Former Tully’s locations spring back to life

Following the coffee chain’s collapse earlier this year, other Eastside businesses are moving in.

Tully’s Coffee, a longtime local favorite, suffered a well-publicized death over the last 10 months, leaving a slew of shuttered stores in its wake. Now nearly a year after the first signs of trouble began, most of its former Eastside locations are proving as fertile ground for new businesses.

On Mercer Island, the city is planning on developing the old Tully’s location, along with an adjacent lot, into a city-owned commuter parking facility next to the future Sound Transit light rail station which will open in 2023. In addition, it could house a mixed-use residential and commercial building. The city of Mercer Island is seeking bids for developers to build on the land.

Two Tully’s locations were spread out through Kemper Development Co. towers in downtown Bellevue. The Belleve Square and Lincon Square locations have been filled with two Woods Coffee shops, and a Fonte Coffee Roaster took over another nearby location. The downtown tower locations being filled quickly comes as little surprise as commercial space in the city’s business district is hard to come by. The Eastgate location has since become a Cypress Coffee

However, a few blocks away, another Tully’s location sits vacant, one of three on the Eastside that have yet to find a new life. The standalone Tully’s at 10812 Main Street in Bellevue has sat vacant since it was shut down last March following an eviction notice from the King County Sheriff’s Office. The sign which was posted on the store’s door remained there as of Sept. 11. The coffee roaster was evicted after failing to pay tens of thousands of dollars in rent.

It joins the Issaquah Tully’s in a short list of stores which remain vacant without any known plans for the locations. A call to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce revealed the organization hadn’t heard any plans for the Issaquah location.

The future is looking brighter for the former Bothell location which sits right off the Interstate 405 interchange in the northern reaches of the city. Bellevue-based Singapore Maths Club is planning on opening their second location at the former coffee shop. Singapore Maths Club is a tutoring business which uses a style of mathematics instruction used in Singapore that focuses on teaching children to master and fully understand a small number of concepts every school year. According to a PBS article, teaching style allows students to retain concepts and focuses on teaching students in a way they remember beyond a test.

Finally, the Clyde Hill location in the affluent neighborhood near Hunts Point, Medina and Yarrow Point will be opened as a Queen Bee Cafe. The cafes are owned by Dwayne Clark, the CEO of the assisted living centers group Aegis Living. The Puget Sound Business Journal said Clark already has two queen Bee Cafes in Seattle, with three others planned, including one in Kirkland.

A spokesperson for Aegis Living said Clark does not own the building yet, but they’re hopeful the deal will go through. The Queen Been Cafe will serve coffee, desserts and crumpets with all profits going to local charities.

Tully’s coffee, while being a local favorite, had been leaking money for years after it was founded in 1992 with ambitions to become the next Starbucks. It was purchased by Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti in 2013 for $9.13 million who had plans to expand to more than 200 locations.

When stores began closing last year and into the spring, the company said it was closing to rebrand even as stores ran out of coffee amid a slew of lawsuits totaling an estimated $5 million, including from landlords and Keurig. Fast forward nearly a year and the company appears to be truly dead.

More in Business

Bothell’s Country Village opened in 1981 and offers around 40 small businesses a place to operate. It was thought to be closing this month, but recently announced shops will remain open until June 1. Aaron Kunkler / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
Country Village announces some shops will remain open until June

The well-loved village announced the two-month extension for certain businesses two days after its supposed closure.

Aaron Kunkler / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter 
                                Country Village is home to more than 40 local businesses. It is unclear whether these shops will secure new locations in Bothell before the center closes in April 2019.
Country Village closed after hosting local shops since 1985

The Country Village hosted about 40 local shops and restaurants before closing on March 31.

Nintex acquires EnableSoft in company acquisition

Bellevue-based company is a world leader in workflow automation industry.

Paige Bisbee, of Bellevue is a paid employee at Davis Wright Tremaine in Bellevue. As part of the law firm’s inclusive program, Bisbee distributes snacks and office supplies to her co-workers. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
People with disabilities find purpose through new employment opportunities

Paige Bisbee of Bellevue finds employment at Davis Wright Tremaine

Local inventory is up as buyers and sellers prep for spring real estate market

February’s snowfall temporarily slowed down sales.

Stocks stay strong for Smartsheet, Microsoft, T-Mobile

Fortune 500 functionality, Hololens technology, 5G network contribute to growth

Mary’s Place issued a thank you letter to the Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce which was published in a recent chamber newsletter. Photo courtesy of the Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce
Chamber gives largest auction donation ever to Mary’s Place

The Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce donated $7,975 to Mary’s Place, a local nonprofit.

Praerit Garg joins Smartsheet as CTO

Bellevue-based company employs 760 people

A comparison of how many life science companies are on the Eastside and in other Washington cities. Kailan Manandic
Life science hits its stride on the Eastside

Life science has strong roots in Washington, contributing economically and scientifically.

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr
Puget Sound companies join to create middle-income housing

Several are the same companies that opposed Seattle’s head tax last year.

Drs. Jared and Kirsten Spitz are Torque Release Technique proficiency certified chiropractors at Apex Chiropractic. Photo courtesy of Apex Chiropractic
Apex Chiropractic opens in Bothell

Owners Jared and Kirsten Spitz use the torque release technique to treat patients.