Council approved a variance request Wednesday in a 6-0 vote, with Councilman Philip Goldstein having left the room to avoid a conflict of interest because his son, University of Georgia sophomore Joseph Goldstein, owns the property in question.
The Starbucks plans to open in April.
When Krystal, which had leased the property since the mid 1970s, didn’t renew its lease this spring, the younger Goldstein purchased the 2,433-square-foot building on 0.53 acres for $800,000 in August from the family estate of James H. Brooks Sr.
The younger Goldstein, who is studying business, plays clarinet in the Red Coat Marching Band at the University of Georgia, his father said.
“We are thrilled that Starbucks is coming and also believe it will have a very positive effect on the downtown business community,” Councilman Goldstein said.
The councilman said that before it became public knowledge, half the people who asked him what would occupy the building said they hoped to see a Starbucks there.
“There are a lot of Starbucks fans around,” he said.
Councilman Grif Chalfant said he looks forward to the coffee house opening as well.
“I’m totally excited,” Chalfant said. “I love the design, I love the extra landscaping, I’m just totally enamored with the project.”
Chalfant said none of the 200 or so constituents on his email list he shared the project with had any complaints about it.
As for whether he drinks Starbucks coffee, “it gets a little expensive for me,” Chalfant said.
“I am a coffee drinker, but I stick to QuikTrip,” he said. “But I noticed at that Starbucks on Dallas Highway, it’s backed up all the time. In the hot afternoon, it’s backed up.”