It's been a long and drawn out process, but the Venturas finally have all their approvals in order to move their Dunkin' Donuts shop to the other side of Route 1 and install a drive-through window.
The coffee shop is currently located inside the Exxon service station and convenience store at 435 Newbury St. and will now take up approximately 900 square feet of space at the Mobil station across the way at 420 Newbury St.
Ventura Baking Corp. received a special permit from the Planning Board last month for the drive-through and Peabody attorney David Harris appeared before the Board of Selectmen for a common victualler's license on Tuesday night.
Harris explained that the shop is situated within a grocery or convenience store, which is common with gas stations today.
Selectmen unanimously approved the application and had no concerns with the proposal, noting there still seems to be a competition between Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks on opening more stores. Harris agreed and noted the short lifespan of Krispy Kreme in town. It only lasted about six months.
Selectman Bill Clark said the drive-through would likely be a great pick-me-up for many commuters headed south, noting there's only one Dunkin’s in Topsfield, which finally opened after a 30-year legal battle. The next Dunkin' Donuts down the highway is in Peabody, five miles away.
He also said he wouldn't make the mistake this time of publicly declaring his support and regular patronage of another coffee shop operated by the Venturas in another part of town...
"I have no problem [with the application], but my affiliations lie elsewhere," said Selectman Gardner Trask, smiling. His java of choice Tuesday night came from Honey Dew Donuts.
A representative from Ventura said that while the drive-through permit did allow for 24-hour service, the plan was only to open from 4 a.m. - midnight at this time.
The company's initial proposal to the Planning Board was denied, but then Ventura filed another plan it said was materially different than the first. The company plans to install a small addition to the rear of the building for a cooler and more storage capacity, add the drive-through window and alter curb cuts to provide two divided entrances.
Harris said the appeal period for the special permit had expired and no one filed an objection of the Planning Board's decision.
In case you're wondering, there are nine Dunkin' Donuts shops in Danvers.