The Starbucks Coffee on Evesham Road in Cherry Hill, part of a strip of businesses  damaged by fire last March, reportedly wants to reopen as a drive-thru.

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A fire ripped through Towne Center at Short Hills on Evesham Road one year ago, utterly destroying Classic Cake Co., which occupied the end of the shopping center opposite Starbucks, and adjacent businesses, including a hair salon and a Pho-style restaurant.

According to Courier Post, that Starbucks is set to move to a new complex being built behind Towne Center near where the Irish restaurant Tir Na Nogg used to be. And, when it does, it wants drive-through capabilities.

But that request will have to be reviewed by the town zoning board next week.

It doesn't take a statistician to figure out why a new Starbucks would want to have a drive-thru window. Every single Starbucks in South Jersey that has one is BOOMING, with cars wrapped around the building, even before the pandemic. The drive-thru window has further grown in popularity since Starbucks, until not long ago, closed the inside of their stores to customers amid COVID-19. Now, it seems like no matter the time of day, Starbucks drive-thru's are packed. Even though you can pop in to place your order in person or pick up a mobile order, you still can't sit inside.

And Leor Hemo of Vantage RES, the leasing agent for the Evesham Rd. complex tells Courier Post, “Starbucks is generally only interested in new sites with drive-thru capabilities. With the rise of contactless ordering and curbside pick-up, socially distanced options such as drive-thru windows have almost become more of a requirement for many quick casual dining establishments than a luxury".

Now, this is nothing against Starbucks, I'm a loyal customer. But, I don't particularly love the drive-thru experience. Sure, it's convenient, but I think when there's a long line of cars waiting, plus a steady stream of mobile order tickets coming in, I think it compromises the quality of their drinks. They taste rushed sometimes. I don't always want my coffee to taste like it came from a fast food place.

The new Starbucks will reportedly be one part of a 10,500-sq. ft. retail complex. There aren't currently any details on when construction will begin, or how long the project will take to build.

SOURCES: Courier Post

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