Satellite Coffee to open in Journal Center

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Satellite Coffee will be taking over the space now occupied by Starbucks in Journal Center. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Change is brewing at the Market Place at Journal Center.

One of the owners of Satellite Coffee, the locally-owned five-location coffeehouse chain, on Tuesday confirmed that it will open store No. 6 this fall at the retail space now occupied by Starbucks.

“We have agreed to an early (lease) termination with Starbucks effective Oct. 5,” said Lowell Hare, managing partner of Market Place at Journal Center, adding Satellite’s tenancy will begin in mid-October.

Starbucks, a long-term tenant at the Center at 7600 Jefferson St. NE, is moving to a larger retail space down the street at 6707 Jefferson NE, a commercial center that is the site of a Lovelace Medical Group clinic. Construction now is wrapping up at Starbucks’ new digs, a standalone 2,025-square foot location with a drive-thru lane.

“We had a really great relationship with Starbucks and hated to see them leave,” said Hare. He said the Seattle-based coffee chain was the first tenant in phase one of the center, opening for business in 1996.

Hare is confident that Satellite Coffee, an offshoot of Flying Star Cafe, will be equally successful attracting clientele from workers in the busy Jefferson corridor needing their daily java fix. The coffee purveyor has significant foot traffic, Hare added.

Satellite will invest in both interior and exterior improvements at the 1,250-square-foot site as a prelude to a late fall opening, said Jean Bernstein, chief executive officer for the company.

“We’ll now be the second-largest coffee chain” in the area, said Bernstein, a homegrown company now vying for business with Starbucks’ 50 locations in the metro area. “I think we’ll be a worthy contender,” said Bernstein, not only emphasizing the coffee side of the business, but sales of fresh baked pastries and other food items.

She said Satellite’s new store at Market Place at Journal Center also will offer more interior seating.

“We’re be running hard the minute we open,” said Bernstein.

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