Scooter's Coffee, which says it specializes in getting buyers quickly in and out of its retail coffee houses, has plans for a major entry into the Chattanooga market.
A franchisee has signed a deal to bring 10 stores of Nebraska-based Scooter's to the Chattanooga area, said Mary Katherine Revels, a spokeswoman for the company.
"Scooter's Coffee is quickly expanding in Tennessee," she said, noting that locations are coming soon to Knoxville as well.
The company, founded in 1998, has more than 200 retail sites from Nevada to Florida, though most are located in the Midwest.
Founders Don and Linda Eckles opened their first drive-through coffee house in Bellevue, Nebraska, and have expanded with the aim of offering "high-quality drinks, speed of service, and a big smile," according to its website. The brand name comes from the co-founders' daughter, who was nicknamed Scooter.
On Monday, a representative for the Chattanooga project asked to defer a rezoning request for a potential Scooter's location on the 6900 block of Concord Circle, just off of East Brainerd Road near Interstate-75.
Mike Price of MAP Engineers told the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission that apartments for that 0.37-acre tract near Concord Baptist Church isn't the best use for the property.
Price, who is requesting a zoning change from R-3 residential to C-2 commercial, said he wanted time to see if there was an opportunity to work out a plan with neighbors of the tract.
"Those discussions are in the preliminary stages," he said.
The Regional Planning Agency staff has recommended denying the rezoning. The staff report said the request isn't compatible with the area's community plan. Also, rezoning has the potential to introduce nuisances such as noise, lighting and increased traffic and intensify commercial uses adjacent to existing family residences, the staff said.
Chattanooga has already seen a flurry of cafes and coffee shops.
Starbucks continues to build new locations. Earlier this month, work started on a new cafe at Signal Mountain and Mountain Creek roads near a Food City. Plans calls for a 2,100-square-foot cafe to open in the fall or winter.
Michael Mansson, director of development for Charleston, South Carolina-based Ziff Properties, said the Starbucks will have both dine-in and drive-through features. Chattanooga has more than a half dozen Starbucks locations.
Meanwhile, Dunkin' has started construction of that company's first drive-through-only store in the region. Dunkin' franchisee Bluemont Group is putting the unit next door to WDEF-TV at 3300 Broad St., said Dave Baumgartner, the company's president.
"It's a busy commuter route," he said. "It's a good, visible route. We're excited about the area."
Dunkin' has about 10 stores in the Chattanooga area.
The first Scooter's location in 1998 was known as Scooter's Java Express, the website said.
"The name fit well with our mission to keep customers happy by helping them 'scoot in and scoot out' quickly," it said.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.