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In Wind And Rain, Neighbors Welcome Starbucks Made of Shipping Containers

By Benjamin Woodard | October 16, 2013 7:57am
 The Edgewater Starbucks served its first weekday customers on Monday.
Starbucks Grand Opening
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EDGEWATER — The Starbucks "big wigs" came out Tuesday to christen Edgewater's newest Starbucks — built from reused shipping containers — despite the wind and rain.

"We have a little bit of Seattle and a little bit of Chicago weather on this corner," said Ald. Harry Osterman, as rain drizzled overhead and gusts of wind threatened to blow away the green canopy he was speaking under.

The 48th Ward alderman also wished for "many lattes and frappuccinos to come" at the southwest corner of North Broadway and Devon Avenue.

The new Starbucks is drive-thru and walk-up only.

Store manager Andrew Hinkle was right when he predicted Monday that the coffee giant's "big wigs" would be coming to help open the unique store — there's only six others built like it in the country. "It's pretty exciting," Hinkle said.

"We're really proud about being on this corner," said Sumi Ghosh, Starbucks' vice president in the Midwest.

Ghosh said the store's proximity to Loyola University and the amount of traffic passing through the intersection would make the location a success.

Neighbors were pleased, too.

"Very, very nice," said Afidis Hoyfanis, 75, who lives next door, as he sipped on a free cup of coffee. "I like Starbucks."

Michael Klossner, who manages the Starbucks locations from Montrose to Howard Street along the lakefront, said the new spot was a "long time" in the making.

"This whole intersection has changed in the last 30 years," said resident Peter Shioura, 50. In years gone by, "stop and go businesses," including a hot dog stand, occupied the corner.

Nothing seemed to work, he said, but now it's Starbucks' turn.