Friday, August 10, 2012

After 3+ Years, it's the End of an Unusually Long Wait for a Starbucks at the Prado

Seattle, Washington-based Starbucks Coffee is finally opening a location it has held a lease on for over three years.  The coffee shop signed a lease for a new location at Sembler's The Prado in2008 but soon after, announced the closure of 600 locations nationwide.  At that time, Starbucks opted to retain their lease but hold off on building out and opening the location. Starbucks wound up closing about a dozen locations in Atlanta, though they maintain a presence of over 100 locations in the state.   

About a half mile north of the upcoming location at The Prado, Starbucks closed their store at 5841 Roswell Road as part of the massive closures.  The company still has a freestanding location at 6160 Roswell Road,  in addition to shops in both the Kroger at City Walk and the Target at The Prado. The new Starbucks is opening at the north end of The Prado, adjacent to T-Mobile, at Lake Placid and Roswell Road.  

The decision to finally open their long leased location at The Prado is likely a result of the successful opening of Lifetime Fitness Athletic within the center.  Lifetime, similar to, but perceived as higher-end, than LA Fitness, opened earlier this year and took a large parcel in the rear of the project, which had originally been set aside for The Home Depot, which never opened.  Many merchants in The Prado had not met sales expectations since opening,  but anchor tenants such as Target and Publix have reported significant sales increases since Lifetime opened its doors. 

Not long ago, Starbucks opened a new location on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown Place in a former Dunkin' Donuts across the street from the upcoming Ponce City Market.  This location is said to be the area's largest and also features the Clover, a proprietary coffee brewing machine, said to deliver the purest coffee money can buy.  The Clover machine is only in a handful of locations in Atlanta but it's entirely likely the company may opt to add a Clover to the Prado location.  Starbucks is also adding beer and wine to a number of Atlanta area locations including the one on West Paces Ferry at Northside Drive.  I feel it's far more likely that the Clover will be offered, than beer and wine, at this location.

In addition to Starbucks finally opening, the center will also soon welcome the metro area's second Bruegger's Bagels, another metro area Barberitos, and Yogurt Mountain.  (For more on these openings, check out this earlier post.) The Prado has seen its fair share of restaurant failures including Yoreka, a frozen yogurt shop (now a Subway), Larry's Giant Subs ( now Popcorn Haven) and the once closed, now re-opened but doomed to fail, EVOS, a "healthy fast food" eatery.

Is Starbucks your favorite coffee shop or do you prefer local Caribou or local options like Octane?  Do you think Starbucks was wise in maintaining their lease and choosing to open now?  What is your favorite dining option in The Prado? 
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Popcorn Haven has opened in the former Larry's Giant Subs space at the Prado. The Starbucks is a welcomed addition to the center. The Life Time location at the Prado is a Life Time Athletic, not Fitness. Athletic is the company's higher end brand, which typically offers expanded programming and amenities.