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Proposed Starbucks Threatens Suburban Chicago Cafe

A new Starbucks drive-through location is threatening one of a Chicago suburb’s last remaining independent coffee shops.

Norma's Coffee Corner locationAccording to a recent Triblocal report, Pallatine village zoning officials are currently mulling over a traffic study related to a proposed Starbucks that would be just down the road from Norma’s Coffee Corner, which has operated since 2000 when owner Norma Hipchen took over what was then Regina’s Cafe and More, according to the report.

Hipchen and her husband purchased the location two years after her 14-year-old son died from a brain tumor. “I was lost,” Hipchen told the paper.

The drive-through Starbucks — which would be part of a 7,700-square-foot, three-story development — would be the third within the village limits, while Hipchen said her shop is the last independent cafe in Palatine. Supporters of the cafe are arguing that the new Starbucks would represent a loss of community and local character.

“I believe our elected officials need to decide what kind of community they want,” Hipchen told Triblocal. “Do they want a big box community? They need to decide, do they want to support small business or do they want to go after the big giant.”

But Palatine mayor Jim Schwantz offered little solace:

“Competition and/or proximity of a like business will not determine a vote,” he said. “We’re a capitalistic society. We base votes purely on the use and public safety issues.”

The full story: Triblocal

 

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