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

Seaplane bartender JT Goodman makes a cocktail during happy hour on Nov. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo
Seaplane Restaurant and Bar opens in Kenmore

The new eatery is open for happy hour and dinner in downtown.

The Bothell-Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, community members and staff members gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for Dr. Eugenia Lee, outside Kenmore Dental Care on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Dr. Eugenia Lee takes over Kenmore orthodontics practice

Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting ceremony for Lee Orthodontics on Nov 13.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

Jersey Mike’s opens in Bothell

The sandwich shop is holding a grand opening and free sandwich fundraiser from Nov. 14-18 to support the Northshore Schools Foundation.

Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington which the city of Kenmore has been hoping to see developed for nearly three decades. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Kenmore’s Lakepointe development talks collapse

A representative of the potential developer said it may be close to being dead.

Bothell’s smallest brewery earns “Best of Northshore” award

The micro-brewery has been pumping out the goods for more than eight years.

Store manager of the Bothell Helping Hands Thrift Store, Brittani Heitman, takes empty hangers to the back room to put more clothes onto the store floor. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Helping Hands Thrift Store serves locally and globally

The Bothell thrift store provides self-sustaining resources to Peru and local community.

Fall housing market shifts, but still seller’s market

Real estate snapshot for Bothell and Kenmore

Former Tully’s locations spring back to life

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

Main Street in downtown Bothell reopened after a fire and construction in April. Evan Pappas/staff photo
Bothell Main Street business bouncing back after construction

After a fire and construction slowed business, many merchants are seeing people return.

Office space is still tight on the Eastside

That hasn’t stopped Google and Facebook from looking to expand.

Kenmore Council adopts plastic bag ordinance

The Kenmore City Council adopted a new plastic bag policy effective January… Continue reading