Mobile phone footage appears to show the men being handcuffed and frogmarched out of the store in Philadelphia, US.
Outraged customers took to Twitter with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks as they accused the chain's employees of racially profiling the men who were waiting for a friend in store.
One tweeted: "Dear Starbucks, Calling the police to arrest two black guys just for being there is not an "incident." It's racism at its ugliest level. And it should have no place in America. Sincerely, #BoycottStarbucks."
Actor Wendell Pierce – who works alongside royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle in US drama Suits – also waded in calling for customers to take their money elsewhere amid the race storm.
Starbucks has since apologised for the incident and the boss of Starbucks says he wants to personally say sorry to the two men, who have now been released.
Police said Starbucks employees called to say the men were trespassing.
The incident prompted accusations of racism on social media.
Melissa DePino, who filmed the footage on her phone, posted her own version of events on Twitter.
She wrote: "The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did. They were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the white people are wondering why its never happened to us when we do the same thing."
Chief exec Kevin Johnson said the firm “stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling”.
He wants to meet with the men to offer a “face-to-face apology”.
Cops were told they asked to use the restroom but were denied as they had not bought anything.
The district attorney’s office said the pair were released because of lack of evidence of a crime.
In a lengthy statement posted on Starbucks' website, Mr Johnson said the situation was "disheartening" and led a "reprehensible" outcome.
And he promised to make "necessary" changes to the firm's "practices".
He added that it was "wrong" for the store to call police, saying: "You should expect more from us."
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