Monday, March 22, 2021

[UPDATE] Starbucks Makes Strange Move in Sandy Springs

In a quiet and baffling February move, Starbucks closed a roughly seven year old Sandy Springs location.  The strange thing about the closure is the fact that the Starbucks - in The Prado at 5660 Roswell Road - featured the all important drive-thru!  Signage at the Starbucks indicates that it closed as of February 23 with would-be patrons directed to one of the many other nearby Starbucks locations.  Despite having closed nearly a month ago, the 1,850 square foot Starbucks is still listed as an open and active tenant on the center's website

While Starbucks continues to operate other nearby locations, including one within the Target store at the Prado, the closure of a drive-thru unit is especially puzzling when you consider how important the feature has become to restaurants.  This past June, Starbucks said that over the coming 18 months it plans "to accelerate expansion of convenience-led formats such as Drive-Thru."  

ToNeTo Atlanta reported in 2012 that Starbucks dragged their feet in opening at The Prado having first signed a lease to open in the project in 2008!  The delayed opening was reportedly due in part to the company's decision in 2008 to close 600 "unprofitable" locations and their slowed expansion thereafter.  One of the locations the company closed in 2008 was located about a half mile from The Prado, and like the Prado location, it also had a drive-thru.  The space, an endcap in Sandy Springs Promenade, is today occupied by Gyro King.  

In the years since the opening at The Prado, Starbucks has relocated their drive-thru location at 6160 Roswell Road (soon to become Coastal States Bank) to a new, larger freestanding drive-thru built on a portion of the old American Pie.  About two miles south, Starbucks relocated their inline location from Chastain Square (now home to Sahara Cafe) to the site of a former freestanding Caribou Coffee at 4520 Roswell Road.  

In addition to these relocations, Starbucks late last year closed their 1,500 square foot location adjacent to Regal Cinemas Perimeter Pointe 10, also in Sandy Springs.  The coffee shop had been in the center for many years and seemed to do brisk business, but its location adjacent to the dormant [indefinitely closed] Regal surely impacted their business.  Online reviews suggest the location quietly reduced its hours last year, and then simply closed without warning.  Strangely, there is still an active barista job posting for the Perimeter Pointe Starbucks location.  

The former Starbucks at The Prado seems almost certainly destined to become another restaurant.  It features a drive-thru, is located inside the perimeter, and is a fairly new building which would seem to make it a highly desirable landing spot for many restaurant concepts.  

Are you surprised that Starbucks closed at The Prado in Sandy Springs? What would you like to see open in place of the Starbucks at The Prado or at Perimeter Pointe?  Do you have a favorite Starbucks location?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Nancy B Photo said...

Krispy Kreme

Anonymous said...

Jenny's Icecream

Carl said...

Perimeter Point SBUX had been there not just for years but decades, since the company first opened in the state. It was store #989. Many of the original locations (such as Emory, VA Hi, and Vinings) are gone, but there are still seven of the original ones (store numbers in the high 900s) in the area (plus two that have relocated and kept their original numbers). Could be a fun trivia question to name as many as possible. Thankfully the first freestanding drive-thru SBUX in the world (#982) still remains. Once upon a time, stores included (DT) in the name when applicable, because they were an anomaly (and also maybe not to confuse them with existing nearby ones?).

I’m not surprised at the Prado location closing, as it never seemed particularly busy to me. I think the lack of direct access from Roswell Rd made it much less appealing. Certainly the shuttered Publix didn’t help either.

Georgia Water Tanks said...

Traffic flow at that Prado location was horrible for Starbucks. I haven't been there in years but I still remember. Good idea to close.

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