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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