Southampton Village Starbucks Secures ARB Approval

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The Southampton Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review last week approved an application for a sign and minor exterior alterations to a building at 29 Hampton Road, the proposed future home of a Starbucks coffee shop.

The application called for a storefront sign consisting of green wooden letters spelling out the cafe’s name, and changes to the exterior of the building that would allow a fenced-in garbage container at the back of the 1,180-square-foot store. Plans for new cedar roof shingles and stucco siding also were presented to the board.

Southampton Village ARB Attorney Beau Robinson said the board had no particular problems or concerns with the application.

Next, the Village Planning Board is scheduled to review the site plan for the store at its upcoming meeting on Monday, October 6, at 5:30 p.m. The site plan includes the standards in all Starbucks stores: a barista counter, a drink and pastry cooler, tables and chairs in the cafe, a restroom, and a kitchen in the back.

John Bennett, the attorney representing Starbucks Coffee Company, said he believes his client is presenting a straightforward application that would be a good addition to the other businesses located in that part of the village.

“It’s primarily a change to the interior of the building. I don’t foresee a big issue with it. It’s a permitted use, and there’s adequate parking,” Mr. Bennett said, referring to the building’s current zoning, which is for village business.

“Starbucks is a chain, but I think it’s a pretty high-end chain. So I think it adds to the great energy on Hampton Road,” he added.

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley, however, has expressed his opposition to the store for that very reason. Over the summer, the mayor said he would not be in favor of having a company such as Starbucks in the village, because it is a national chain, and that he would rather see more local businesses established instead.

“Almost all of the restaurants and delis in the village are locally owned,” Mr. Epley wrote in an email at the time. “I try to support the local operators and especially the businesses that support local charities. You have to support the local guys. They live and work in this community. Their children go to local schools, they volunteer locally.”

Previously, Mr. Epley had said the coffee company would have to apply for a special exception permit that would need approval from both the Village Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals to occupy the building as a restaurant, but this week he said it only needs approval from the Suffolk County Department of Health to convert a dry space to a wet use.

A spokesperson from Starbucks said over the summer that the store is set to open sometime this fall.

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