A coffee war — or, at the very least, a local vs. chain battle — appears to be brewing in Kansas City.
Starbucks has plans to open in Brookside, not far from the locally owned Roasterie Cafe. And the Roasterie is opening up a new location just a hop from the Starbucks on Main Street.
Starbucks recently confirmed it will open in Brookside in spring 2018. But it didn’t confirm the exact location since they are in “the early stages.” However, a permit filed with the city for a Starbucks Coffee in Brookside shows it at 6304 Brookside Plaza, current home of Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs. Goodcents, which has a lease that expires by early 2018 and is based in De Soto, Kan., said it would relocate in the area if it can’t negotiate a new lease.
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If the Starbucks deal goes through, it would be just 0.1 of a mile away from the locally owned Roasterie Cafe. It was the first of its kind and opened at 6223 Brookside Blvd. in 2005, next to Bella Napoli, which also has a coffee bar.
In a “believe in the magic of Brookside local” social media post and news release, Roasterie founder Danny O’Neill said:
“For nearly 100 years, Brookside has been about local — shops with unique local flavor, owned by local merchants and proprietors, where all the money stays in Brookside and gets reinvested into Brookside.
“It’s a quaint, charming place—say old-fashioned, I’ll take that. Because on the periphery of Brookside, many neighborhoods have been swallowed up by the big-box mentality and national and international chains and have lost some of their special luster and appeal and along with that ambience, a large chunk of their economic power. If you saw the news or spent a lot of time with your social media feed this weekend, you might have heard or read that an international coffee chain wants to come into Brookside.”
He went on to praise his former and current landlords.
“This isn’t about another coffee shop in Brookside and weighing the competition — there are at least seven or eight locally owned and operated coffee shops within walking distance from The Roasterie. They’re great neighbors, often working alongside us to donate to dozens of local causes. ... This is about maintaining our local integrity, spirit and determination.”
Response on social media and in emails to the possible Brookside Starbucks has ranged from “I can’t wait” to “the JoCo invasion of Brookside continues.”
Joe Zwillenberg is the landlord for Goodcents, as well as neighboring CBD Plus, which will relocate when its lease expires at the end of the year.
Zwillenberg can’t comment on any new tenants, citing confidentiality agreements, but he has no problem leasing to chain operations. His first job was at the Brookside Baskin-Robbins, which has operated inside Topsy’s Popcorn for more than 40 years.
He also put a Starbucks in a building he owns at 4101 Main St. in 2006. Just 0.1 mile to the south, Roasterie also is opening a new cafe and drive-thru in the H&R Block building at 4231 Main.
But O’Neill said if somebody thinks this is a Roasterie vs. Starbucks story then they are missing the point.
“It’s, you know, keep Brookside local. We don’t need the national chains,” he said.
More than two decades ago, national chain Bruegger’s Bagels battled to open in Brookside, before dropping its plans and not coming back to the market until 2010. It then picked an Overland Park site but later closed that location.
But a Brookside Starbucks would have other chain neighbors, including CVS, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Panera Bread, Savory Spice Shop, Tuesday Morning and the Vitamin Shoppe.