Two of the area’s best-known coffee brands are brewing up another round of store expansions in the Pikes Peak region.
Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee will open two Colorado Springs locations during the fourth quarter — one in a building under construction southwest of Powers and Dublin boulevards and the other in a shuttered Taco Bueno restaurant being remodeled at 7970 N. Academy Blvd.
The locations — along the heavily traveled Powers and North Academy retail corridors — will be company owned, Angi Veek, a Dutch Bros spokeswoman, said via email.
“We look for locations that are favorable for traffic flow, and are in centralized areas in the communities we serve,” she said.
Typical Dutch Bros locations cater to drive-thru customers and walk-ups. The North Academy location, however, will retain some of Taco Bueno’s indoor seating, while the Powers and Dublin store will have patio seating.
A third new Dutch Bros, to be operated by husband-and-wife franchisees Travis and Rita Pickern of Colorado Springs, is slated to open by year’s end at 4420 Edison Ave., east of Platte Avenue and Murray Boulevard, Jacob Vacura, the Pickerns’ regional manager, said in an email.
The Pickerns also have received city approval for a Dutch Bros northeast of Academy and Maizeland Road, although Vacura said there’s no timetable for that location.
Dutch Bros has six outlets in the Springs, four of them operated by the Pickerns.
Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee, meanwhile, which has roughly 50 Springs-area locations in stand-alone buildings, shopping centers or inside grocery and department stores, might add a store on the northeast corner of Platte Avenue and Murray Boulevard.
CenterPointe Development of Scottsdale, Ariz., which has developed four Starbucks sites in Colorado Springs, has proposed razing a Conoco service station at Platte and Murray to make way for the new Starbucks, according to documents submitted to city planners.
J. Clint Jameson, a CenterPointe managing partner, said the proposal isn’t a done deal and his company is working to reach an agreement with the coffee giant. He hopes Starbucks will commit to the site in the next three to four months; if that happens, Starbucks probably would open in late 2020, Jameson said.
“We feel confident we’ll get it done,” he said.
CenterPointe developed locations for Starbucks at the north-side InterQuest Marketplace retail center; at Union Boulevard and Boulder Street; in the parking lot of the Market Center shopping complex northeast of Academy and Austin Bluffs Parkway; and on South Nevada Avenue, at the site of a now-razed Taco Express.
The expansion of coffee retailers such as Starbucks and Dutch Bros reflects consumers’ growing demand for higher-end coffees, espressos and other specialty drinks, said Mark Useman of Colorado Springs Commercial, a local brokerage. McDonald’s, Dunkin’ and other restaurants have upped their coffee game as well, he said.
“I don’t know what the statistics are, but I’ve got to believe it’s pretty high — (the number of) people that drink coffee,” Useman said. “That’s why they do so well. I think there’s a following of certain brands; some people love Starbucks, and a lot of people like the Dutch Bros.”
Beyond personal preference for taste or pricing, consumers also like the convenience that coffee outlets offer with drive-thru service, Useman said. They’re a staple for Dutch Bros and increasingly for Starbucks, which for years has moved stores out of shopping centers and into stand-alone buildings, he said.
“The drive-thrus are what’s making them popular,” Useman said of the coffee giants.
“People want convenient locations with drive-thrus. People don’t want to get out of their cars nowadays. They want to get their coffee and go. Same thing with fast food. So, the people that have drive-thrus are more successful.”