Mixed opinions over Starbucks opening on Ninth Street in Durham

Posted February 1, 2021 5:55 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2021 6:06 p.m. EST

— Durham’s most popular mom-and-pop retail stretch is welcoming another chain business. Starbucks is coming to Ninth Street, but it’s creating controversy for the area known for its independent businesses.

“It’s a little mind-boggling. I’m not sure why Starbucks would want to open up directly next door to another coffee shop that already exists,” said Jermaine Bantun, the owner of Triangle Coffee House.

Bantun said he worries this is an effort that may begin pushing small businesses out.

“It seems pretty clear where the block is headed. A lot more commercial chains are opening up,” he added.

“There’s already a Starbucks here at Harris Teeter. I don’t really think there’s a need for another Starbucks,” said Daniel Renteria, a frequent customer.

The chain will fill the space of the old Francesca’s building that’s been vacant for many years.

“Empty buildings and open buildings is not a healthy sign,” said Larry Wood, owner of Ninth Street Flowers, who said he welcomes the new business to the area.

“That building had been in disrepair for several years now. So, the fact that they’re fixing it up and it’s going to look nice is very exciting,” said Sherry Clayton, owner of Wavelengths Salon Ninth Street.

Ninth Street business owners said they're weighing out the positive possibilities to draw in more traffic.

“Ninth Street has always been popular, and we have competed with downtown in recent years. So I, for one, am excited,” added Clayton.

“It tends to increase traffic to local coffee shops. If they’re doing good competitive drinks, they’ll get enough of the business that it doesn’t really cause them to suffer,” added Wood.

Triangle Coffee House fans said they just hope people will continue to support local.

“I really hope it stays local and small-business-like here. That’s what attracts people to Ninth Street,” said Renteria.

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