*Right off the 101 *Public Transportation, YES *Feel Welcome to Stay, YES *Friendly Service, YES *Outlets, YES *Seating, YES *Open 4:30am-9pm M-F, 6am-6:30pm Sat./Sun.
Location: Easy Drive
If you live near downtown it’s a low hassle drive. From Echo Park it literally takes me five minutes to get here at anytime of day. I think the traffic is a breeze because if you live north of downtown, you’re on the 101S for a couple of minutes and in no time at all you’re taking exit 2B for Los Angeles Street. Drive south then take the third left onto East 1st Street and the shop is on the right. The parking is metered but if you’re lucky enough to get someone to drop you off, the curbside drive-up is easy. This makes pick-ups stress free too. Your ride will feel comfortable waiting for you near the curb until you’ve wrapped-up your last train of thought. If you can take the train or bus, Union Station is only a 10-15 minute walk from this Starbucks location.
Traffic Flow: Steady
The stream of people going in and out during the work-week is consistent, but most people walk-in grab their coffee and go. There are two entrances, one on either side of the coffee bar so even though the space is small and caboose-like even at its most crowded the shop doesn’t feel congested.
So if you want to stick around to work or take a load off your feet, you should have no trouble finding a place to sit at one of their multiple two-seater tables. All of their tables are against the wall so the continual stream of people walking in and out shouldn’t interfere with your concentration or your conversation. The outlets are conveniently located to make reaching them from any table easy. There are only two “comfy” chairs with a little table between but they’ve been free for the most part (maybe because the seats go back a bit- great for reading or working from a relaxed position from a laptop or tablet but not for hunching over your work).
Busiest Time of Day: Late Afternoon
It seems that around 3:30pm it gets really busy. If you arrive around 3:30 or 4pm you might have trouble finding a seat immediately.
The Crowd: Mixed
You’ll see everyone come through this Starbucks. Suits, college students day and night, high school kids after class, and people who need a home office away from home. The seating is all in close proximity but you’ll never have to worry about sharing your table with a perfect stranger because all of the tables (with the exception of the handicap access table) is bistro size.
Favorite Spot: Near the Window
My favorite spot to work is from the comfy chair near the window or the corner table right behind it. I’m far enough away from the coffee bar to avoid hearing other people’s’ conversations while they make it through the line and the music speaker right above my head blocks out any offending conversationalist sitting nearby who is looking for an audience.
Downside: No Bathroom
No bathroom in this Starbucks. The hotel next door has one but it’s locked and can either be accessed by a host nice enough to let you in or an obliging guest with a room key. So if you don’t want to poach for a bathroom key you’ll want to keep this in mind before consuming your whole cup of venti-scrumptiousness in the first 30 minutes of your stay.