Find out which tenants have recently opened and opening dates set for new stores at the approximately $350 million Liberty Center development in Liberty Twp. CHELSEY LEVINGSTON/STAFF

New Liberty Center Starbucks opens Wednesday, 2nd area location eyed

A new Evenings version of the coffee house chain Starbucks with an expanded food menu and alcoholic beverages is expected to open Wednesday at Liberty Center, according to a spokesperson for the Liberty Twp. town center.

The Seattle-based company previously confirmed plans to open a new location at the approximately $350 million Liberty Center development, and spokespeople at the end of last year said by email Starbucks Coffee Co. was considering the newly-built site for the new test menu.

Starbucks Evenings features a selection of wine and craft beer, in addition to signature coffee and tea beverages, as well as small food plates including Truffle Mac & Cheese or flatbread, according to the retailer’s website.

A media request to confirm the opening date were not returned by Starbucks officials by this news outlet’s deadline.

Meanwhile, a new Starbucks could also be built in Fairfield at 6775 Dixie Highway (Ohio 4) as part of the existing Stockton Station mixed commercial and residential development, said Greg Kathman, economic development manager for the city. The site in mind for Starbucks is in a commercially zoned area facing Ohio 4 near The Spinning Fork restaurant.

City Council had its first reading of the building plans at its March 14 meeting, which is considered the first step in the city’s approval process before construction can start. The project needs to seek planning and local government approval because it is part of a planned unit development, Kathman said.

The project was immediately referred to the city’s planning commission to consider the layout of building plans for the lot, what the building would look like, parking and landscaping and where the drive through will go, Kathman said. The plans to build a new Starbucks are likely to be discussed at the city’s next regularly scheduled planning meeting on April 13, he said. Surrounding property owners should have received notice about the upcoming planning meeting and are invited as well as members of the public to attend and share their thoughts.

Ultimately, if plans move forward, planning commission will make a recommendation to city council about whether or not it should approve the building plans, at which time council members will have the final say, Kathman explained.

Liberty Center opened in October 2015 near the intersection of Ohio 129, Liberty Way and Interstate 75. Following the grand opening last fall of Liberty Center in Butler County, the mega retail complex is seeing its next wave of tenant openings this year.

Swedish fashion retailer H&M will open its Liberty Center store at noon Thursday, March 31, followed by children’s clothing retailer Hanna Andersson at noon Friday, April 1. Other openings slated for 2016 include Northstar Cafe and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant.

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