The project took a little longer than expected, but Starbucks has reopened in a larger, more open space in the Target store at 5865 Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch.
Some minor tweaks still need to be made, but the new-concept Starbucks in Target stores — one of four in the U.S. and the largest of the four — is now serving customers beverages and food.
Seating has increased from 20 to 32, with tables set up facing store windows and barstools along a long counter.
“It’s bigger, but more inviting,” store manager Larry Shaw said during a visit to the store on Monday, Dec. 10. “A lot of our (customers) didn’t even know we had a Starbucks. You’d come through the checkout lanes, go by Target Cafe and out the door, and you just didn’t see it.”
To enlarge the area, Target Cafe, which served pizza, went away.
Target is making that change generally at its stores “because the volume is just not there like it used to be,” Shaw said. “We’re still going to carry the Cokes, Icees and popcorn.”
Otherwise, it’s all Starbucks, with its lattes and Frappuccinos, as well as oven-warmed foods. Soon, the cafe will offer Nitro Cold Brew, or nitrogen-infused cold coffee poured from a tap like beer.
Construction took about six weeks to complete, a few weeks longer than expected, with remodeling taking place — sometimes noisily — behind plastic sheeting draped around the area.
“We had to demo everything here and raise the ceiling up about 2 feet,” Shaw said. “It was a big undertaking.”
He said customers “were very understanding … and very patient with us.”
The cafe is used not only by Target customers coming or going from the store, but frequently church and other social groups, Shaw said.
Deana Brooks, meeting with other members of the C.W. Davis Middle School PTO board, said she was pleased with the renovated Starbucks.
“This is really, really spacious,” she said. “It was really small and crowded before.”
Starbucks is otherwise growing in South Hall, with stores opening the past couple of years in Buford and Oakwood. The chain also has shops in Kroger grocery stores in Oakwood and Braselton.