Cherokee Nation Businesses opens Starbucks in Cherokee Springs Plaza

Vehicles line up for drive-thru service at the new Starbucks location at Cherokee Springs Plaza in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

TAHLEQUAH -- Cherokee Nation Businesses' brought back "one of the most popular and admired brands in the world" to town -- a full-service Starbucks that opened on Jan. 18.

CNB officials knew having the popular coffee chain at the Cherokee Springs Plaza would draw more people to the area from morning to night.

"It is exciting, especially during these unprecedented times, to see continued success and further development within our local communities," CNB CEO Chuck Garrett said. "We're pleased to have Starbucks join us, and our many partnering organizations at Cherokee Springs Plaza, in creating new job opportunities and additional economic growth for the region."

In 2008 during the "Great Recession," Starbucks closed hundreds of stores across the United States. Fourteen stores were closed in Oklahoma, including Tahlequah, Muskogee, Claremore and Tulsa, Garrett said.

Garrett said the new Starbucks will generate additional sales and property taxes benefiting the city, county and state. Thirty-five jobs have been created to staff the new business, with 70% being CN citizens.

According to CNB, the entity's effort to recruit both regional and national businesses to Cherokee Springs Plaza continues to bring amenities to the area, benefiting the CN and Tahlequah.

"The opening of the new Starbucks, in addition to Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, Tru by Hilton, Newk's Eatery, Stuteville Ford, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bueno and the Sonic Drive-In, validates Cherokee Springs Plaza as a great location and adds even more options for the nearly 30,000 people who pass through Tahlequah's primary retail corridor each day," reads a CNB statement. "Starbucks, and its reputation for great service, compliments many of the offerings already available at Cherokee Springs Plaza. It appeals to Tahlequah residents and guests by offering nearby conveniences often found in other cities."

Bringing additional retail, dining and entertainment venues to Tahlequah helps fund improvements to nearby roads, including Highway 62, Southridge Road and Nancy Ward Drive, CNB officials said.

As a full-service business, the corporate Starbucks store offers all menu items found in any full-service location. The 2,100-square-foot facility includes indoor and patio dining areas and a drive-thru.

Starbucks is at 1702 Muskogee Ave. and is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.