The changes have begun at Diedrich's, my favorite coffee house here in Malibu. Starbucks is taking over sometime in the next month or two - like many of Diedrich's regulars, I can't bear to know exactly when so I haven't been asking - and the place is in transition. In the first days after the sale to Starbucks was announced, it was easy to be in denial. Nothing seemed different. Well, that's not true. The supply of "How are we doing?" postcards instantly dwindled as patrons stuffed the suggestion box with variations of "Please! Don't!" But other than that, it's been life as usual. Same great coffee, great pastries, great courtyard to hang out in. Same great morning crew.
Until today, when Vicki will be gone. Here she is on her last day (she doesn't usually wear a paper crown, but it suits her) before she goes to work in the city as a nanny. She took the new job because of the sale. And now it's really hitting us - Malibu is going to be a Starbucks town. Four of them. (The lone holdout is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, tucked into the heart of the Country Mart.)
So things look mostly the same at Diedrichs. The Christmas decorations are up, the holiday drinks are on the menu, the Christmas carols are not playing, not for a few weeks still because it's that kind of place. Things look the same, but it's not the same at all.