Is Starbucks' drive-through a good fit for Barrington?

Some Barrington residents say 'No'

By Josh Bickford
Posted 1/10/20

Does the Starbucks proposed for County Road in Barrington fit the town's village concept?

Depends who you ask. A representative for the developer told members of the town's Technical Review …

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Is Starbucks' drive-through a good fit for Barrington?

Some Barrington residents say 'No'

Posted

Does the Starbucks proposed for County Road in Barrington fit the town's village concept?

Depends who you ask. A representative for the developer told members of the town's Technical Review Committee that the proposal is consistent with the town's comprehensive community plan, and that it supports connectivity downtown.

But longtime resident Anthony DeSisto did not agree. Mr. DeSisto, who lives in the Country Club plat neighborhood, said the Starbucks plan does not fit with the village concept. He said the proposed Starbucks is designed to encourage more vehicle traffic than foot traffic, as evidenced by the inclusion of a drive-through lane. The town's comprehensive plan calls for improved walkability in the downtown shopping area. 

An attorney, Mr. DeSisto is representing the Barrington Shopping Center which currently plays host to the existing Starbucks restaurant in Barrington. Mr. DeSisto said the current Starbucks fits the town's village concept much better than the proposed Starbucks. 

Mr. DeSisto said people patronizing the current Starbucks must exit their vehicles, and they often visit other stores during their trips to the Barrington Shopping Center. 

The new Starbucks, said Mr. DeSisto will present obstacles to those accessing the store on foot. Some people will need to cross the busy entrance and exit area, he said, as well as pass by the vehicles queued up in the drive-through lane. 

The traffic backups for the new site, Mr. DeSisto said, could overflow onto County Road. 

Mr. DeSisto said he had first-hand experience when owners of the Dunkin Donuts on County Road and a proposed McDonald's restaurant requested drive-through lanes in Barrington years ago. He said the property for those businesses was actually better suited for a drive-through, as it allowed for egress onto a side road and not County Road. But in the end, he said, the town's leaders did not support restaurants with drive-through lanes.

Mr. DeSisto added that if the proposed Starbucks goes through with a drive-through lane, town officials should be prepared to revisit drive-throughs at other restaurants in town.

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