Thursday, February 14, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Capital One Café Coming to Buckhead

Capital One has for months been running commercials locally featuring their Cafés , but has not had a presence in the market.  Well-placed sources, however, tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Capital One plans to bring its new Capital One Café concept to Atlanta later this year.  
While other locations are possible, the first local Café will be at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  The new Café will open in place of Panera Bread, which closed December 17 after more than fifteen years in business.

Capital One Café  confirmed their planned opening at Lenox Square in a tweet response to our inquiry saying in part:

"Our hard hats are securely fastened in Atlanta & we're on target to cut the ribbon on our Lenox Square location in late 2019."  

That said, permits have yet to be filed for the space with the City of Atlanta, and signage on the boarded up wall at the former Panera still displays generic Simon graphics.  

Capital One Café  is essentially to banking what Buckhead Church is to traditional places of worship: a millennial-oriented alternative to typical banking institutions.

Said simply, in truly millennial lingo, Capital One Café  is the financial version of Regina George's mother in the hit 2004 film, Mean Girls, who famously said, "I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom!" ---- They are not a regular bank, they are a cool bank!

Capital One uses slightly different lingo in their marketing materials, saying of the concept: "This isn't a typical bank. This is banking re-imagined."

One of the bank's signature offerings is savings and checking accounts with no fees or minimums.  


Unlike other banks whose employees may be referred to as tellers, Capital One Café's  employees are referred to as "Ambassadors."   "They’re here to answer your questions about Capital One accounts, Café events, or last night’s big game. No appointment necessary."   It may be slightly hard to identify the ambassadors, as most appear to be dressed in typical millennial "business casual" attire of jeans and a t-shirt.  

"Money Coaches" are also available for free 1-on-1 coaching appointments and are certified and trained to "help you connect your finances to your goals and dreams."   

One of the many non-traditional elements of the bank is the "Community Space" where customers and non-customers alike can avail themselves of free WiFi and power outlets.  Peet's Coffee & locally baked treats are also available in the cafe where Capital One cardholders get 50% off Peet's handcrafted beverages.  Peet's Coffee, like Panera, is owned by JAB, a Luxembourg-based holding company.  

Use of a community room is also free for registered nonprofit, alumni, and student group meetings and events. 

The Café  also host a variety of special events such as "Travel Tuesday," where next Tuesday, February 19, the topic at the Richmond Café is Australia.  Customers and non-customers are invited to  "Stop in and learn about the culture, currency and cuisine of Australia while enjoying free treats from one of our favorite local vendors while they last!"  


Capital One Café  were launched in 2017 and have slowly expanded to a number of large markets around the country.  Today, the company operates a dozen or so Cafés in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Boston, Delray Beach and Miami, Florida, Seattle, Glendale and San Francisco, California, among others.  

One might think the Cafe makes more sense at Ponce City Market aka Millennial Paradise, but there are reportedly not yet expansion plans in the market beyond the Lenox Square Café, but a second Café is likely to follow at some point.

The Capital One Café  would mark the most recent return of a banking institution to the mall.  When Lenox Square opened in 1959, it was home to a branch of Trust Company of Georgia and has reportedly had at least one other bank in the mall over the years.

Real estate website Bisnow reported in December that Capital One was reportedly scouting the Midtown Atlanta office market for between 75K and 100K square feet. Sources told the publication that Capital One planned to use the office space for IT and other technology functions.  

Have you ever been to a Capital One Café ?  Would you enjoy discussing your retirement over a cup of joe and a croissant in the middle of Lenox Square?  Would the experience described at Capital One Café  appeal to you, or do you prefer traditional banks?   

Please share your thoughts below  

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

never heard of this concept, and at first I thought it was kind of goofy. But the more I think about it, I could see the concept of having a free/deeply discounted cafe as a good way for a bank to differentiate and lure customers. So it's kind of growing on me.

Katherine Silverman said...

I irrationally hate this concept.

Anonymous said...

You know what would be cool?
If Chick-Fil-A started offering banking services!

Not really, but just like I don't need my bank to feed me, I don't need my restaurants to provide financial services!

ImAndy said...

The only reason I can think of needing to visit a real bank is to deposit a bunch of dollar bills. I guess this is perfect for all the strippers and Cheesecake Factory servers if they can make the rent work

Ham said...

Sounds good, but will they be offering free massages for my emotional support animal?

RichKnobSales said...

I really like the idea of a free meeting room for non profit and community efforts!

When SunTrust changes the logo on the doors I will be looking for a new place to bank.

Anonymous said...

@RichKnobSales - I'm curious as to why you're switching? SunTrust was once Sun Bank in FL, Trust Company in GA, and 3rd National Bank in TN. They merged to become SunTrust. Over the years, they added Crestar Bank, NCFC, and a few smaller ones (yes I'm a former employee from a decade ago). I was a customer before being an employee and still a customer. Whenever there's upheaval, I consider a change as well, but you seem set on the change. Just wonder your thoughts...

Skrybe said...

Atlantan99 , I dunno why, but something about this article gives me the vibe that this maybe, just maybe, isn't a thing that you're into. 😂

irene said...

About time! They've been running those commercials in the Atlanta area forever. I called CS about a in-person transaction and they said the closest location is in Podunk Louisiana. And it's about time a Big Bank gives back to the community after all the fees they've sucked up from us!

Anonymous said...

"And it's about time a Big Bank gives back to the community after all the fees they've sucked up from us!"

Those fees are due to the FACT that YOU cannot manage your money properly.

filmcrit said...

I've been a Capital One 360 customer for years. Finally had a chance to visit a cafe while in Denver last year. It is a fantastic concept, and I'm so excited to see that they plan to open one in my neighborhood.

Unknown said...

Capital one atm in Atlanta Georgia

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