Los Angeles Starbucks Switches to Take-Out-Only Over Safety Issues

Seating area is shown blocked off in video of the Studio City Starbucks. A customer was told it was due to "incidents of crime."

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A Starbucks in Los Angeles has removed seating following unspecified "safety concerns" for both customers and employees.

Former senior executive at NBC Universal Mike Sington tweeted that he was told the change was made because of "incidents of crime."

A sign was posted outside the Studio City Starbucks location announcing that it is currently only accepting take-out orders, reported Fox Affiliate KTTV.

The store appeared to have removed tables and chairs sometime last month, as a video posted to Twitter showed an empty floor space at the location by late April.

"Just stopped at the Starbucks in Studio City, California," Sington wrote in a tweet. "Discovered they’ve eliminated all indoor seating."

When he asked why, he was told "because of incidents of crime, and the safety of our employees. Very sad," he added.

The footage showed a strap barrier blocking off the previously used area for customer seating.

Starbucks said in a statement to The Messenger that the company takes "pride in creating a safe, warm and welcoming" space, adding that "our local leaders are, and have always been, empowered to use the many resources at their disposal to modify store operations and create the best experience for our communities."

It added that Starbucks' "first priority is to make sure our partners are safe at work. We will continue to work to make sure that partners can focus on crafting exquisite beverages and creating connections in a safe, warm, and welcoming environment."

It also noted that as the company works with the community to "address the needs of this store, customers can pick up their orders to go, in the drive-thru or at the counter.”

Starbucks did not disclose details about specific incidents that prompted the change.

At least six other Starbucks locations in Los Angeles were scheduled to close because of "challenging incidents," the TV station reported.

Last month, several small businesses in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Tarzana shuttered their doors due to a string of burglaries in recent years.

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