappuccino in their neighborhood.

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  1. Simple minds

  2. These anti-gentrification activists are just plain racists. It is just as unacceptable to say they don’t want white people in their neighborhood as Pacific Palisades saying they don’t want any Mexicans moving in. Also, it is ridiculous that they ignore Starbucks. They are just bullying a small business (Weird Wave) since they know Starbucks is too popular and wealthy to care about protestors.

  3. It’s like kansas out there

  4. Those anti-gent people are complete idiots.

  5. They are such idiots, Protesting a indie coffee shop but not the predatory loans/ Check cashing place next door or the starbucks.

    Oh well no matter how much they bitch or moan the neighborhood will change. As rents increase from the ocean to the east side everyone shifts over more and more to the east of where they previously were.

  6. I guess there are no white customers in their Starbucks thats why.

  7. It’s like putting accelerant on a fire. At some point property managers are going to prefer gentrification if it means less protests and more money due to rent and property values. Trying to force depreciation of the neighborhood through hostility hasnt worked ever in the history of this country. It creates less sympathy for the displaced. You have to go through the courts, lawyers, councilmen all of that to really start making a dent. I just feel like this group follows the laws of physics which is pressure will release through the path of least resistance. Protesting a hispanic owned coffee shop is a pretty easy path.

  8. Why do these fools keep getting free press for their hate speech and intimidation? Shameful.

  9. So…since Boyle Heights already has a Starbucks, it has already been gentrified. These Defend Boyle Heights people are clearly not the sharpest tools in the shed.

  10. I hope Boyle Heights skips the indie business stage and goes right to big boxed stores – Starbucks, Applebee’s, and the ever so luxurious, Red Lobster (for those fancy date nights ;-). It’s probably a better fit for their ghetto culture anyway!

  11. They are picking on the little guy because they are frustrated… frustrated with this white racist society that just “takes” what it wants. Unfortunately, Starbucks and the check cashing place are so much more harmful to the community, but, the little coffee shop is accessable and able to absorb the so-called anti-gentrifiers frustrations. They are sadly going to lose because there is too much money to be made in BH. And more sadly, the Latino homeowners that will “cash out” are going to sell to white people because they have the money.

    • The “white racist” society in which you speak of is currently the least racist society in the world. But if you have a solution to make America less racist, let’s hear it because it’s certainly not starting in the racist ghetto of Boyle Heights.

    • Anti-gentrification is racism against whites. If you want to live in the slums, keep moving. Good people with families want better and don’t care about skin color.

    • What is sad about Latino homeowners cashing out on a home for 10x, 15x, or 20x what they paid for it? Have you asked them whether they find it “sad” that they’re being whitewashed? As others have noted, it appears the protesting crowd here supportive of the community — just as long as its stays poor. Families lift themselves out of poverty and you complain about it. This is obscene.

      • These people protesting are the losers of the communit with no desire to move up the social latter. It’s easier to blame someone else for their shitty life then to get skills to make more money. There are plenty of latinos that welcome change,including this one. Just look at all the stories about Boyle Heights in the Eastsider. Most of them are about shootings, and murder. But these idiots are harassing small businesses.

  12. The dude is only 20 years old. We were all dumb then.

    • Cheech, As a fellow Latino and apologist, perhaps YOU should reach out to him with your message. I agree but it can’t come from me… and he is doing real damage to himself and his community.

  13. All you dummies are really so clueless to how racist yr shit is. Supporting gentrification is just supporting the white supremacy underpinning the capitalist system.

    Also that condescending racism that the actvists are uninformed is not pretty either.

    • Wrong! I hope Boyle Heights 100% gentrifies and the ghetto, uneducated, racist people that ruin the neighborhood for the respectable, responsible individuals and families that want to live in a safe and clean neighborhood get what they deserve – EVICTED!

      If you don’t want to be included in that group, stop blaming everyone and take a hard look at yourself and what YOU bring to society to make it and yourself a better place. There is ample opportunity in America (especially in LA where Latinos are the MAJORITY) for everyone to enjoy a prosperous and lucrative career…but perhaps you have been so brainwashed by ghetto poverty culture to see what is so obvious to so many fellow citizens of Los Angeles.

