Old Blockbuster Location.
Two good things happened in one announcement at last night’s City Council meeting. By mid-2011, San Carlos residents who are fans of Peet’s Coffee & Tea will no longer have to go outside the city limits to get their fix. Peet’s has already signed a lease to occupy the long-vacant store front at the corner of Cherry and Laurel Streets that used to be home to Blockbuster Video store. It’s no secret that Peet’s has been looking for a long time to set up shop in San Carlos, and different rumors swirled around about where they might land. The most recent was that they would occupy some of the ground-floor retail space at the new 1001 Laurel condo complex.
So Peet’s coffee lovers will finally get their own San Carlos location, and Laurel Street finally rids itself of a long-standing vacant store-front. That’s a win-win for that corner. But there are some who will bemoan the arrival of yet another coffee house in downtown San Carlos.
Too Much Coffee?
When the second Starbucks location opened a few years ago on Laurel near the corner of Arroyo Avenue, there was some public backlash that Laurel street was becoming saturated in coffee….so to speak. With Starbucks now flanking both ends of Laurel Street, the belief was that it would spell the end for the few independent coffee shops left on Laurel.
Certainly, the coffee shop that will likely feel the most pressure from the arrival of Peet’s Coffee won’t be Starbucks. It will be the Plantation Coffee Roastery — which unfortunately is located right across the street from the new home of Peet’s. But coffee drinkers are a funny lot (I know, I’m one of them.) They tend to be extremely brand-loyal, even more so than beer drinkers. Fans of Peet’s stick with Peet’s; same goes with Starbucks.
I think this phenomenon will ultimately protect Plantation from the arrival of a chain coffee shop right across the street. They have a very die-hard following, some of which are our own police officers and at least one San Carlos City Council member. Plantation has survived (and even thrived) despite the arrival of 3 Starbucks stores, so they should be OK when Peet’s ultimately arrives.
But let’s not leave that to chance. Celebrate our breadth and diversity of coffee shops by welcoming Peet’s to the neighborhood, and by supporting our small, local shop too.
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