Monday, January 09, 2006

Something suspicious at another Starbucks?

By now you’ve probably heard that a homemade bomb was found in a San Francisco Starbucks on Monday afternoon and defused by the police. What you’ve almost certainly not encountered was a report on a blog called, detailing how a package similarly deemed suspicious was found outside of a midtown-New York Starbucks in late October and detonated to render it harmless. The Oct. 25 entry recounts how the moderator, an employee in a midtown office not far from Nation’s Restaurant News’ headquarters, arrived at work to find an area near Grand Central Station cordoned off by the police. Later, Chris Declerico explained, he heard an explosion, and someone from his building’s staff acknowledged via intercom that something had been blown up by the authorities to avert any potential danger.

Other posters corroborated some elements of Declerico’s account.

The blogosphere has already given rise to unfounded speculation that the San Francisco bomb might have been an act of terrorism. We hardly want to encourage that kind of runaway fear-mongering. So I’ll cite what Declerico concluded about his bomb-at-Starbucks experience:

“I’ll assume, for now, that the explosives were that of the bomb squad and not the package itself. I do not believe ‘a bomb went off outside Starbucks’. I think ‘a package of probably nothing was blown up inside a giant metal container outside Starbucks’ is more accurate.”

San Francisco is believed to be the only major city in the nation with a partial ban on "formula" or "format" businesses, the new euphemism used by anti-chain zealots to hold the tide against the likes of McDonald's, Red Lobster and Starbucks. The police have yet to offer any information on possible motives.

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