The largest coffee chain in the world is about to get a little larger, as Starbucks plans to open a third outpost in the Elm City by mid-April.
The Seattle-based coffee company currently has two stores in New Haven, both of which are on Chapel Street, separated by only three blocks. The company has submitted plans for a third downtown location at 195 Church St., just a block away from one of the existing locations, according to a Feb. 6 report by the New Haven Register.
“We felt it was a good property for them,” said Paul Denz, the owner of 195 Church St. and the president of Northside Development Company. “I’m not concerned at all. Starbucks is a national company and they pick their locations pretty wisely.”
Aside from Starbucks, the city has a number of joints for students and other residents looking for a caffeine fix. Many of the city’s current coffee houses are local chains and independent retailers that have been in New Haven since long before the national giant’s arrival to the Elm City in 2004 on the corner of Chapel and High streets.
Atticus Bookstore Cafe, located at 1082 Chapel St. in between the two current Starbucks, has been an independent bookstore in New Haven since 1976 and integrated its cafe into the business in 1981, more than two decades before Starbucks arrived in New Haven.
Blue State Coffee, a company co-founded by Drew Ruben ’11 LAW ’17, lists three New Haven locations, two of which are downtown on Wall and York streets, respectively.
And Willoughby’s Coffee and Tea, founded in 1985 and headquartered in Branford, just eight miles east of the Elm City, has two New Haven locations — one at the School of Architecture on York and another at the intersection of Church and Grove streets, two blocks away from the soon-to-be Starbucks location.
Starbucks employees at both of the franchise’s current locations declined to comment on the history of either store or the company’s plans, directing questions to the company’s media relations hotline. Starbucks’ corporate headquarters did not respond to request for comment.
“It’s not necessary, but it would absolutely receive business,” Nathalie Beauchamps ’21 said. “People will always want Starbucks. I’m indifferent personally.”
When Northside took over 195 Church St. in November 2015, a retail space in the building’s lobby was occupied by Geltman’s Deli Style Restaurant, which has since closed. Denz said the building, seeking a restaurant-like tenant, reached out to Starbucks.
Northside has worked with Starbucks in the past in Connecticut and sought the opportunity to fill a first-floor tenancy in the space last occupied by the First Niagara Bank. The parties have signed a ten-year lease, with time built in for renovations. Denz said the new Starbucks is expected to open in April of this year, and plans show the new space will seat 32 people indoors and an additional 14 customers outdoors, depending on the season.
Asked about the proximity of the company’s other locations and similar coffee shops in the area, Denz responded that Starbucks had run its own analysis and taken up the lease. He pointed to densely populated urban areas such as New York City, where “there’s a Starbucks across the street from another.”
Still, Kazemi Adachi ’20 said the new coffee house will be too far from campus to function as a study space for Yalies.
“I wouldn’t use it as a study space or for coffee — it’s too far,” Adachi said.
Starbucks was founded in 1971.
Angela Xiao | firstname.lastname@example.org