BURLINGTON – As the Burlington Mall continues to put emphasis on food over department stores, the Planning Board recently approved a special permit that will see Caffè Nero locate below the food court.
The Italian coffee shop is a European style coffee house brand with more than 825 coffee houses worldwide and is established in the United Kingdom (headquarters are in London), Ireland, Poland, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States (since 2014).
Caffè Nero’s Burlington Mall location will be in the Besito concourse on the first floor, across from Au Bon Pain. The company will occupy a 2,510-square-foot tenant space that formerly housed a sporting goods store.
The European style coffee house considers itself a fast-casual restaurant that is modeled after traditional Italian cafes wherein they specialize in high quality coffee and freshly made pastries. Caffè Nero will operate during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours with seating for 65 patrons located within the space.
The project design integrates European concepts utilizing a veranda as the main entrance accommodating 15 of the 65 patron seats intended to convey a simulated street presence in the concourse.
“It is an Italian coffee shop with associated pastries that will have a veranda looking onto the concourse so patrons can get the essence of a European feel by seeing people walk by as they dine,” explained attorney Robert Buckley, of Riemer & Braunstein in Burlington, representing Caffè Nero. “The veranda equates to a European type of coffee shop.”
While this proposal will introduce a new eating establishment to the Burlington Mall campus, the overall seating count within the complex is well below the total in existence at the time of the Rainforest Cafe operation, which closed earlier this year.
“Therefore, we do not anticipate any impacts from this proposal relative to vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking capacity or sewer allocation,” avowed Buckley.
Caffè Nero is not seeking a liquor license at this time.
Along with traditional espresso-based drinks, such as espresso, cappuccino, latte and macchiato, Caffè Nero also sells Frappé Latte (an iced latte), Fruit Boosters (an iced fruit drink), and Hot Chocolate Milano, an extra sweet and thick hot chocolate drink. Several specialty coffee-based drinks were launched in 2007. These were “Caramelatte” (a vanilla-flavored latte served with whipped cream and caramel sauce topping), and the White Chocolate Mocha (a twist on the classic caffè mocha). Caffè Nero also has its own line of panini, pasta salads, and soup dishes.
The company buys coffee from traders who have direct relationships with farmers. It works continuously to establish relationships with farmers to offer them what they actually need in their community. The company imports its coffee beans directly from exporters in the coffee producing countries. It establishes strong and direct relationship with the supplying farmers and pays a ‘fair’ and rewarding price to them. It also works to promote the development of the coffee communities.
The company has a reward scheme for customers. Each time a coffee is purchased, the customer’s loyalty card is stamped with the Nero coffee bean logo. Once a card has nine stamps, the bearer is entitled to a free drink of any price (including iced drinks).
The Planning Board was generally excited about Caffè Nero locating in the Mall and raised no concerns regarding the special permit.
“I have been to Caffè Nero before, and I look forward to sampling it at home,” stated member Barbara L’Heureux.
The board approved the special permit by a 6-0 vote. Member Joe Impemba was absent from the meeting.
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