BURLINGTON — Starbucks has opened a new store in Burlington, and has done so ahead of schedule.
The Starbucks opened Friday at Fox River Plaza in a three-unit outlot building at 1054 Milwaukee Ave. The store sits in a 6,200-square-foot, multitenant retail building at the far end of the parking lot near the Big R store, 1058 Milwaukee Ave., and next to Associated Bank, 1050 Milwaukee Ave.
Starbucks occupies 2,237 square feet, or a little more than one-third of the building.
Verizon also plans to open a store there.
The location was the former Le Grand Coffee Company building, which closed last June and was demolished for the project. Before Le Grand Coffee, the building housed Heavenly Cup Coffee Hut, which closed more than three years ago.
In early April, the company had said the Burlington Starbucks was to open this fall.
Starbucks did not respond to a request for more information Monday.
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“It is huge for Burlington, for the fact that Starbucks does not locate in every city, and we’re the only one west of the (Interstate) that has it,” Mayor Jeannie Hefty said Monday.
The Starbucks stores nearest to Burlington are in Mount Pleasant, Mukwonago and Lake Geneva.
Some have voiced concern, Hefty said, about Starbucks’ possible harm to the Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine, 492 N. Pine St., or Sugar Bean Café, 256 E. Chestnut St., but she doesn’t share those concerns; Hefty said both of those Downtown businesses have their own followings and added: “I think it’s good that we do have a choice.”
Starbucks was the first tenant to be announced for the retail building developed by GMX Real Estate Group of Northbrook, Ill. The plan included a drive-thru window and dedicated drive-up lane, and two patios potentially for outdoor dining at both ends of the development. GMX planned to connect the Fox River Plaza parking lot with the adjacent Kohl’s Department Store lot to provide more flexibility with parking.
Starbucks, which opened in 1971 as a single store in Seattle with a name inspired by “Moby Dick,” continues to expand its reach around the world.
On July 25, in its most recent corporate earnings report, the Seattle-based company said it opened 442 net new stores in its most recent quarter, totaling 30,626 stores at the end of the quarter, a 7% increase over the prior year.
Nearly one-third of the new store openings were in China and 48% were in other international markets.
The world’s largest coffee retailer, Starbucks went public in 1992 but still touts its values of ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement.
In Racine County, Starbucks also has stores at Highway 20 and Village Center Drive in Mount Pleasant and on Highway 31 in front of Regency Mall in Racine. There also is a licensed vendor selling Starbucks products inside the Barnes & Noble book store in Mount Pleasant.