BAINBRIDGE — America may run on Dunkin, but not so far away, residents will soon have another big-name brewer in the township with construction anticipated to begin this month.

A freestanding, drive-thru Starbucks will be taking its place at the Marketplace at Four Corners in Bainbridge at the existing 1.66-acre site of the former approximate 5,700-square-foot Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 7135 Aurora Road (State Route 43).

The 2,226-square-foot coffeehouse will be adjacent to an approximate 0.83-acre pad available for an additional freestanding drive-thru business, yet to be determined. The former restaurant building was razed months ago.

The Morgan Companies acquired the property in July 2019 through its affiliate, SDC III – OH, LLC, according to a press release, and signed a lease with Starbucks Corporation through facilitator Goodman Real Estate Service Group, LLC. This will be the commercial real estate company’s first development in Ohio.

The development received the green light during the Aug. 19 Bainbridge Board of Zoning Appeals meeting with the approval of two variances.

The board approved a variance for delivery zones, allowing the coffee shop to forego the required 12- by 50-foot space under township zoning with deliveries for Starbucks typically during off hours.

Trey Morgan, president and chief executive officer of The Morgan Companies, told the board that deliveries will likely happen at about 5 a.m. for the location. He said the hours of operation for this particular Starbucks are slated to be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. He added that the vehicles making the deliveries for Starbucks are smaller than standard fast food and retail chains, like box trucks.

As for the drive-thru of the Starbucks, to help avoid traffic congestion, the board approved a 35-square-foot variance to allow drive-thru bump-out on the property to keep cars from trickling out into the roadway during rush hours.

The building will feature a single-lane drive through at the southeast side of the building. Juleen Russell, representative of Jencen Architects, explained that the location will have a one-way entrance and one-way exit so drivers can flow in and out of the property as seamlessly as possible.

Board member Joseph Gutoskey explained that the township has traffic problems “at a certain coffee-donut place” with a drive-thru in Bainbridge.

“What we designed here is in direct response to that,” Mr. Morgan said.

“I’m happy with the site plan,” board Vice Chairman Todd Lewis said. “Your traffic flow pattern is excellent.”

Mr. Morgan said during the meeting that they’re looking to open the Starbucks by Jan. 15, 2022. He said The Morgan Companies intends to have an additional tenant on the lot with plans to accommodate a drive-thru with a similar, if not identical, plan.

Mr. Morgan said the additional tenant was originally going to be a Chipotle Mexican Grill, but over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had since pulled out and relocated to the site of the former Steak ’n’ Shake building at 7020 Aurora Road by Giles Road.

Sam joined the Times in 2019 and covers several communities and schools in the Chagrin Valley and Geauga County. She also oversees the features/community events and the website. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.

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