Dunkin' Donuts will open its first full-sized restaurant with a drive-thru in the city of Buffalo in December.
And it is planning a second downtown Buffalo location for 2008.
The free-standing, drive-thru Dunkin' Donuts is under construction just off the southwest corner of Delaware and Hertel avenues, between the existing retail plaza and Kmart parking lot. The additional downtown location will be in the Ellicott Square building, on the Main Street side of the office complex.
"We really like Buffalo and that North Buffalo neighborhood is very appealing to us," said Steven Galloway, president and chief executive officer of Kainos Partners, the Dunkin' Donuts franchisee behind the project.
"When you look a mile or two around that Delaware/Hertel intersection, there's a lot of people and a lot of activity and momentum. It's a great spot for a coffee-and-doughnuts company to be," he said.
The Delaware-Hertel Plaza, owned by Amherst's Benchmark Group, also offered enough space for the city's first free-standing Dunkin' Donuts with a drive-thru window.
"It's a given in suburban locations, but it's tougher finding a site with the space and access you need to do a drive-thru in the city. It's something we've wanted to do for a while," Galloway said.
Another Dunkin' Donuts is located less than a mile north on Delaware Avenue at Courier Boulevard in Kenmore.
"There is point when you hit saturation, but we're not there yet," Galloway said. "Good competition tends to grow the market for a product line, and we still have room to grow."
The Kainos chief is using that same philosophy in downtown Buffalo, where it opened its first site at the corner of West Chippewa and Main streets, in late September. The Dunkin' Donuts restaurant faces competition from a Tim Hortons, right across the street in Key Center, and a Tim's kiosk in the HSBC Center. The Tim Horton's chain will open a third location on the ground floor of the Liberty Building, at Main and Court streets, early next year.
Delta Sonic also operates a Dunkin' Donuts, inside its car wash/retail plaza, in the 1200-block of Main Street, less than a mile from the downtown core.
Kainos has been in talks with Ellicott Development for more than a year, and expects to work out final details for an expected 1,500-square-foot operation by next summer.
Kainos, the area's largest Dunkin' Donuts operator in the Buffalo market, will have a "baker's dozen" restaurants in Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties when the North Buffalo store debuts by the end of the year. It opened its 12th store in a converted Consumer's Beverage site, on Eggert Road, near Niagara Falls Boulevard, on Monday.
There are currently 31 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, operated by six different franchisees in the greater Buffalo area. Kainos has plans on the drawing board for six more restaurants in Amherst, Depew, Jamestown and Dunkirk.