Coffee shop closure coming.
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Caribou Coffee will soon close their location on Roswell Road, just north of Buckhead in Sandy Springs. The freestanding coffee shop is one of the last remaining of the brand in metro Atlanta. An employee at the location cited the company not being offered a lease renewal as the reason for its closure.
A sign posted on the location indicates the store will close as of Sunday, December 6th.
Well placed sources indicate that Starbucks will replace it. While it's likely that the nearby Starbucks in Publix-anchored Chastain Square will close in favor of this new location, Starbucks Media Relations has yet to return my call seeking comment.
If the move/opening takes place, Starbucks would gain what it now considers a vital part of its business: a drive-through.
Recently, Starbucks opened a new location, sans a drive-through, in a portion of the former MF Sushi at Terminus 100 in Buckhead. Although close, the new Terminus location doesn't exactly replace the former location in Atlanta Financial Center, especially to those in the office complex. The Atlanta Financial Center location which is today Highland Bakery, closed in 2009 as part of a round of closures.
Caribou, too, has closed a number of locations in recent years, including those on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb, North Druid Hills & LaVista Roads at Toco Hills, at Perimeter Place in Dunwoody and on Peachtree Parkway at The Forum in Norcross. Once a serious competitor to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee's Atlanta presence has now dwindled to eight locations including two at SunTrust Plaza and two at Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
Joh. A Benckiser, a German holding company, owns majority stakes in both Berkeley, California based Peet's Coffee & Tea, as well as Caribou Coffee. Previously, the group had indicated it planned to rebrand a number of local Caribou Coffee locations under the Peet's moniker, but that never happened. Currently, Peet's only local presence is a small location within the Woodruff Library on the campus of Emory University which opened last year.
More recently, Peet's has purchased both Portland, Oregon based Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Chicago, Illinois based Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, each popular and established brands amongst coffee enthusiasts.
One local reader who lives a stone's throw from the closing Caribou had previously expressed to me a desire for an independent coffee shop like Oakland, California's Blue Bottle Coffee Company. This reader figured the Gateway project currently under construction would be an ideal location, and he personally promised to patronize it frequently.
Although I think it's unlikely that Blue Bottle, which currently has just twenty-three locations worldwide, would open in Sandy Springs, perhaps Peet's or one of its newly acquired brands would be interested?
What are your thoughts on the recent coffee openings and closings around Atlanta? What one out of town coffee roaster would you like to see enter the Atlanta market? Will you miss Caribou should they decide to leave Atlanta completely?
Please share your thoughts below.