Richard Gallagher looked startled when he heard that the Madison Starbucks would be closing from Monday, March 12 through Wednesday, March 21 to do some renovations. Never mind that he walked past a sign on the front of the coffee shop, that said just that, every day for about a week.
He was in too much of a rush to get to his favorite coffee fix to stop and read it.
"What!? I'm going to be homeless?" he roared when he found out.
That sentiment is shared by many other regulars who view the cozy store in the CVS plaza as more of a home-away-from-home than just a place to get a caffeine fix.
Rick Parri, another regular, predicted that there would be a lot of people going into Starbucks withdrawal. And he didn't mean just the coffee. Many of the regulars have congenial relationships with the people who work hard behind the counter to deliver the right drink with the right ingredients at the right time and at the right temperature, all the while smiling and remembering everyone's name.
"I'm going to get the shakes," Parri said.
"I'm going to go through withdrawal," said Ed Pellegrino glumly.
No need, the folks at Starbucks say. While the Madison Starbucks manager declined to comment for this article, the sign on the window says the Starbucks at 6 North Main Street in Branford, and 15 Main Street in Old Saybrook will be happy to serve the displaced.
Several Madison Starbucks employees told the regulars that they hoped to remain employed during the short break, with many of them being redeployed to one of the nearby stores.
That could only be a good thing, says regular Cora Ogden. "I might have to make mine at home" she said. "I went to Old Saybrook once and I didn't like it. These guys [at the Madison store] are like family. They're better than family. They are happier to see me than my husband most days," she said, laughing.
Pam Sachs, sitting with a group of her friends, said she might take the opportunity to venture out to other coffee shops she loves, or other Starubucks. Her friends agreed. Their recommendations ranged from the Starbucks in Branford off of I-95 to the über-local Stony Creek Market in the Stony Creek section of Branford, CT. Karen Seligson said she might make her own at home, or head across the street to Willoughby's.
For those who are looking for other options locally, they do exist. In addition to , there is , , , , , and. Still, each of those places attracts their own brand of local, so getting used to a new place over the short time the Madison Starbucks is closed could prove difficult for the hardcore Starbuckers.
Stacy Bungiro said she and her daughter, Lilliana, will miss the store while it's closed. Lilliana gets an occassional treat of vanilla milk and blueberry muffin at the store before she heads off to afternoon kindergarten. But Bungiro said it's her husband who will suffer most from the temporary closing.
Richard Bungiro is a lecturer in molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown University in Rhode Island. He loves to be with his two small children at home but, when there's work to be done, the Madison Starbucks is his home office-away-from-home.
"He is really going to miss this place," Stacy said as Lilliana danced and twirled on the sidewalk outside Madison Starbucks.