Starbucks sets sights on Bainbridge Island

Starbucks has been in contact with Bainbridge Island city officials about plans the worldwide coffee retailer has to establish a location at the Village Shopping Center on High School Road.

Representatives for Starbucks initially met with officials from the city's planning department in March. The city told them that any plans for a Starbucks at the shopping center location would have to be submitted to the city in advance for approval in light of the city's zoning codes.

In July, Bainbridge Planning Director Kathy Cook told Starbucks officials that in order for a Starbucks outlet to be located at the company's preferred location, the company would have to show how its store would not be considered a "formula take-out food restaurant." The city defines such an establishment as a businesses that serves food or beverages primarily in disposable containers, and operate from standardized menus and sport similar interior/exterior designs.

The city's zoning codes do not allow businesses that fit its fast-food definition at the Village Shopping Center. Bainbridge Island does, however, allow such restaurants on the other side of Highway 305 where McDonald's is located.

According to Starbuck's last correspondence with the city, on July 10, the company intends to submit a plan and a written statement to the city before it pursues the permit application process for the construction of the proposed coffee shop.

Starbucks, which got its start in Seattle in 1971 and currently has more than 17,000 licensed- and company-operated stores worldwide, does not have a stand-alone store on Bainbridge Island. The Safeway grocery on High School Road is licensed to sell Starbucks products.



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