Editor’s Note: This story has been published in response to a question asked by a reader to Steve Pokin, the Answer Man. This is not an Answer Man Column.
“I am asked regularly about what happened to the controversial 7 Brew coffee shop at Jefferson and Sunshine. I assume this is due to my involvement in their process of rezoning the property. My response is always I have no idea. Since I am getting one or two questions a week, and since it seems to me like a lot of hill to climb and not proceed with the 7 Brew is weird, I thought I’d turn to the expert in getting answers. Can you help?” – Bruce Colony, Springfield
A 7 Brew coffee shop – with a drive-thru – is still coming to the corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue.
After months of debate, recommendations of denial from the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission and denials from the City Council, Reding Management got the green light on a 5-3 vote in early January for what will be the city’s fifth 7 Brew.
Four months have passed and the property mostly looks the same, with no signs of 7 Brew’s unique branding donning the property. However, developer Royce Reding said “everything’s looking great” on a hopeful summer opening of the Arkansas-based “mind-blowing” drink stop.
“It’s full steam ahead just like its always been planned,” Reding told the Springfield Daily Citizen. “There’s literally no change, no difference in anything.”
7 Brews have earned a reputation for seemingly popping up overnight, making the nearly four months since Reding got the approval from the city council feel particularly long.
Due to the uncertainty of whether or not they would be able to bring the high-energy coffee shop to the primarily residential Seminole/Holland neighborhood, Reding said much of the “behind the scenes work” couldn’t begin until they got the go-ahead.
“If we didn’t get approval, you know, it was all for naught,” he said.
Reding attributes the timetable primarily to acquiring required permits with the city, in addition to that “behind the scenes” work, including the engineering. Once all of that is completed, he expects the 7 Brew at Sunshine and Jefferson will follow precedent, and appear rather quickly.
That is because 7 Brew’s buildings are manufactured off-site. Reding said once the concrete pads are poured, the building will quickly follow.
“It comes together just incredibly fast,” he said. “…In essence, they just bring that building in and set it down, and so that’s all a really fast process. So I’d say soon I think people [will] start seeing the difference there really quickly.”
Before the coffee shop lands, the two houses located at 420 and 424 E. Sunshine will be demolished to make room for the 7 Brew, which will have three drive-thru lanes to reduce traffic congestion on surrounding roads and driveways on both Jefferson Avenue to the west and Roanoke Avenue to the east.
Fences have recently been placed around the homes, and Reding said progress on the property is “completely on track schedule-wise.”
He also assured the real estate signage that remains on the property in no way impacts Reding Management’s plans for the 7 Brew, but merely provides a chance for him to help connect potential tenants with other available properties.
In addition to the location that will eventually sit at 412 E. Sunshine, 7 Brew is opening its westernmost spot in Springfield near the intersection of Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass.