Mayor teases Starbucks in letter to Santa

BUCKHANNON — Rumors are percolating that downtown Buckhannon may one day be home to a new Starbucks location.

At Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting, Mayor David McCauley read aloud a letter he’d written on behalf of the city to Santa Claus at the North Pole, which briefed Kris Kringle on the latest developments in the community, highlighting recent happenings such as the unveiling of the Buckhannon Dog Park and the restoration of the old Colonial Theatre.

In particular, McCauley pointed to new and improved cafes and eateries, in a humorous attempt to tempt Santa and his elves to explore Buckhannon’s downtown.

“New places like The Social — amazing grilled cheese sandwiches — and soon a new Starbucks will prove popular with your elves and our natives alike,” McCauley read. “Fish Hawk Acres has new seating. Miss Piggy’s makes swell [barbecue]. Don Paco is the bomb. ¾ Café is doing brunch. Audrey’s is super homestyle cuisine, too. Get your ice cream at Sweet-A-Licious. Let’s get you a seat on the development authority!”

Despite the hint that Starbucks might be opening a location in Buckhannon, McCauley declined to comment further on his statement following council’s meeting.

On Friday, executive director of the Upshur County Development Authority Rob Hinton confirmed he has been involved in conversations with the coffee giant about opening a store in the new IDEA Center set to be built at the corner of Spring and Main streets.

“I’ve been talking to them about opening a location in our building, but nothing is set in stone,” Hinton said.

Hinton said construction on the knowledge and innovation-based business incubator hasn’t been bid out yet; however, that step will hopefully be taken in 2018, he said.

So, hold onto your coffee cups — Starbucks hasn’t committed to anything, he said.

“From the conversations I’ve had with Starbucks, we are very far away from making that decision,” Hinton said.

In addition to teasing Starbucks, McCauley touted a number of other potentially forthcoming additions to Buckhannon and Upshur County, including the Sunnybuck Express, “a clever tram to help transport residents and guests alike between venues;” a splash pad and zipline downtown; and a two-phase expansion of the Rivertrail near West Virginia Wesleyan College.

McCauley listed several projects and improvements that are on the city’s “wish list” for Santa, like new playground equipment for the North Buckhannon Riverfront Park, a revamped gymnasium/auditorium for Stockert Youth Center and the extension of Trader’s Alley from Main Street to Jawbone Park.

“In closing, Santa, remember we’re all in this together,” McCauley wrote. “Merry Christmas to everyone, and may we all enjoy a very happy, healthy, prosperous, and most importantly, fun-filled New Year in 2018! Please resolve to be kind to and love one another, check in on your neighbors … God bless us, everyone.”


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