Nationally, this may be true, but in my hometown, San Francisco, it absolutely isn’t. There have been "coffee shops" here since the first Italian immigrant stepped off the boat to look for gold. This book lists over a hundred independents:
And many of them still thrive, but Starbucks has made it tough for a few and I regret the loss of any. It’s true, the independents are mostly in residential neighborhoods where they function as auxilliary living rooms and study halls with warn furniture and a homey atmosphere whereas Starbucks has mostly established itself in the downtown business district where its "clean as a whistle" glitz makes the office commuters feel more at home. But in a few places they compete directly and I wish they’d pack up and go back to Seattle where that’s the case. Even downtown, I (and most people here) prefer the local chain, Peet’s.