San Carlos to (finally) Get a Peets Coffee.

December 14, 2010

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.   Peets 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 Peets 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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  1. JJ on December 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Xmas comes early for Peets fans in SC. FINALLY – after all these yrs. and the location could not be any better.
    Now, if only we could get some good news about the old Bell market site, which sits and sits and…

  2. Steve on December 17, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Yee hah and boo hoo.

    Yee Hah: Been a long time waiting. I do love Peet’s. That said, I love the customer experience at SBUX even better, but the coffee at Peet’s when they get it just right…fantastic.

    Boo Hoo: If the independents offer a distinctive experience, they will do just fine. This isn’t like a freakin’ WalMart is moving to downtown or we’re getting a freakin’ dollar store in San Carlos or something (oops…one of two ain’t bad).

  3. Anonymous on December 18, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Please – let’s remember to patronize our local stores on Laurel Street!! Whether it’s an independent bookstore (Reading Bug) or an independent coffee shop (Plantation, Vanilla Moon) … these places stay in business because we support them! If you buy your coffee at Peet’s or Sbux, fine. But then don’t complain when there are empty storefronts or you start losing the local flavor that makes Laurel Street differnt than University Avenue or Burlingame Ave!

  4. JJ on December 18, 2010 at 5:10 am

    No one would ever confuse Laurel St w/ Univ Ave or Burliingame Ave. Trust me.

  5. Lee on May 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Any signs of life to this? That location still looks dead.

  6. Chuck Gillooley on May 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    That…. is a great question. I will look into it.

  7. Chuck Gillooley on May 19, 2011 at 4:38 am

    So, the scoop from City Hall is that the plans for the new Peet’s Coffee at the Blockbuster site is at the permit stage. One permit has been issued and another is close to issuance. Once both are issued, you’ll likely see a whole lot more activity there. It’s definitely a “go”!

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