Starbucks is "in discussion with interested parties to transfer the leases for some retail locations" the chain tells Hoodline, with Eater and the Business Times getting in on the speculation that behind the transfer could be the chains' founder, Pascal Rigo.
According to Eater:
One tipster joyously told us she heard from employees at the Fillmore location that Rigo will reopen six locations (the original on Pine, Fillmore, Cole, Hayes, Polk and Union). Another heard the number to reopen is seven. A Cole Valley employee reiterated that in a Facebook post, writing that though there's no timeline, the Cole Valley location is on that roster. All of them heard that the stores will reopen under a new name and with a new menu.
Starbucks purchased La Boulange for $100 million in 2012, and announced in June that it would shutter all of the chain's 23 locations, 15 of which are in Francisco. Starbucks, it seems, was after La Boulange's recipes. Once it secured them, the retail locations became unnecessary, or so some news outlets such as Adweek suspect.
But, with fresh ideas and probably a new name, it's possible for Rigo to stage a comeback. In fact, it's something he may have been hinting at since telling the Business Times in June to “stay tuned.... [for] what [the bakeries] could become again, for how it could rise again from the ashes.”
Still, when asked point blank what was happening, he told Hoodline that "it's too early to say,"
As of now, this is the list of closing dates, some as soon as tomorrow, for the La Boulange stores. Bid them au revoir, if you'd like, bearing in mind that this French goodbye translates to "see you again."
- 543 Columbus Ave.: Aug. 28th
- 685 Market St: Aug. 28th
- 2300 Polk St.: Sept. 3rd
- 1266 Ninth Ave.: Sept. 3rd
- 16 West Portal: Sept. 12th
- 3898 24th St.: Sept. 17th
- 465 California St.: Sept. 17th
- 845 Market St.: Sept. 17th
- 2043 Fillmore St.: Sept. 17th
- 1909 Union St.: Sept. 17th
- 1000 Cole St.: Sept. 18th
- 500 Hayes St.: Sept. 18th
- 781 Mission St.: Sept. 18 th
- 222 Sutter St: TBA