Friday, February 18, 2011

Dressing Up The Coffee Shop

Everywhere you go there is a line-up for coffee. It doesn't matter it is the local 7-11, McDonald's or cafeteria in a hospital. Canadians are addicted to it.

In recent years the announcement of a drive-thru or coffee-based restaurant is often viewed through the lens of traffic it can create. Obviously some love to drive in and pick up their double double but the prospect a Tim's on the street of those that use the restaurant is probably going to be regarded with angst.

The recent announcement of a Tim Horton's stand alone location with no drive-thru at the corner of Corydon Avenue and Stafford Street in River Heights should be cause for concern. The location will feature no drive-thru but that doesn't mean there won't be traffic issues.

Tim's will be joining Second Cup and Starbucks, long time rivals on Corydon Avenue.

There are only 15 parking spots that service the corner lot. If people don't think that is a problem, they should check out the Starbucks at Lanark Street and Academy Road. It is a gong show any time of the day getting around that area.

The Business Improvement Zone of Corydon hopes streetscraping will add 200 spots of parking to the area. However, will it really help with the Tim Horton's where people will be coming and going at all times?

Winnipeg is not alone is lining up for coffee but it is amazing how many places are choking themselves off with car traffic in proximity to coffee places.

It is fairly easy to see that a Tim Horton's at Stafford and Corydon will be popular. It will be busy. It will be a gong show.

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Anonymous said...

And due to the lack of parking not visited by me.

One Man Committee said...

Great post. I'm not sure how this one missed my attention.

What we need to do, instead of forcing businesses to put in scores of stalls and drive-thru lanes, is to get around our collective sense of entitlement, get out of our cars, and walk a few feet to the coffee shop.

The worst-case scenario is the strip-mall style mini-parking lot that just gets congested whenever five people are in the shop. Starbucks on Academy is a great example of that - Tim's on Corydon probably will be too.

The reality is that the mini-parking lot simply obscures all the on-street parking available nearby. Even if one parked a street over in either direction, you're talking what, maybe 250 feet to McMillan or Jessie?

If parking really is an issue, then the store will wither away and close up eventually. I'm OK with letting the market decide.