Popular coffee shop chain to open store on Westside, help revitalize area

Published: Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:34 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 at 1:35 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A popular coffee shop chain could open a brand-new store to help revitalize one of Charlotte's most historic neighborhoods.

"We welcome a new neighbor," said Andy Cauble, co-owner of Pinky's Westside Grill. "It's been lonely on this corner for two and half years now."

The mom-and-pop spot has done a lot for the burgeoning Wesley Heights neighborhood, a community that has transformed itself a lot over the past few years.

The latest addition --a Dunkin Donuts that could sit right across the street from Pinky's at the corner of Freedom Drive and W. Morehead Street.

"The new business, someone taking a chance on the west side seeing the same things that we saw in this neighborhood and the transition of the neighborhood," he said.

A big plus for Cauble: the chain decided to upfit this decades old building instead of tearing it down.

"Keep the personality of the building and restoring the building that everyone has seen their whole life just like the Volkswagen on the roof, it's nice to see someone restore the building."

The chain plans to keep the old American Commercial Bank Building, mostly recently a tattoo parlor, in hopes of not changing the character of the neighborhood.

Cauble hopes is the popular chain will bring even more business to the area, something Charlottean Shannon Martin agrees it needs.

"You can go over there for breakfast and come over here for lunch," she said.

Martin admitted she doesn't frequent this area but says that will change.

"But now that that's coming, then yeah I think it will be great -- I will actually come to this Dunkin Donuts since it's right there," she said.

That's exactly what Cauble wants to hear more of.

"Maybe you'll have your dessert and then come over for a cocktail," he mused. "If you haven't discovered us, give us a chance."

This isn't a done deal just yet. The company has submitted the proposal the city planning commission. It needs to approve the re-zoning before the project gets the greenlight. See the drawings of the proposed Dunkin Donuts here.