Third Cup

The number of coffeeshops vying for the lucrative downtown dollar is set to increase by one in June. Second Cup, Canada’s largest chain of specialty coffee retailers, is opening a location at 336 Water Street, in the space formerly occupied by Melendy’s.

This will be the third Second Cup location to hit the metro area. It’ll join the stand-alone location on Stavanger Drive, and its much-older sister location, which has been operating in the Avalon Mall for over 30 years.

The opening of the Water Street location means that within the downtown area, in a perimeter roughly delineated by Harvey/Military Road, Ordnance Street, Water Street, and Barters Hill, there will be eleven shops dedicated to selling specialty coffees (plus two Tim Horton’s locations).

It remains to be seen if the downtown market can support yet another specialty coffee shop, or if, like a cup of boot-polish-black coffee, it has reached a point of supersaturation.

“I think we have a superior product,” says franchise owner Rhonda Decker, who also owns the Avalon Mall location. “I think, you know, there’s not many people out there that can match it.” Decker cites Second Cup’s scrupulous devotion to serving quality arabica coffee from ethical sources as the key to the company’s superiority.

But, speaking objectively, if the new Second Cup has a true tactical edge on the numerous competitors in the downtown market, it’s going to be the shop’s hours operation. Decker says the new location will stay open until 11pm. 11! As anyone who’s ever tried to push out a paper in comfortable surroundings can attest, those nocturnal hours of coffee shop time make all the difference in the world.

To gild the temporal lilly, the Water Street location will also feature wi-fi, ensuring that the vacuum of downtown office-space-for-the-officeless will be filled at long last.

Barring any hiccups in construction or shipping, the new Second Cup will open its doors on June 14.