LIMERICK will soon boast not one, but two shots of the famous coffee shop giant, as Starbucks makes its considerable presence felt in the city.
Following quick on the heels of confirmation that Starbucks will anchor the Thomas Street retail unit soon to be home to Uber, the famous coffee house letters were quietly erected outside a unit in Colbert Station this Wednesday, catching many by surprise in the process.
The Limerick Leader can confirm that the city will soon have two Starbucks, with the Irish franchise holder taking up the lease on the former Platform 5 unit in the train station.
A spokesperson for Irish Rail declined to comment, but on visiting this Wednesday evening, the Starbucks logo was clear to see above the door of the unit, which bore signs declaring: “closed for renovation”.
A source said that there was a franchise going in to Colbert, and that the expectation is that it will be open “ by the end of August”.
“They are working away - the previous lease expired, so it went out to tender and someone with the Starbucks franchise is after getting the deal,” said the source.
Letting agent Gordon Kearney, of Rooney’s Auctioneers, confirmed to this newspaper recently that Starbucks, and a number of other high-profile retailers, are seeking to open in the building to be anchored by Uber.
“We can confirm we have let the four floors of offices (to Uber), and we have agreed the letting of the corner unit to Starbucks. We are negotiating with other retailers for the remaining units. They are all good brands,” said Mr Kearney.
He would not be drawn on the names of retailers seeking to enter the site, saying: “There are some competing with each other to get into these spaces, so it would be unfair to say who they are.”
However, it is understood one of these will be the Smiles Dental Clinic, which has branches elsewhere in the country, but has yet to come to Limerick.
Starbucks move to Limerick - revealed exclusively by sister paper the Limerick Chronicle earlier this year - was recently hailed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the wake of the Uber news.
“When they come, it is usually an endorsement the city has arrived as a ‘modern city’”,” he said.
Mr Kearney said the developments were “hugely positive for Limerick. It is now putting us on the map for foreign direct investment in a serious way in the city centre.”