For those hoping a retail coffeehouse may follow the construction of a distribution center in Lebanon, the answer may not be in the Starbucks.
A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed last week the Seattle-based coffee giant would build and operate a distribution center in Lebanon. The spokesperson said the facility would employ about 150 workers during the next three years and be ready to open in the fall.
“Right now, we are working extremely close with Starbucks and Duke Properties to see that they move into their new facility with ease,” said Mayor Philip Craighead. “We do hope they also look at putting in a coffeehouse. We have a lot of locations where I believe a Starbucks coffeehouse would do extremely well in Lebanon.”
The announcement Thursday left some overjoyed, while others were disappointed at the news it didn’t mean the place where they could fill up on their favorite latte, cappuccino or frappe.
“Boo...it's a distribution center, not a coffeehouse,” said Cissy Harris Turner on The Democrat’s Facebook page, complete with a frowning emoticon.
Rick Bell, of Lebanon, who uses the Twitter handle @TheBellTolls68, tweeted simply, “A distribution center but no store.”
An inquiry into whether Starbucks officials plan to open a coffeehouse in Lebanon resulted in few questions answered.
“We are always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers and reach others who may not have the opportunity to visit Starbucks stores,” said a Starbucks spokesperson in an email response. “Choosing a site for a new Starbucks location is a key element in providing customers with the Starbucks experience, and we carefully consider many factors when opening a new store. At this time, we have no announcements regarding a potential new location in Lebanon. We certainly appreciate your interest.”
Currently, Lebanon coffee lovers have two options to get their Starbucks fix. They can take the short drive to Mt. Juliet to the Starbucks inclusion at Target or seek out the Starbucks kiosk in Labry Hall at Cumberland University, where Jessica Perkins serves as barista most days.
The announcement Thursday did serve as a marketing opportunity for at least one new Lebanon business.
Karen Dawn Kleffel-Caplenor was quick to point out Café Bevande opened Friday in the former Java Joe’s location in the Big Lots shopping center in Lebanon.
The Starbucks distribution center will be a roughly 685,000-square-feet facility to be along State Route 840 off of Central Pike as a part of State Farm Route 840. Lebanon Planning Commissioner Paul Corder has said the project involves warehouses and lot of loading docks.
The Lebanon City Council also approved support of an application for a state industrial access grant to build an industrial access road to serve the Starbucks facility.