Starbucks cleared for Vail Village location |

Starbucks cleared for Vail Village location

Scott N. Miller
Daily File PhotoStarbucks, which already has five coffee shops in valley - including the one shown above in Avon - will open a store, perhaps as early as September, in Vail Village where the Platzl bar used to be.

Starbucks is coming to Vail Village. The coffee giant is set to sign a lease for a location just north of the Covered Bridge in the Sonnenalp Austria Haus and the shop could open by early fall. The location is the site of what was once the Platzl bar.Rumors about a Starbucks opening the village swirled around Vail this past spring. Businesses owners interviewed when Starbucks rumors began circulating in Vail this spring had mixed reactions. The same people who said they worried the chain might hurt sales at small coffee shops in town also said Starbucks would probably attract more customers to the village. When the store does open, it will be the only shop owned by a national chain in the village. Other national franchises, including Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Polo, have come and gone over the years. Sonnenalp Austria Haus owner Johannes Faessler said he is confident Starbucks will be different. “We’re looking forward to a long relationship,” he said.

Starbucks real estate manager Anne Ewing said Tuesday that the company is “close” to finishing up a lease for the space with Johannes Faessler. Before the lease was signed, though, Faessler needed to clear an official hurdle at Vail town hall.That hurdle was a condition of approval attached to a 1997 renovation of the Austria Haus that prohibits operating a restaurant there. The condition was put in at the request of Austria Haus condominium owners, town planner George Ruther said. Condo owners didn’t want the noise – and especially the smells – associated with a full-service restaurant, Ruther said.While a bar was permitted to operate in the riverside space, Faessler said he was seeking the change to his 1997 zoning approval to ensure Starbucks could operate in there.”The tenant wants very clear language,” he said.The ordinance passed by the council narrowly defines operation of a coffee shop in the space, and still prohibits operation of a full-blown restaurant in the Austria Haus condominiums. While Starbucks does sell scones, pastries and other food, none is prepared on site.

Looking over the narrow definition of what’s allowed in the space, Councilman Dick Cleveland asked if the change to the Austria Haus’ zoning documents is broad enough.Ewing said the company expects to have the Vail Village store open by the end of September.Coffee, coffee everywhereStarbucks locations locally: Edwards, Avon, Avon City Market, Beaver Creek, Vail Safeway.

Starbucks around the globe: The company’s Web site touts more than 8,000 locations world wide. Of those, more than 3,100 stores in the United States now offer wireless Internet service.Starbucks as boss: The company employs more than 74,000 people in the U.S. aloneStarbucks bucks: Since 1992, the company has offered two-for-one stock splits three times. With the current stock price hovering around $44, the company may be ready to split its stock again.Calories in a 9.5-ounce Frapuccino: 190

Support Local Journalism