Starbucks moving out of Kent Street

Dave Stewart
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Coffee shop will still have two locations in Charlottetown when new drive-thru opens on University Avenue

Specialty coffee giant Starbucks is closing one of its two locations in downtown Charlottetown, The Guardian has learned.

Employees at the shop on the corner of Kent and Great George streets say it will close when the new Starbucks opens at Staples on University Avenue on Feb. 1.

The corner of Kent and Great George was home to Tweel’s Gift Shop for more than 50 years before it closed and moved out to Capital Drive in Charlottetown in 2003.

Starbucks took over at the corner of Kent and Great George streets in September 2009, leasing about 1,700 square feet of space in the newly renovated Tweel Building.

The location is a full service Starbucks, carrying the complete line of Starbucks coffees, espresso-based beverages and iced beverages, as well as Starbucks food products.

The Starbucks also operates a business on Queen Street so, when all is said and done, there will still be two locations in Charlottetown — Queen Street and University Avenue.

There was no immediate response to a request for an interview with Starbucks Coffee Company officials.

Dawn Alan, executive director with Downtown Charlottetown Inc., said it’s very disappointing news.

She said developer Chris Tweel has worked extremely hard to reinvigorate the Kent/Great George streets corner, with Starbucks on one side of the street and McInnes Cooper occupying the top three floors across the street in the old Sam The Record Man building.

“Starbucks brought new life to that corner as Chris Tweel knew it would when he originally sought them out,’’ Alan said Monday.

“We have several great coffee shops on and around that block; all different; all busy . . . and we have proven that all can do well, so we know another will also do well in that location.’’

One repeat customer at the Kent Street location, who didn’t want to give his name, said he was surprised to hear the news.

The man said even though there are other coffee shops in the immediate area, such as Timothy’s, Beanz, Robin’s Donuts and Tim Hortons, there is plenty of foot traffic with the Jean Canfield federal building, Invesco, McInnes Cooper and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Alan said she has zero doubt that Chris Tweel will fill the vacancy quickly.

“He’s doing such a great job of revitalizing. This presents just a short-term setback but the promise (is) for something exciting to come,’’ she said.

Organizations: Starbucks, Staples, Gift Shop University Avenue.There Downtown Charlottetown Sam The Record Man Tim Hortons Invesco Department of Veterans Affairs.Alan

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kent, Kent Street Queen Street

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Recent comments

  • laurent Beaulieu
    January 29, 2016 - 15:37

    We need a grocery store downtown and not a convinience store. Could a business person think of opening a grocery store in the area?

  • Adolphus
    January 28, 2016 - 15:57

    A victory for our local shops at last!

  • Jon
    January 28, 2016 - 13:51

    Interesting to see that another Starbucks location on PEI has failed while many local coffee shops survive. It makes me happy to know that Islanders do shop local and there is hope for our province.

  • Brilliant
    January 28, 2016 - 08:17

    I believe the City should find a business to move in there that would employee lots of people. Then the "executive director with Downtown Charlottetown Inc" should provide funding for advertising to bring in lots of customers. Then, and this is the best part, the City should make sure there is no place for staff or customers to park. Think of the revenue the new business would generate in the form of parking tickets. This model must work because the city keeps trying it over and over and look at the lack of vacant retail/office space. Oops, I just checked. There is tons of empty retail/office space. Okay, perhaps the model doesn't work. Sorry. Never mind.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    January 27, 2016 - 22:06

    I have real problem believing that a Starbucks that far away from downtown will do as much business as one downtown will do.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 27, 2016 - 16:40

    Corporate decisions rarely take into account customer loyalty for a particular location. To the corporatists, it is all about making more profit, not about caring for ALL of its customers. Although it was located on the corner, it missed out on the dedication to customers that the older Lebanese community stores once had. Oh well, I guess the customers have to change their habits. I remember a time when a business put its customers first, ahead of potential profits, for something called goodwill. Unfortunately goodwill doesn't transfer well to spreadsheets as numbers.

    • Stephanie
      January 28, 2016 - 14:14

      Actually, "goodwill" does transfer to spreadsheets well. Goodwill is recognized as an intangible asset on the balance sheet in the sale of the business or portion of the business, when the price paid is greater than the net value of its assets and liabilities. Yay accounting knowledge!

  • jill
    January 27, 2016 - 14:08

    Their coffee sucks.

  • Neil Warren
    January 27, 2016 - 10:29

    "Epic Fail" best describes this move!

  • Stan Hope
    January 27, 2016 - 09:32

    I wonder if they'll now replace those two beautiful, young & very healthy maple trees that were cut down in order to make way the the shop's "signage" ?

  • Really
    January 27, 2016 - 09:12

    Fill it quickly. How long did Sam the Record man sit empty. If it wasn't for the millions in loans the building would still be empty. Taweel's was empty for a long time and will sit empty again. The state the previous government and the current one have the proovince are in who would want to open a business here. Because if you aren't of the right political stripe you get no help.