Cityscape

Brookside's coffee battle: Are you Team Roasterie or Team Starbucks?

In Brookside: Are you Team Starbucks or Team Roasterie?

In a neighborhood that likes its local businesses, Brookside residents now have a choice when it comes to coffee: Starbucks or Roasterie.
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In a neighborhood that likes its local businesses, Brookside residents now have a choice when it comes to coffee: Starbucks or Roasterie.

The local-vs.-chain coffee showdown is on in Brookside.

Starbucks opened in May at 6304 Brookside Plaza, just a tenth-of-a-mile from locally owned Roasterie Cafe.

But this battle had been brewing before that, back to when Roasterie opened in a H&R Block office at 4231 Main St. in late 2017, also a tenth-of-a-mile from a Starbucks that opened in October 2006.

Another Roasterie Cafe is now going into the lobby of the H&R Block World Headquarters downtown, a space that originally housed a Starbucks.

Roasterie started a "Keep Brookside Local" campaign in the fall of 2017 to get consumers to support locally owned businesses.

But it may be too late.

CVS, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Panera Bread, Savory Spice Shop, Tuesday Morning and the Vitamin Shoppe are among the national tenants in Brookside.

Locally owned Bella Napoli recently dropped out of the Brookside quick-coffee competition. It started as a coffee shop in 2001 and held on even after the Roasterie Cafe moved in next door. But the owner closed his coffee shop in April and is expanding his restaurant into the space, although his customers can still get coffee when they dine in.

For some, this may be reminiscent of the Westport coffee war. In 1998, Starbucks opened next to beloved Broadway Cafe. The two co-existed for a decade until Starbucks terminated its lease in 2008 in a dispute with its landlord (and after it had opened the Main Street location, just half a mile a way).

Now the Brookside coffee war is roiling among consumers. Among the social media comments on Nextdoor, Twitter and Facebook include:

On Starbucks: "I must say it is super cozy inside. The staff was very friendly and my coffee was delicious. Nice addition to the corner! My first choice would have been Bella Napoli (best coffee in town ) but I'm happy to have options."

"I'll stick to Crows, One More Cup or Second Best Coffee. There's more local places I'd like to try too!"

"Why do we need a Starbucks when we have the Roasterie, a local business?"

"Get a grip. Here in Seattle there are hundreds of local coffee shops that peacefully exist with Starbucks in very close proximity."

"Will someone please explain to me why Starbucks is bad, but Panera is okay?

"I’ll save my outrage for when Sport Clips rolls into downtown Brookside."

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