Starbucks to open with potential for walk-up, drive-thru

Loyola students may soon have the opportunity to enjoy Starbucks coffee at a new location in Edgewater, according to 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman.

The new Starbucks would be built on an “under-utilized” lot at Broadway and Devon Avenue and would represent a new concept never before seen in the Chicago area, Osterman said.

Osterman’s Weekly Ward Update, published Aug. 10, showed a digital rendering and description of the proposed store.

The coffee shop may include a drive-thru and a walk-up window so that orders can be placed outside from pedestrians and drivers. There would be no indoor cafe, but the coffee shop may include an outdoor seating area and the building itself will be made of recycled train boxcars.

Junior international business and marketing major Claire Hoodmaker, 19, said she is excited for the possible opening of the coffee shop.

“I love Starbucks! It’ll be a great addition [to the area]!” she said.

However, eager students like Hoodmaker will have to wait. The idea for the store is still in the proposal stage, according to Assistant to the Alderman Sara Dinges. Because it will incorporate a drive-thru window, the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals will require a Special Use Permit. Dinges said Starbucks is expected to file the document in the next few weeks. Plans should begin finalization within the next two months.

Any time a Special Use Permit is filed in the 48th Ward, Osterman holds community meetings to inform residents of the possible new addition to the neighborhood, adhering to the community process.

Area groups and block clubs then have the opportunity to vote to either support or oppose the initiative. So far, groups have been supportive, and all votes have been unanimously in favor of building the new Starbucks, Dinges said. Osterman also plans to support the new store, according to the 48th Ward website.

Senior political science and philosophy major James Luisi, 21, isn’t sure if the new store is necessary. He said if he wants Starbucks, he feels the one on Columbia Avenue is “close enough,” or he can order coffee on campus. He does, however, see value in the novelty of the unique store being proposed.

“It’s a business model I haven’t seen before. It could be interesting,” he said.

The new concept model may not be the only changes coming to area shops. According to the Starbucks Customer Service Hotline, a Starbucks on West Diversy Avenue will soon start selling “evening” food and some alcohol, such as beer and wine.

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