    • How’s Venezuela doing these days?

    • Where does one get “affordable” housing in this city?

    • It doesn’t get any more “white”, or “capitalist” than Starbucks… and pulling the “racist” card anytime someone disagrees with you is just intellectually lazy.

  14. Same day these guys were stomping around in front of Wierd Wave the planning and land use committee, (with Latino east side councilmen on it) voted to uphold the practice of issuing developers demo permits, before building permits. Meaning the practice of creating empty rentals/lots for no good reason will continue.

    But you know a public meeting where you have to pay attention, have a chance to address your reps directly, on record isn’t as much fun as shouting at your new neighbors to get out.

  15. My family moved to Los Angeles in 1903. They settled in
    Boyle Heights until moving to Sawtell in the 1920s and then Inglewood in the late 30s, next Burbank in 68, and then finally Long Beach in 82. One thing all theses places have in commmon: they have changed and changed again over the past century. That’s the story of Los Angeles. For example, Inglewood was white, then black, and is now brown. Places change and that change can’t be stopped. You either accept it or move on.

    • wtf_is_a_hispter_anymore

      You’re kind of ignoring why they changed, but I agree, you definitely cannot “Stop” gentrification. By any means necessary, Capitalism will always win.

      • No, I just did not mention it. Boyle Heights became Latino because they were excluded from other areas because of racism. Inglewood became black when housing covenants were declared illegal in the 1960 allowing African-Americans to live west of Central Ave. Long Beach now has a large Cambodian population because of our policies in Southeast Asia. It is a lot more complex than “Capitalism” is to blame. Los Angeles has a long history of of racism and genocide. Just ask the Tungva and Chumash.

  16. So you buy the property if you dont like it.

  17. I don’t understand the thinking that says that a large, national chain is better for Boyle Heights than a small, locally owned business. The national chain will suck money out of the community, while returning virtually nothing. The locally owned business is invested in the community, is generally responsive to the community, and keeps the money local.

  18. wtf_is_a_hispter_anymore

    AHAHAHAHAHA DBH are simpletons. Seriously, what total hypocritical idiots.

  19. Just the Latin version of Trump Supporters.

    “They” are moving in and ruining the neighborhood

    White small town America about Mexicans; LA Mexicans about whites.

    LA’s Latin population is 50% so who is displacing who Boyle Heights Protesters?

  20. The gentrification of Boyle Heights and the rest of East LA above the 60 Freeway is well underway. Harassing a coffee shop or an art gallery will not stop what is coming. Homes and apartments in Boyle Heights and City Terrace are already selling for over asking price. There are new businesses and new people moving in everyday. Wait until the Ellis Act evictions start. Another thing driving the displacement of the working poor out of Boyle Heights is the close proximity of the Arts District. How long before we start hearing Boyle Heights being called Arts District adjacent or being renamed “The Heights”. It is going to happen. Read some of the real estate listings on Redfin for 90033 and you will phrases like “up and coming”, “rapidly gentrifying”, and my favorite “unlimited upside on rents”. So my advice to anyone who is working poor and is still living here is to pack your bags and start apartment hunting in San Bernardino or Pomona while those areas are still cheap.

  21. I’m not buying this for a second. Protesting at a Starbucks would get them arrested. Protesting at an independent business gets them free publicity. It’s much, much easier for them to bully the little guy.

    I’m pretty astounded by DBH’s lack of ethics and a concise message. While they push and shove for attention, people with far fewer available resources will quietly continue to get displaced. Makes my blood boil

  22. I was thinking of buying a home in Lincoln Heights or Cypress Park, but now this protest group has raised my interest in Boyle Heights. Thanks for letting me know there is an independent coffee house in BH. I’m going to have to check it out.

  23. Why don’t these idiot protestors pick up a broom and start sweeping the streets, since they love Boyle Heights so much!

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