Panera, Starbucks in Hoboken, NJ ban indoor dining
☕ Indoor dining at Starbucks and Panera on Washington Street have been closed
☕ Problems with homelessness and drugs could have been a factor
☕ Corporate representatives not saying much
HOBOKEN — Two restaurants have closed their respective indoor dining areas but for unrelated reasons.
NBC 4 New York reported that the Panera and Starbucks located next to each other on Washington Street in Hoboken have closed their dining areas in the past two weeks to all customers.
A Panera manager said a fight two weeks ago between customers believed to be homeless prompted the removal of tables or the safety of employees and staff.
A manager told Patch that chairs were thrown during the altercation. Also contributing to the decision was the discovery of needles in the bathroom.
Panera's corporate office on Monday did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information. There are 83 Panera locations in New Jersey.
Starbucks only to go
A Starbucks spokesman told New Jersey 101.5 the closing of its dining area was at the discretion of the local management and did not disclose a specific reason for the decision.
"As a company, we empower our local leaders to use the resources at their disposal to modify store operations and create the best experience for the communities we serve," the spokesman said. "That modification of store operations can include modified hours and it can include changes to store layout, including seating removal."
There are approximately 300 Starbucks in New Jersey including three in Hoboken.
The city of Hoboken told NBC 4 New York it was not involved in the respective restaurant's decisions.