Drive-thru coffee chain slated to tear down, take spot of vacant pizza restaurant on south Iowa

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

Scooter's currently operates a drive-thru location near Ninth and Iowa, in the parking lot of the QuikTrip convenience store.

I’ll take my coffee with two sugars and a bulldozer. At least, I’m assuming that is a new option at Scooter’s Coffee in Lawrence. The chain has filed its second plan in nearly as many months to tear down an Iowa Street building to make way for a drive-thru coffee shop.

Recent plans filed at City Hall call for the building at 2500 Iowa St. — it used to house Pie Five Pizza Co. for a brief time — to be demolished. In its place will be a 664-square-foot coffee kiosk and a really long drive-thru lane.

In case you have forgotten, Scooter’s in March filed plans to construct a similar drive-thru coffee shop on the other end of Iowa Street. That project is slated for 814 Iowa St., which is where Johnny I’s used car lot previously was located. Indeed, Scooter’s has an existing coffee drive-thru right near Ninth and Iowa, but I’m unsure of its future. It is in the parking lot of the new QuikTrip, which is big into selling coffee itself. Scooters was on the site before QuikTrip purchased the property, so perhaps Scooters is lining up a new location near Ninth and Iowa, thinking it may not be able to stay at the QuikTrip location long term.

As for the south Iowa Street plans, the company doesn’t have a location that far south in Lawrence. Currently, its two locations in town are the Ninth and Iowa spot and a drive-thru kiosk at Sixth and Wakarusa that opened late last year. Like the other locations in town, the south Iowa Street spot will not have dine-in service. Instead, much of the site will be devoted to a winding drive-thru lane that can accommodate up to 10 vehicles, according to the plans on file.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

Plans call for the former Pie Five restaurant at 25th and Iowa streets to be demolished. The site will house a small Scooter’s drive-thru coffee kiosk , with most of the site used for a winding drive-thru lane.

The coffee shop chain is based out of Nebraska; it got its start in 1998 with a single location in Bellevue, Neb. It now has more than 400 locations in 24 states, and has been growing rapidly. It has added about 100 locations since October, according to information on the company’s website.

Coffee, of course, is the main offering at Scooter’s, but the menu finds a lot of different ways to sell it. There are lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and other offerings on the hot side of the menu. On the other side, there are cold versions of those drinks, plus some brewed teas, including a strawberry acai “quencher,” and also a peach mango and kiwi-lime prickly pear varieties.

The chain says its signature drink is something called a Caramelicious, which is an espresso drink with lots of caramel and whipped cream. It can come either hot, iced or blended, meaning it is cold but the ice is nice and smooth. Teas also are a fairly big part of the drink menu with black, green, white, matcha and chai varieties among the offering.

The shop does sell some food, including breakfast burritos, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cookies and even a bowl of oatmeal.

The site at 25th and Iowa — it is at the southeast corner of the intersection near Applebee’s — already has the proper zoning. It just needs to win the necessary technical approvals from the city’s planning staff. That means demolition and construction on the site are still a couple of months away.


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