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Starbucks snubs Dunedin

Jasman Lajko of Dunedin gets coffee Monday for herself and her mother at Cappuccino’s Bakery Cafe, one of the few coffee shops in downtown Dunedin.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Jasman Lajko of Dunedin gets coffee Monday for herself and her mother at Cappuccino’s Bakery Cafe, one of the few coffee shops in downtown Dunedin.

DUNEDIN

The tall, skinny mocha soy latte is staying out of Dunedin and so is the corporate giant that makes it.

Starbucks, which sent Dunedin resident and developer Joe Kokolakis a letter of intent, isn't coming to the city after all.

Leases were finalized in November for the property Kokolakis owns from 310 to 318 Main St. Starbucks was late in returning the executed leases to him. Then, in February, the company sent a termination letter, saying it is undergoing a change in its business strategy.

The letter said it wasn't the right time for growth in Dunedin.

"Part of this strategy includes slowing the pace of U.S. store openings," read the unsigned statement. "By reducing the number of new stores, we expect to be able to optimize our resources to support our business."

Starbucks would have been the first national chain in Dunedin's mom-and-pop downtown.

Kokolakis, president of J. Kokolakis Contracting, said he is weighing his options and will probably develop the space that was supposed to hold Starbucks into two retail areas.

Three of the stores have been renovated. Kokolakis still has to refurbish the space that would have held Starbucks.

The renovation of the entire development will be complete by September.

But fear not! There is a smattering of coffee shops downtown that serve more than coffee.

Tamara El-Khoury can be reached at (727)445-4181 or tel-khoury@sptimes.com.

Tropical Cafe

501 Main St.

Al Mujkic opened Tropical Cafe in January. The cute gathering spot has a little bit of everything. Mujkic sells espresso drinks such as a caramel mocha for $3.50 or a cappuccino for $2.50. He also sells smoothies, candy, foot-long hot dogs ($2.99) and small gifts. He also sells Tampa's Old Meeting House ice cream ($2.25 for a kid's cone), including lactose-free ice cream and an organic, nonfat yogurt treat for dogs in banana, peanut butter and honey ($1 for a 4-ounce cup).

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Purple Moon

833 Douglas Ave.

purplemooninc.com

Sherry and Roger Stiver's "feel good" place is a decade old. It's a place where you can get a frozen cappuccino ($2.95) and a monster-sized cookie after a psychic reading ($1.50 a minute, with a 20 minute minimum). The gift shop sells books, jewelry, crystals, cards and more. There's live music every Friday and Saturday night and, Stiver claims, "the best sangria in town."

You'll find some strong personalities among the wait staff, such as self-proclaimed "worker monkey" Leah Pecoraro, who gets so many questions about the Charles Bukowski poem inked on her arm that she hands inquiring minds a paper with the lines from the poem.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Cappuccino's Bakery Cafe

733 Broadway St.

Regina Invandino is gutting her little space and expanding the food menu. The renovations should be complete by the end of September, and she plans to stay open throughout. The coffee is authentic Italian and the food, down to the ladyfingers for the tiramisu, is homemade. She serves an Italian iced coffee ($4.25), cafe au lait ($2.05) and a microccino ($2.25), which is her own creation. It's a mini cappuccino with a short shot of espresso, a flavor of your choice and steamed milk foam.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Starbucks snubs Dunedin 06/06/08 [Last modified: Friday, June 6, 2008 8:38pm]
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