Traffic problems at Central Avenue and Camelback Road may soon improve. Dutch Bros., a coffee shop based in Oregon, will be closing. The coffee shop has been causing issues since its grand opening.
The closing date hasn’t been set, but a Phoenix Zoning Adjustment hearing, which took place on February 15, confirmed that the location will be closing. The shop’s lawyer stated that a new location is in the works, and it’ll be located at 140 W. Camelback Road.
During its operation, the store did attempt to alleviate parking issues by displaying “no parking” signs and closing its walk-up window. Despite this, customers were still illegally parking and blocking the bus bay and blocking the alley access to other businesses.
Due to customers’ continued parking violations, Phoenix’s Planning and Development Department filed to revoke the coffee shop’s drive-through permit. The department also filed out an application to allow the use of the public alley after receiving complaints from other businesses that the shop’s patrons were blocking their customers from accessing their businesses.
According to city officials, the blocked bus lanes and crowded intersections made the situation a public safety concern.
The store’s actions to fix the parking issues were unsuccessful. According to Trent Martin, who owns a skateboard shop near the store, several of his potential customers published Yelp reviews, complaining about the parking dilemma.
“It’s an old building where there is one row of parking. When you back out of our parking lot you are backing onto Central, basically. They can’t loop around the property because the Dutch Bros. drive-through blocks the lanes,” says Martin.
The owner of Stinkweeds, Kimber Lanning, began a letter-writing campaign to Dutch Bros. owners to fight against the parking issue. She even created “No Dutch Bros. Parking” signs to display outside businesses.
Executives from Dutch Bros. have stated they have tried to address the parking issues, but Lanning says the shop’s security guards don’t enforce the parking rules.
“Management says ‘that’s not the Dutch way’,” writes Lanning. “The guards are just for show and not actually there to make it safer.”
A Dutch Bros representative and Gammage and Burnham lawyer, Cameron Artigue, says the shop’s current location does have problems.
“Were we opening a brand-new store in 2019, this is not the sight we would pick,” says Artigue. She continues that the fixing the issues at the current location weren’t in the best interest of the company.
On February 14, Artigue attended a re-application meeting with the City of Phoenix to discuss the possibility of the shop moving to 140 W. Camelback Road. A decision is pending, and Artigue has requested a 30-day continuant for the current location’s zoning hearing.
Thompson has apologized for the poor placement of the shop and attributes the poor decision to a greater amount of sales than they anticipated. He believes moving the shop is the best option.
A lawyer representing many businesses near Dutch Bros., Lindsey Leavitt, believe the current location has to close whether or not Dutch Bros. moves to another location.
Business owners have asked Dutch Bros. to ensure their security guards enforce parking regulations during their remaining time at the current location.