GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Scooter’s Coffee is coming to Michigan and its first drive-through coffee shop will be built in Grand Rapids.

Thursday afternoon, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved plans to build a coffee kiosk in the parking lot of the Plainfield Plaza strip mall.

Scooter’s Coffee wants to build a 664-square-foot shop there that would only be open to its employees. Customers would use the drive-through for ordering and pickup.

“This is a rather unique concept for the city of Grand Rapids,” said Elizabeth Zeller, senior planner for the city of Grand Rapids.

Scooter’s Coffee would lease 15,000 square-feet of the lot located off Plainfield Avenue just north of I-96 on the city’s northern border. About 40 of the lot’s 316 parking spots would be lost.

“I mean, in my 40-plus years here, I’ve never seen this parking lot full. So I’m appreciative that that recognition of that underutilization is to add some color and some landscaping and a service rather than just asphalt just sitting there. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that it doesn’t create a gathering place for the neighborhood or even the people getting off the bus or on the bus, waiting for it to pick up a cup of coffee, read a newspaper or chat,” planning commission member Susan Shannon said.

Shannon said she wouldn’t vote against the proposal but she considered it was a missed opportunity. Other commissioners agreed.

Outline of cars and building laid over satellite image of mall parking lot
(An image provided by Progressive AE and Scooter’s Coffee shows the proposed drive-thru coffee kiosk layout at Plainfield Plaza in Grand Rapids.)

Scooter’s Coffee typically serves up coffee, specialty coffee drinks and prepackaged foods including sandwiches, wraps, bagels and muffins. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s location traditionally operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The coffee chain already operates more than 300 cafes and drive-through locations nationwide, with the closest one about 150 miles away from Grand Rapids in Green Bay, Wisconsin.