By Teri Carnicelli
The Dutch Bros. drive-through coffee hut at Central Avenue and Camelback Road will close no later than Feb. 28, 2020, according to a private agreement reached between the franchise owner and representatives of nearby businesses.
However, it reads a little differently on paper. The city’s zoning administrator, Michael Widener, agreed to revoke Dutch Bros.’s two use permits for that site—one for outdoor dining, one for the drive through—effective one year from the date of his ruling, which was on March 14.
Nonetheless, all parties agreed that the business will close, whether or not a new Dutch Bros. opens just a short distance west on Camelback Road near 3rd Avenue.
According to the agreement reached between franchise owner Jim Thompson and the adjacent business owners, including Kimber Lanning of Stinkweed’s, the existing location will close on or before Dec. 28 of this year. However, if the new location a few block away is still under construction at that point, the agreement allows an additional 60 days for the Central and Camelback location to remain open—bringing it to Feb. 28, 2020. This is to make it easier for employees to transition to the new location without much down time in between, should the new location be completed on or before Feb. 28 at the latest. Thompson said it takes an average of 100 days to construct a Dutch Bros. building from the ground up.
Part of the private settlement agreement also stipulates that the walk-up window will remain closed permanently at the existing site, and for the duration of the coffee shop at that location, the driveway along Central Avenue will be used for exit only, and for a right turn south onto Central Avenue only. New signage and barriers will be put in place to manage the change. Any future owner of the property at 4 W. Camelback Road will have to re-apply to the city for permits to use the existing driveway and outside dining patio.