MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Starbucks officials have announced that they will no longer be opening a location at the Deck on University Avenue in Morgantown, due to safety concerns.
In a statement sent to 12 News on Wednesday, the store’s District Manager and Regional Director cited proximity to another business that is moving into the area as the reason for the decision. “We have heard from members of the community and, importantly, many of you about the safety concerns you have for this location’s proximity to another business planned for University Ave.”
Although the release does not name any specific business, the Morgantown community has recently raised concerns about gun retailer Big Daddy Guns opening at the Deck. A petition against Big Daddy Guns’ opening has more than 2,000 signatures. Members of the group Protect Morgantown have also protested the store’s opening, attended city council meetings and held a press conference to prevent the store’s opening downtown.
Starbucks leadership said that those hired to work at the University Ave location would be offered a transfer opportunity to a nearby location. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” said the statement, “but remain convicted this is the right decision for our partners and our community.”
Even without the University Ave location, there are still seven Starbucks stores in the Morgantown area. Three of those locations—Waterfront Place, Medical Center Drive and Suncrest Town Center—are within two miles of the canceled location on University Ave.
This follows Starbucks’ reinvention effort, which the company said will prioritize safety, opportunity for its partners, community well-being, and shared accountability and success. Earlier this month, Starbucks closed 16 locations in multiple cities—mostly in California—citing safety concerns.