Local Java vendors consider Starbucks plans
Ready or not, a new Starbucks is set to launch in Oneonta in the summer of 2022. While many may celebrate the branded lattes and cappuccinos, some local cafes are concerned about the effect it will have on their small businesses.
The Starbucks rises on the south side of Oneonta – Route 23 near Buffalo Wild Wings – an area already congested with traffic and large businesses such as WalMart, Southside Mall and a variety of grocery stores.
Plans for the new cafe include drive-thru, which in other places often sees long lines of cars filled with coffee seekers eager to get their caffeine fix.
Oneonta Town Supervisor Randal Mowers said he doesn’t see a problem with the coffeehouse chain opening and isn’t worried about increased development or traffic.
“I don’t think that would be a bad thing at all,” Mr Mowers said. “I’m not a Starbucks guy but I think I’ll definitely give it a try.”
He said construction has been delayed by supply chain issues, a common issue across the country, but expects the Starbucks to be finished by August at the latest.
Planning Council member Breck Tarbell said there were “no concerns at the planning meeting” about traffic congestion.
“There is an intersection and a traffic light,” Mr Tarbell said. “People have talked about it, but their questions have been answered.”
Professional engineer Mark Day said the majority of traffic will come from Courtyard Drive rather than Route 28, according to Oneonta City Planning Board minutes from April 5, 2021. The site will include walkways pedestrians for safety. At Starbuck’s request, the developers removed the one-way entrance to the parking lot from the building plans so cars wouldn’t have to reroute around the building to grab their beer mugs.
Main Street in Oneonta has no shortage of good coffee, but feelings about the new Starbucks are a mix of trepidation and indifference.
Capresso Coffee Bar owner Kevin Irving fears the Starbucks will divert traffic from his store due to brand recognition.
“We’re a mom and pop boutique,” Mr. Irving said. “Tourists are going to flock to (Starbucks) rather than local places because they know it. People go with what they know. This will probably harm the coffee.
Capresso is on Main Street in an area with heavy foot traffic. The cafe has a cozy atmosphere with armchairs, sofas and light music playing in the background.
The Latte Lounge is across from Capresso and is connected to Green Toad Bookstore, an independent bookstore.
Latte Lounge owner Corey Chang said it was impossible to know how a new Starbucks would affect his business.
“It’s not built yet, so I don’t know how it will affect things,” Ms. Chang said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Dunkin’ is a large coffeehouse chain that has locations in Oneonta and is considered Starbucks’ main competitor. The franchise owner could not be reached for comment at press time.