The Great Good Place, a book by the urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, talks about the social and psychological importance of what he calls “third places.”  He designates home as “first place” and work as “second place”. He describes “third place” as somewhere neutral, convenient, comfortable and welcoming. It’s where regulars gather and where conversation is lively, engaging and often accompanied by laughter.  Soda fountains, beer gardens, cafes and Main Streets have traditionally functioned as third places.

See article at: NYT 17May09: “Losing the Income and the Camaraderie”  


Starbucks . . . emphasises that it is not just in the business of selling coffee. It sells entry to a community of like-minded people (who are so very different from the types who get their coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s) gathered in a “third place” that is neither home nor work.


See article at: The Economist 15Jan11 “Logoland” by Schumpeter




 [Starbucks Chairman, Howard] Schultz said Starbucks plans to become a “third place” for young Indians to seek out between home and work.

See article at: WSJ 14Jan11 “Starbucks Brews Plan to Enter India”