Reedley gets double shot of Starbucks

Constructions starts on second Starbucks shop going up at former Brooks Ranch location in Reedley Shopping Center

The Reedley Shopping Center on Manning Ave. will soon be home to a new Starbucks Coffee Shop. (Kenny Goodman)
The Reedley Shopping Center on Manning Ave. will soon be home to a new Starbucks Coffee Shop. (Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published February 14, 2024  • 
10:00 am

REEDLEY – More lattes, frappes, iced coffees, cappuccinos and lemon bars are on the horizon in Reedley.

After more than two years, construction has started on a new, standalone Starbucks in the Reedley Shopping Center on Manning Avenue. Roger Burnell has owned the shopping center for 35 years. He is also president of Reedley Center, Inc. Burnell said planning for the coffee shop was intermittently delayed by the pandemic.

“I am pleased to report to all of you that after persevering through the irregularities brought-on and still lingering from the 2021 COVID pandemic, we are finally finding the daylight that we have been watching for,” Burnell said in a Feb. 9 press release to center tenants.

Burnell said the city of Reedley completed the final steps of issuing a construction permit, and its construction will last through the end of summer.

“We are expecting to complete the new building in late summer, so that Starbucks can be open, and up and running smoothly in the fall,” Burnell said.

The new location will feature a drive-thru and in-house service. Iit will also include “both indoor and outdoor patio seating provisions as relaxing options for customers,” Burnell said.

WHY A SECOND LOCATION?

As Reedley residents are aware, the city already has a Starbucks, located at 1081 Manning Avenue. So, why add another location?

“There are bad traffic backups at every part of the day at the other location,” said Burnell. “People have trouble getting in and getting out and there is a long wait.”

When he proposed the idea of a second location, Burnell said the city’s response was clear.

“’We need that; when can we get it going?’” was the city’s answer, according to Burnell.

Burnell said Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba has been instrumental in facilitating the development.

“She said, ‘If you can do that, I’ll send you a Christmas present,’” Burnell said. “It made her day, as she put it.”

Burnell said he reached out to a sandwich chain about opening a location at the center but the chain was not expanding at the time.

“During the pandemic, no one was,” he said.

Starbucks is not the only new business coming to the center. According to Burnell, an Indian fusion-cuisine restaurant has committed to the location, which is the site of the former El Rincon restaurant.

Burnell said an as-yet-unnamed national chair department store is completing its final steps of design and pre-development to join the center.

“Working with these big companies is a long process,” he said. “If you think Starbucks at two years from start to finish is long, theirs is typically at least that long.”

The coffee shop will be located in the site formerly occupied by Brooks Ranch restaurant.

Brooks Ranch was owned by Chick Brooks and, at nearly 30 years in the center, was a Reedley fixture. Before Brooks Ranch, there was a Perkos – a restaurant chain Brooks founded.

The restaurant fell victim to the restrictions imposed on eating establishments by the pandemic. Brooks, who was in his early 90s at the time, learned that to follow the new health regulations, he would have to make significant changes to the building and the kitchen.

“It was just too much for his age and his budget,” said Burnell.

Prior to shuttering the restaurant, Burnell said Brooks spent considerable time and expense remodeling it, but Starbucks has its own conception of what their stores must look like.

“It (the building) is coming down this week,” said Burnell. “We’re building a brand new building.”

Darren Fraser
Reporter