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FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2007
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Starbucks, Chili's to open facilities in Decatur

By Evan Belanger
evanb@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

Decatur residents with a hankering for the aromas and flavoring of a real Seattle coffeehouse brew will get their wish.

As work continues on widening Beltline Road Southwest this week, it appears two new eateries will move into the area.

A spokeswoman for Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. confirmed Thursday a Starbucks Coffee shop is planned for Decatur.

To be at Beltline Road and Spring Avenue with access from Wimberly Road Southwest, the store will be a freestanding structure, featuring dine-in services and a drive-through window.

"We don't know exactly when it will be opening, but there is one coming," said the spokeswoman.

The nearest Starbucks to Decatur is in Athens at U.S. 72 and Interstate 65.

Worldwide, Starbucks has more than 13,000 stores, employing more than 140,000 people. In 2006, the company grossed $7.78 billion.

In addition to the coffeehouse, a Chili's Grill & Bar is to locate near Beltline Road.

The Decatur Planning Commission reviewed a preliminary site plan for the proposed restaurant Tuesday.

According to city documents, the Chili's will locate off Beltline Road at Modaus Road and Fairground Road.

The listed property owner is Decatur entrepreneur Aaron Guthrie.

Guthrie also owns Windmill Beverages and a stake in Microtel Inn and Suites off Beltline Road. The Daily was unable to contact him Wednesday or Thursday.

Dallas-based Chili's operates more than 1,000 restaurants nationwide.

Considered Decatur's second busiest road — portions of U.S. 31 rank higher — Beltline Road averages 31,000 vehicles per day.

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