Sunday, April 8, 2012

Starbucks Opens A Beautiful Parking Lot Cafe

The new "parking lot cafe" view -- Burger King drive through with cherry trees
The new Starbucks has opened off Dobbin Road in Columbia -- replacing the shop that had been across the road for as long as I have been in Howard County.

The new Starbucks replaced the old location of Mango Grove (now reopened a few blocks south) with new construction that includes a drive-through lane.  This is just south of Rte 175 at Dobbin.

It's a nice coffee shop set between a Wendy's and a Chick-fil-A.  Small, but I'm a fan of the communal tables where people can rest, read or even work on a computer.  Unlike most Starbucks, the workers included a white-haired woman who kept a rapport with customers:  Customer: "I will have a tall blonde."  Cashier: "The men all like tall blondes."

There is also a small patio nestled against the building with a prime example of Howard County's indigenous architecture of the "parking lot cafe."  At least this weekend, you can sit your coffee with not only a view of your own car, but also the most-beautiful fast food drive through that you'll ever see.  \

Check out the pink cherry trees in full bloom.  Don't they deserve a haiku?

(Update: I fixed the restaurant name.  I thought it was Burger King, but it is apparently a Wendy's.)


Anonymous said...

There's no burger king there. there's a McDonalds and a Wendys

perrik said...

Petals drift along
Bubbling stream of asphalt,
Land in my latte

As a grad student, my laptop and I have spent a lot of time at the original Starbucks location. The move across the street coincided with the completion of my thesis, so I haven't been yet!

Anonymous said...

What is in the old Starbucks location?

Jill Dorsey || Made with Moxie said...

As a mother of an infant and toddler, I am so excited for a drive through Starbucks. I love a good latte and coffee, but wrestling these two into then out of (with a hot beverage) is next to impossible. Plus, the last Starbucks never had a free seat. (And lets be honest. No one wants to sit next to me, regardless of the fact that I have well behaved kids.) I hope the drive through baristas are just as personable.

Anonymous said...

A Potbelly's is going into the old Starbuck's location.

UhOhBadDog said...

As for the most beautiful drive-through in Howard County, that may just go to the Chick-Fil-A off Johns Hopkins Rd & 29. As part of your tour around the building they feature a well-planted waterfall as part of their scenery!

Brad Smith said...

I'm glad Mango Grove found a location that has apparently allowed them a nice reset, but it's a shame that Starbucks had to fill this spot. Columbia definitely did not need another pretentious Veblen chain location. Why fall for this burnt-bean sludge instead of going to a real coffee place like Bean Hollow (EC), Riverside, Little French Market (EC), Sidamo (Maple Lawn), Anna's, etc.?

Food Nomad said...

The drive-thru is a pretty neat feature at this location. It's the first time I've ever seen Starbucks have one. However, this location needs to spread the cream cheese on their bagels.

Anonymous said...


This is not a completely new Starbucks. It was previously located almost directly accross Dobbin Road in the shopping center with the Fuddruckers. The total number of Starbucks in Columbia has remained the same, not increased by one. ;)

Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff said...

I can't believe they've already finished that place - it seems like they just started working on it!

And Oh My Gracious, we're getting a POTBELLY'S?!