It was inevitable. Where Baby Gap, Old Navy, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn prosper, Starbucks was bound to follow. It’s no secret that the Seattle-based coffee chain has been nosing around prime Nashville areas for a spot to start making espresso .
Hillsboro Village merchants, residents, and customersloyal to their homegrown Fido coffee shopresisted a Starbucks invasion. So the company looked elsewhere. Just not too far elsewhere.
Informed sources say Starbucks is less than 60 days away from a deal on the 21st Avenue South property formerly occupied by Boston Market, a spot within easy walking distance of both Vanderbilt and Music Row. Plans are for Starbucks to be open by mid-August when caffeine-dependent students return needing latté. A Starbucks spoksperson declined comment.
Even so, Vandylanders may not even have to walk that far. Shawn LaPean, director of operations for dining services at Vanderbilt, confirms that Starbucks has made a proposal to sell their brand of coffee through the school’s current Simple Bean coffee counters and kiosks.
The school is also talking to Bob Bernstein, owner of Fido, Bongo Java, and Bongo Java Roasting Company, about the same concept. Bernstein may have grounds for concern. A campus poll indicated that 56 percent of students who come to Vanderbilt from at least 500 miles away recognize the Starbucks name.
The other 44 percent have never turned on a televison, seen a movie, or opened a magazine.
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