By Sabrina Henderson
Sentinel and Transcript Newspapers
Liz DiPaolo has lived in Golden for seven years, and after working in the Applewood Village Starbucks for about two months, she's been promoted to store manager for the Golden Starbucks, slated to open in late September on the southeast corner of 13th Street and Washington Avenue.
Sitting in the packed Applewood store, DiPaolo said she's thrilled, as a resident of Golden, to be part of Starbucks coming to town.
"As a fan of Starbucks, Golden is a community that really embraces coffee," she said. "It's an opportunity to help the restoration and preservation of an historic building."
The building's owner, Jim Garrick, received $350,000 from the Golden Urban Renewal Authority for the renovation and signed a contract to bring Starbucks to town. Four local coffee shop owners and many local residents are upset that the former Gem Theater wasn't restored at the location, and it's questionable exactly how Starbucks is contributing to historic restoration.
Starbucks regional marketing manager Bridget Barrett said they haven't had any input on the outside of the building and no final decision has been made on what will be done on the inside either.
"We want there to be a special flare, especially through the artwork," Barrett said. "It's not the furniture, fixtures or carpet, it's Liz and her staff that will give it (the store) its personality. It becomes the community's Star-bucks."
Barrett said her understanding is that Garrick is trying to make the building fit the "look and feel" of Golden, blending it with other nearby architecture. One result of the remodeling is that the giant horse that once made the building so recognizable has been taken down.
The renovation has also caused Starbucks to push back its opening date three times. But Barrett said, "It's going to be worth it in the end."
"We're coming in to be a neighbor. We're there to help in any way and are getting involved in community activities," said DiPaolo.
She said that part of living in Golden is participating in the recreational activities available in the community. She called herself an "extreme outdoor enthusiast," and said that cycling is one of her passions. She's excited about being able to ride her bike to work.
DiPaolo also noted that Starbucks will be adding to the Golden workforce, employing between 12 and 14 people.
She said that most of the hiring will take place through the Applewood Village store, closer to the opening, and that a few of the employees from that store are being considered.
Published July 31, 2002
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