January 23, 2022

Coffee shop to close

Owners plan to open drive-through kiosk nearby

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

CoffeeMania plans to build a 480-square-foot drive-through shop across Route 41 from its Origins cafe in Homer, which it plans to close.

The owners of CoffeeMania will close the doors of Origins, its dine-in coffee shop in Homer, and plan to open a drive-through kiosk about 100 yards away, the owners said Wednesday.

The drive-through property, near Route 281 and Route 41, across Route 41 from Origins, would build on two commercial properties — a former restaurant and furniture upholstery business, according to the designs submitted to the Cortland County Planning Board.

Owners Craig and Michelle Brooks are requesting to build a 480-square-foot drive through coffee shop, similar to those on Groton Avenue and Port Watson Street in Cortland, according to the plan.

“It may happen this year, we’d like it to happen this year but it might be next year,” Craig Brooks said. “We’re going for the drive-through format, which is more on-brand for CoffeeMania since the other two places are drive-through.”

The Brooks family bought the property a year and a half ago and have since been delayed by the pandemic, Brooks said.

“It hasn’t gone before the (county) planning committee, so I don’t know what entities this whole thing needs to go through,” Brooks said. “The state wants to know things about traffic flow and the village (Homer) about zoning.”

The topic was on the agenda for the Cortland County Planning Board’s meeting Wednesday night, but details were not available.

As part of the site proposal, Brooks proposed two drive-through lanes around the shop, which has created safety concerns regarding traffic, according to a county Planning Department assessment of the plan.

The village of Homer is requesting data for the maximum number of vehicles that can access the drive-through lane at the two other locations during peak business hours.

Still, the parking lot in the back does meet the village’s minimum requirement of one parking space for each 75 square feet of floor area for drive-in restaurants, according to the plan. If the property were to be moved back to create more drive through space for vehicles, which is being requested, the parking requirement would still be met.

The Planning Department recommended the plan be approved contingent upon:

  • Approval for driveway entrances.
  • Data on the maximum number of vehicles at the other two locations during peak business hours.
  • Submittal of a revised plan to move the property further back.
  • Adequate screening around proposed dumpster area.
  • Obtainment of a Food Service Establishment permit from the Cortland County Health Department.
  • Approval of the public water and sewer connections.
  • Outdoor lighting must be directed downward.
  • Compliance with State Environmental Quality Review Act requirements.