A Starbucks spokeswoman said the shop at Sixth and Centre streets would be open by the end of this year. Meanwhile, another Starbucks is finishing construction at Gaffey and Fifth streets. That store also should be open by the end of the year. Neither Starbucks will feature a drive-through service. While it was probably inevitable that revitalization and new loft developments would bring national chain stores and eateries into downtown San Pedro – Quizno’s also is rumored to be contemplating a downtown location – many are viewing the change with at least some trepidation. “As a business owner, I personally feel we should try to keep the family mom-and-pop shops,” said Mike Caccavalla, owner of the independent Downtown Subs and More, a 6-year-old business at 362 W. Sixth St., near the lofts. “We’ve been asked to stay here and make this a better place, to keep our doors open and ride out the storm, only to find out a name-brand place is coming to town. “What can you do?” Caccavalla said. “The only way we’re going to find out if it hurts or helps us is if in five years I’m gone and all the other mom-and-pop stores are gone.” While a Starbucks isn’t a direct threat to Subs and More, it could prove to be competition to San Pedro’s home-grown independent coffeehouse right up the street, Sacred Grounds at 468 W. Sixth St. But Sacred Grounds owner David Lynch remains upbeat about his soon-to-be new neighbor, saying the two businesses draw different clientele. “They appeal to the mass-marketing thing, and we have more of a local following for the most part,” Lynch said. A downtown mainstay since 1992, Sacred Grounds has fostered an avant-garde atmosphere, offering live music and “open-mike” poetry nights that cater to local artists and local residents. In response to Starbucks opening down the street, Lynch said he’ll probably beef up the entertainment and lunch service at his shop to further set himself apart from the new corporate-owned coffeehouse. He’ll continue also to offer free Internet access for customers, a service for which Starbucks usually charges. And ultimately, he said, Starbucks could even help his and all the other businesses in downtown. “It’s been proven over and over again that when a Starbucks comes into an area, it helps,” Lynch said. Meanwhile, other new businesses also are preparing to open in downtown this fall, including Niko’s Pizza at Sixth and Mesa streets and Off the Wall, a wine shop at Sixth and Pacific Avenue. Off the Wall just received its city permits and owner Michael Koth said the store’s retail section should be open in November. A wine-tasting room should be finished about a month later, he said. An art supply store also will be going into the space in the Brown Brothers Building across from Sacred Grounds. Downtown revitalization, Caccavalla acknowledged, is coming along more slowly than some had hoped. But progress is being made, he said. “In most places this would have been done two years ago, but this is Pedro,” Caccavalla said. “Everything gets done at its own pace.” “It’s still a process,” Lynch said. “It’s going slower than a lot of people thought it would, so some of these (new) businesses might be a bit premature. But I think if the businesses that are already here can hold their own for a year or two, they’ll be OK.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Donna Littlejohn STAFF WRITER The good news for downtown San Pedro is a Starbucks is coming. The bad news? A Starbucks is coming. Word that the slick, mass-marketed coffeehouse chain is setting down roots in the middle of San Pedro’s quaint shopping core is sure to draw mixed reviews. On the one hand, the popular nationwide retailer is a sure sign that the downtown is making progress toward revitalization. But many fear the advent of popular chains could be the end of San Pedro’s quirky, off-beat charm. And it could even prove to be fatal competition for a few of the small, independent shops that have managed to survive in the sluggish downtown, holding out for better times. Starbucks signs have gone up in the windows of the empty corner retail space under the Centre Street Lofts. So far, it is the only retailer to have a signed lease in the ground-floor retail spaces. The high-profile coffeehouse, however, could prove to be an anchor and a catalyst for bringing other retailers to the building.