It seems 25,000 signatures weren't enough to keep a Starbucks out of Yosemite. That petition to halt its opening died a quiet death on March 16, when the coffee giant began operating at Yosemite Valley Lodge's Base Camp Eatery, which ABC7 reports underwent a $7 million remodel, its first since 2000. The Guardian reports that requests from visitors reportedly partly drove the decision, which "aligns with our goals of elevating the food and beverage offerings throughout the park," per a rep with Aramark, which is running the facility.
It's the first Starbucks location in a national park, and "we wanted to be respectful to the park and added only what we needed to," says a store designer with the chain. There's no exterior signage, and Chain Store Age reports on one "cue" it took from its natural setting: The bar is covered in reclaimed redwood from Northern California. That's likely not enough to satisfy Freddy Brewster, the former Yosemite trail guide and man behind the petition: The store opening "is representative of what our culture is becoming," he tells the Guardian. "The government is increasingly dependent on major corporations." (A California family allegedly suffered "stress, nervousness, fright, anguish, grief, anxiety, worry, and shock for several months" after a Starbucks visit.)