Starbucks closing downtown Charlottetown location today

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 1, 2016

This Starbucks location, at the corner of Kent and Great George streets in downtown Charlottetown, is closing its doors for good today.

©Heather Taweel/The Guardian

The taps are turning off at Starbucks today.

Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick, who handles public affairs for the speciality coffee giant, emailed The Guardian to say the cafe at the corner of Kent and Great George streets is shutting down.

“I want to provide you with an update that our café will now be closing today,’’ Lowenborg-Frick said in the email.

The public affairs spokeswoman had told The Guardian on Friday that the Kent Street café would be staying open until Friday, Feb. 5.

No reasons were given for the decision to close the café four days early.

She did note that the new Starbucks café, located in the Staples parking lot on University Avenue, is still targeting Thursday, Feb. 4 as its opening date.

Starbucks also operates a café on Queen Street.

Lowenborg-Frick said relocating the café from Kent and Great George streets to University Avenue was a decision made through a “thoughtful process’’.

“All our (employees) have been offered positions at the new location that is opening just a short drive from the existing location,’’ she said.

The decision caught many in the Charlottetown business community by surprise, including developer Chris Tweel, the man who brought Starbucks in to begin with.

Tweel has done a lot of work to that corner of the city. Not only did he renovate the Tweel Building where Starbucks was a tenant, but he also made dramatic changes across the street. McInnes Cooper now occupies the top three floors in the old Sam The Record Man building.

Tweel says Starbucks is a premium international coffee retailer and a valued addition to the tenant base and downtown Charlottetown core.

“Their products set a new standard for coffee experience in Charlottetown and their corporate standards are well aligned to those of our organization,’’ Tweel said.

“We know this is a popular location with high traffic. Being a small store with restricted expansion potential it may have been the victim of its own success and not large enough to satisfy customer demand or the long term plans of Starbucks in Charlottetown.’’

He also noted that the city has a strong and vibrant coffee culture and that “we know our many tenants rely on a premium coffee experience at this intersection’’.

Tweel said there isn’t anything he can say at this point about the future of Kent and Great George streets.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart