Coffee, anyone? Austin makes way for Caribou

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coffee lovers of Austin will be celebrating this summer when Caribou Coffee serves up its first cup of joe.

Construction on the new coffee shop began this week alongside the Hy-Vee gas station, to which Caribou will be attached. The gas station is also getting a makeover in the process, making the combined Caribou and convenience store the first like it in the country.

Caribou Coffee is set to open its Austin location this summer.

Hy-Vee stores have always served Caribou Coffee, but never before have the two companies paired together to attach the coffee shop itself to a Hy-Vee store. The new location will be joined with the gas station, allowing customers inside to flow freely from one location to the next. The interior of the coffee shop will seat up to 28 people and will offer the traditional Caribou atmosphere, complete with a fire place, WiFi and outdoor patio seating. The coffee shop will also feature a drive-through.

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Austin Hy-Vee store Director Todd Hepler said the store will open this summer, though a specific date or month is not yet known.

During construction of the building, motorists will experience some delays as the building will expand from 1,500 square feet to 4,100 square feet. On top of an added driving lane for the drive-through, extra parking spaces will also be created.

Hepler has been working toward this accomplishment for the last three years.

Considering Caribou Coffee is a Minnesota-based company, Hepler said store officials were pleased with the idea of giving the combined convenience and coffee shop idea a go in the state where it all began.

“This is something the Austin store could start,” Hepler said.

The Hy-Vee convenience store will also feature fresh salads, sandwiches and pizza, along with a malt and slushie machine.