Springfield coffee shop Grab-A-Java has officially opened its third location at 300 Chatham Road.
“We opened on Saturday and didn’t even tell anybody, because we wanted to work out any kinks,” said owner Bill Legge. “This was a new design, new layout, my first time building a new store. But we were very pleased; it went off without a hitch.”
Bill and Vicky Legge purchased the iconic business in 2018 from Meg Evans and Peter Lazare, who had founded Springfield’s first drive-thru coffee shop more than two decades prior. The new store joins the two existing Grab-A-Java locations at 1702 S. Sixth St. and 3115 Hedley Road.
In August 2020, the Legges purchased the land on the corner of Chatham Road and Monroe Street. Legge previously told SBJ, “It’s a weird piece of property, there’s a long sliver that is part of a flood plain. It’s not usable for a lot of folks, even though it’s a busy intersection.”
However, given the small size of the Grab-A-Java building, he was able to make the property work, and said he has no concerns about the proximity of Starbucks. A new Starbucks is currently under construction on the west side of the Fairhills Mall parking lot, which will replace the existing store on West Monroe Street next to the fire station.
“Starbucks doesn’t worry me whatsoever, there truly is a difference,” said Legge. “All of our products are hand-crafted and sourced locally when possible.”
Legge said he held off on moving forward immediately after purchasing the Chatham Road property due to COVID, but construction began in the summer of 2022. While he intended to make the new store a prototype for expansion into other markets, Legge said there are no immediate plans to launch new locations.
“The last couple years have been nuts, and these are weird times right now with property prices, interest rates, supply chain issues… things have been so chaotic. For the next 12 months, we want to make sure we’re really good at what we’ve got,” he said. “We want to perfect what we’ve got in front of us before we make any decisions.”
The new Chatham Road location includes six exterior panels that pay homage to Peter Lazare’s iconic banners, which became synonymous with Grab-A-Java and were memorialized in a book following his death in 2018.
Another distinctive feature of the new store is the unique landscaping planned for this spring, according to Legge. “We’ve partnered with 3B Natives from Fromm-Huff Farm in Salisbury, and we’ll have native plantings stretching all the way down Chatham Road,” he said. “It will be a massive butterfly garden.”
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