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Friday, January 11, 2008

Is this progress? Starbucks coming to Prague...

The Prague post reports that Starbucks will open their first Prague store by the end of January. The location is a prime spot on Malostranske namesti ("small square" that is a short walk from the Charles bridge and is in the cnter of the tourist district. We have heard about this for some time, but this is the first confirmation we have seen.

Interestingly, the restaurant that had been where the Starbucks is going, called Square, is where Kathy and I went with Nick and Mary when they visited in October. Kathy and I were at Square a half a dozen times and always enjoyed the food and the atmosphere (although it was a little too upscale to visit regularly). I think that Square was reasonably successful so Starbucks must have paid a pretty penny to get the location.

Starbucks to open in Prague by the end of January
Chain's first location will be in historic coffeehouse

Starbucks will open its first café in Prague at the end of January, Finanční noviny reports.

The Seattle-based chain of cafés signed a joint-venture contract with AmRest Holdings N.V. to launch and manage its fleet of cafes in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. The Netherlands-based company operates 252 chain restaurants in Central and Eastern Europe, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King.

The first cafe will open on Malostranske namesti in the Gromling Palace, which AmRest plans to renovate and turn into a neighborhood venue. The location has a storied history – it was formerly a popular Old Town kavarna for Czech writers and philosophers.

Starbucks, which has over 15,000 cafes in over 40 countries, wants to open 20 cafes this year in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary and also plans to enter the Bulgarian and Polish markets.

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