Starbucks is set to open a Dodge City store in October

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Construction continues for the new retail development on 14th Avenue and Soule Street which will be home to Starbucks and T-Mobile with another retail opening still available.

After three years of negotiations, Starbucks will be bringing its coffee to Dodge City.

The coffee store will be joined adjacently with T-Mobile on 14th Avenue near Soule Street in front of Sutherlands.

The building will be a similar setup to that of recent retail development along 14th Avenue.

"Similar size three-plex, (with) still a spot open for rent in the center," said Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Corporation executive director Joann Knight. "Starbucks will have a drive-thru."

According to Knight, Eco/Devo worked with a developer from Wichita that works with Starbucks.

"This developer was one of the partners involved in the original development of the ATT/Gloss and Great Clips building," Knight said. "We have been working with them for approximately three years with this development. There were some delays due to COVID-19 and change in investment group."

At this time the site is set to be open in October.

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How are Dodge City residents reacting to Starbucks coming to town?

However, with changes coming in to Dodge City, residents have mixed feelings about another coffee shop location coming in to town.

The new Starbucks will be set across the street from Scooter's Coffee on 14th Avenue and the locally-owned Red Beard Coffee is located in downtown Dodge City. Scooter's also has an additional location on Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

Wyatt Earp Boulevard is also home to a NobiliTea.

"Respectfully, I think we have enough coffee shops around town to please the tourists/residents demand," said Dodge City resident Chelsie Dunbar. "I believe the focus should be on getting activities into Dodge to do year round for families. Update the mall. Listen to the people and bring things to keep business local, instead of complaining about people taking their business elsewhere.

"The bowling alley is closing down. Maybe bring a trampoline park or something similar for children in the community.

"Make the 'zoo' an actual zoo that is enjoyable, not depressing. "Everyone loves coffee/food. Here is the million dollar question: After, they get their coffee and/or food, what is there to do? Get drunk and gamble?

"Those aren’t healthy habits for families that want to make memories together. Nor is it everyone’s cup of coffee."

On the flip side, there are those that are happy for the development.

"I am ecstatic about Starbucks coming here," said Dodge City resident Carolina Ross. "I just moved back after 19 years in San Diego and Starbucks has been a staple in my life for quite some time. I’m not a huge fan of the coffee, but I adore the teas, the menu items and snacks. Starbucks to me is a vibe — good music, great smell, lively- an escape, if even just for a moment, out of life.

"Additionally, it’s name recognition solidifies (correctly or not) that we matter out here in western Kansas – that we can embrace eccentricities of the rest of the World. Diversity is key for growth."

Naomi Warren of Dodge City added, "I have wanted a Starbucks here in Dodge for a very long time. It’s like the timing is bad now though as we have a wonderful local coffee shop downtown (Red Beard) and two Scooter's in town. I am still leaning towards being OK with a Starbucks simply because they do offer a variety that the others do not have. I also believe that competition is always good for business.

"Dodge City is a growing city now from what I can see and its about time. With growth comes more opportunity for business, so, for me, I am OK with a Starbucks coming to town. It’s a bit late to be discussing it now since it is already a done deal."

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For Dodge City residents Bianca Santibanez and Alejandra Sandoval, with a Starbucks in town, it will mean commutes to Garden City for coffee will no longer be needed.

"Now I’m not going to say adding a Starbucks would be the most amazing thing to happen in Dodge but it’s up pretty high up there," Santibanez said. "Nowadays people are obsessed with coffee in every way possible mixed, blended, iced, you name it. Coffee is just part of our everyday life now and it’s not a big secret that we’ll pay whatever for a good cup of coffee. While we do have Scooter's here and they offer some great choices. Nothing comes close to the Starbucks taste."

Santibanez said she would drive 45 minutes to get her drink.

"I will not settle for a dupe from another provider," Santibanez said. "I am one of many and I know this without having to do a vote or poll, from Dodge that will make a 45 minute trip for a Starbucks drink. I will even invite friends and also pay for their drinks."

Regarding her drive to get coffee, Sandoval said, "I am very relieved to have a Starbucks in town, that way I won’t have to go to Garden on the weekends for coffee. Scooter's coffee just has a different flavor they all are different and I prefer Starbucks."

According to Knight, the third retail spot that will be open adjacent to Starbucks and T-Mobile have prospects that are interested but there are no negotiations ongoing at this time.

"I am glad to see more retail options coming into Dodge City, hopefully this is just the first of many new private investments coming into our community in the next year," said city manager Nick Hernandez.

As for Santibanez, it's a needed addition.

"Dodge City needs a Starbucks," said Santibanez. "I don’t want to be driving to Garden as much as I do but I will keep doing that. With the upcoming renovation of downtown Dodge City gaining momentum around the state, let’s make adding a Starbucks (which tourists would also be very thankful for) a necessity in showing Dodge City can still move forward. Let’s not forget our past history here but we also don’t need to be stuck in it."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com