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.