The only Dutch Bros. coffee shop in central Phoenix now has a closing date.
The drive-thru located on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road will close Dec. 28, Dutch Bros. announced in a press release provided by regional manager Josh Hayes.
The company confirmed there is a potential site for a new location but did not identify where. Because of permitting and zoning requirements, Dutch Bros. has not broken ground at the new location yet, according to the press release.
“We’ll miss our customers when we close the W. Camelback location, but being a good neighbor is our priority right now,” Hayes wrote in a statement.
How neighbors pushed out the business
The Dutch Bros. in central Phoenix opened in 2009 where it’s grown in popularity over the years.
The coffee kiosk, which operates a drive-thru and walk-up window, does not have indoor seating. On any given day, visitors can find cars lining up, sometimes spilling onto the bus turnout on Camelback Road.
In November 2018, on behalf of nearby businesses, a lawyer requested the city revoke the permits Dutch Bros. requires to operate. The complaints from neighboring businesses focused on traffic impediment and loss of clientele as Dutch Bros. customers used neighboring parking lots, alleyways and public streets.
Earlier this year, Dutch Bros. entered an agreement with neighboring businesses that would allow the coffee shop to remain open until March 1, 2020 with the condition that an alternative site would be under construction by Dec. 28, according to the press release. Since the new site won’t break ground in time, the Dutch Bros. on Camelback Road will have to close that day.
Dutch Bros. has grown as a company since it first opened in central Phoenix and if its team had known then what it knows now, the company would have planned better, Hayes told the Republic in October.
‘It’s just not a good site for it’
At one point the coffee chain started the process of moving into a bigger location down the street at Third Avenue and Camelback Road. But once again, complaints from nearby business owners and residents caused the company to change course.
Both the original and proposed locations fall under certain parameters in Phoenix’s plan for Transit Oriented Development along the light rail, although Dutch Bros. had been in the area years before the city approved that framework.
Lorenzo Perez, whose redevelopment company owns property on West Camelback Road, said he doesn’t have an issue with Dutch Bros. as a company. He does have issue, however, with a car-centric business operating in an area that’s supposed to become more pedestrian-friendly.
“It’s just not a good site for it,” Perez told The Republic in October. “They’re better off where they can have way more volume and less gripes with neighbors.”
Perez’s company Venue Projects is leading development of ARRIVE Hotel at 400 W. Camelback Road, which will house a location of Cartel Coffee.
Ernest Jaramillo, who lives in the historic neighborhood just north of the proposed site, argued the effort to drive Dutch Bros. out had more to do with competing business interests and less to do with walkability of the neighborhood.
Jaramillo admitted a drive-thru coffee shop at a highly-trafficked corner isn’t the best use of the site. But he also described the area around Central Avenue and Camelback Road as a “ghost town” when the owner of Dutch Bros. first expanded there.
“Now he’s being kicked out because his business is too successful and he literally has cars lined up down the street for a cup of coffee,” Jaramillo said.
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