The chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts debuted a state-of-the-art location Monday in Colorado Springs — showcasing a new brand, new look and new focus on coffees and other beverages.

Dunkin’, as Dunkin’ Donuts now calls itself, opened at 1609 S. Nevada Ave. in the heart of a redevelopment area taking shape south of downtown. The store is the seventh Pikes Peak region location operated by Phoenix-based franchisee JB Partners.

The 1,800-square-foot South Nevada location is the first “next generation concept store” to be opened by Dunkin’ in Colorado Springs, and is one of at least 60 new and remodeled restaurants nationwide that will test variations of a revamped store design this year, according to the Boston-based Dunkin’ chain.

The South Nevada restaurant’s facade simply says Dunkin’. As a next generation location, it features an open, modern design whose colors and materials are intended to be more inviting.

The store also serves its signature cold beverages through a tap system — similar to what would be seen in a bar — that features eight choices including coffees, iced teas, cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee. Dunkin’ employees also use high-quality espresso machines to make hand-crafted drinks to order.

Jordan Eads, franchise manager for JB Partners, said new menu offerings and the store’s atmosphere are designed to “grab the attention of Dunkin’ fans.” The tap system and other features, meanwhile, are intended to speed service for on-the-go customers, he said; a kiosk system intended to improve service also is in the offing.

Dunkin’ continues to offer doughnuts, bagels and muffins, Eads said.

“Nothing about the doughnuts has changed. Just the name,” he said.

In recent years, however, the chain has ratcheted up its emphasis on beverages — competing with Starbucks, McDonald’s and others who are vying for customers who want high quality coffees and other drinks.

“People’s eating-out habits have changed,” Eads said. “We realize that there is a lot of potential in the beverage side of our business.”

JB Partners, which also opened a Dunkin’ location last year in Fountain, targeted South Nevada for its latest store because of redevelopment along the corridor.

In 2015, the Colorado Springs City Council designated the east and west sides of Nevada, south of Interstate 25, as an urban renewal district.

The corridor long known for aging motels, used-car lots and pawn shops has seen a flurry of west-side redevelopment, including Natural Grocers, Chick-fil-A, Zoës Kitchen, Tokyo Joe’s, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Smashburger. Dunkin’, along with a new Starbucks, have gone up on Nevada’s east side.

“That’s what drove us to South Nevada,” Eads said. “The redevelopment. We wanted to be first in on this side.”

The Dunkin’ on South Nevada, which also features free Wi-Fi and an energy-efficient design, employs about 30 full- and part-time people and will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. No decision has been made whether JB Partners’ other Dunkin’ locations will convert to the next generation concept, but a change is likely, Eads said.

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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