As we reported in October of last year, the faded but once classic Gilmore Gas Station at Highland and Willoughby is expected to be refurbished by Starbucks as a drive-through coffee shop with limited outdoor seating.
A representative for Starbucks shared plans and a full color rendering of the renovated station at the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) Land Use Committee last week, and received an endorsement to move forward to the Department of Planning. Starbucks is seeking a Conditional Use Permit to change the use designation to a coffee shop, and ask for extended operational hours, possibly 5am – midnight.
At only 806 square feet, the building itself does not offer much space but for a few baristas, but the corner lot on Highland and Willoughby sees substantial automobile traffic so business should be brisk. For those who do want to stop in, there will be a walk up window and a number of outdoor tables on a patio, and eight designated parking spaces, most off the service alley accessed from Willoughby.
Elizabeth Valerio, architect for the project, assured the GWNC committee that Starbucks would be carefully restoring the wood and aluminum structure to its former glory. The plans call for building full height walls behind the restored custom aluminum and glass garage doors, no doubt for safety reasons, and patching, repairing and/or replacing the decorative trim work, sheet metal and walls to bring it back to mint condition.
A spokesperson from Starbucks shared the following with the Larchmont Buzz:
We are looking at opening the store proposed for Highland Avenue in mid-2015. The local Neighborhood Council approved to support our project earlier this month, and the Conditional Use Permit hearing will take place later this summer. As for the design, we will look to restore the building and preserve the original structure as much as possible and will have more information to share in the coming months.
Though Starbucks would not share a rendering of the proposed renovation, we did nab a schematic that shows how the drive through will work on that corner (color added by the Buzz.)
Larchmont Buzz: Fill ‘Er Up – A Starbucks on Highland?