What's going on with the Starbucks at Dublin Airport?

By Fiona Frawley

January 5, 2024 at 12:26pm

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An unexpected rebrand was unveiled this week.

Those familiar with Dublin Airport Terminal 1 will know the former Starbucks HQ all too well, with its circular bar and the promise of a Whopper Meal with a Guinness on the side up the escalator.

However, if you had a Ryanair jaunt scheduled this week you may have noticed the conglomerate mermaid and her army of macchiatos have departed from Terminal 1, making way for a shiny new coffee option. Despite erecting signage for the new Vista Coffee branch, Dublin Airport have said Vista is just a "temporary brand", and that the unit will change to something else soon.

Vista Coffee

Launching the rebrand on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday, Dublin Airport management wrote:

"Brewing up a storm! Our new Vista Coffee outlet opened in Terminal 1 this morning and it’s already going down very well with passengers.

"Vista Coffee is located airside in T1, just past The Loop, in the unit previously occupied by Starbucks. This is just one of a number of new and improved food and beverage offerings that will be introduced in Dublin Airport in 2024. Stay tuned for more details very soon!"

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Later, Dublin Airport told Lovin that the Vista Coffee is just a "temporary brand", adding that the unit will be changed to something else soon and that full details of this change would be published "very soon". Meanwhile in the comments section of Dublin Airport's  post, X users have been speculating that Vista is a "front" for Starbucks, as the chain's menus are still on display at the unit. Some are suggesting that the airport have rebranded in response to the boycott of Starbucks, which has been ongoing since October of last year.

Boycott

A number of consumers have been partaking in a boycott of Starbucks in recent months, in conjunction with the war between Israel and Palestine.

Calls for a Starbucks boycott began after Starbucks sued a union organised by its workers in October 2023, after the union shared a social media post in support of Palestine.

On Oct. 9, Starbucks Workers United posted “Solidarity with Palestine!” on X (formerly  Twitter). As per AP News Workers United, a Philadelphia-based union, said that workers put up the tweet without the authorisation of union leaders. The post was up for about 40 minutes before it was deleted.

In December 2023, CEO of Starbucks Laxman Narasimhan published an open letter calling for peace and citing "misrepresentation" of its views as a cause for vandalism of its stores.

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In the letter, Mr Narasimhan wrote:

"I am concerned about the state of the world we live in. There are conflicts in many parts. It has unleashed violence against the innocent, hate and weaponized speech, and lies — all of which we condemn.

"Cities around the world – including here in North America - have seen escalating protests. Many of our stores have experienced incidents of vandalism. We see protestors influenced by misrepresentation on social media of what we stand for. We have worked with local authorities to ensure our partners and customers are safe. Nothing is more important. Our stance is clear. We stand for humanity".

Image via Getty. 

In a statement to Lovin, Dublin Airport said:

"The Starbucks outlet closed at the end of December when their contract ended. A new operator has taken over the unit and a great local brand will be permanently moving into the unit on a permanent basis in the spring of this year. In the meantime, to ensure passengers can continue to get their caffeine fix, the new operator has opened the unit up the unit temporarily under the Vista brand, and they’ve done a deal with the previous occupier to use their fixtures and fittings and for them to supply them with their products on a temporary basis.

"This change is part of a major overhaul of the food and beverage offerings in T1 and T2 which will happen over the coming months. This will see a number of units operate on a temporary basis - under generic brands - for short periods, while fit-out works are completed. Full details of the very exciting changes - and fantastic new brands on the way to Dublin Airport - will be announced very soon. And we're confident passengers will love what we've got planned!"

A Starbucks spokesperson said:

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“We regularly review our portfolio to ensure our stores are in places that are relevant for our customers while also maintaining healthy business growth. We can confirm the Starbucks store in Dublin Airport closed on 31st December when our lease expired. Customers can still enjoy their favourite Starbucks beverage at any of the three store locations that remain open in the Dublin Airport.”

Header image via Twitter/Dublin Airport

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