Grand opening: Dunkin' drops in on Corner

dish-dunkinA Dunkin' Donuts which doubles as a Baskin Robbins has finally opened on The Corner in the old Rita's space. So what does that mean for students and Corner goers? Coffee, coffee drinks, donuts, bagels, muffins, sandwiches, and ice cream will be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week! Lately, the chain has been expanding in the area, with a locations in Ruckersville and Palmyra.

“We're excited to be opening our third restaurant in the Charlottesville area, and especially this location across from UVA,” said franchisee and Charlottesville resident, Andy Rod, who says he'd been looking for a good location like this for five years. "My family and our team look forward to serving Charlottesville guests for many years to come.”

They're having a Grand Opening today at 1pm and word on the street is that there might be some tasty give-aways. There will also be day-long events on Saturday, including contests, a fundraiser for the Virginia Institute of Autism, prizes, and a chance to meet  “Joe the Cup”


Awesome news. Where I come from, Dunkin Donuts are on every corner.

Spudnuts and Bodos are both amazing... who needs Dunkin Donuts

"Better than Dunkin Donuts" Fella, you aint better than nobody!

spudnuts is too far away for the students: something like 5 whole miles.

God bless capitalism. Ive been waiting for this day since the one on Emmett Street shut down. I don't care if I gotsta fly - planes, trains, auto-mo-bieells - betta have my dunkin doooooonuuuts

here's the deal:

the local, small real estate owner on the corner jacks up the rent so that only chains can afford to be there

dont blame the chains, blame the local small landlord that is screwing the local potential lessee

this is just a local screwing, the national chains have nothing to do with it

You go CHERI! Couldnt have said it better.
Im happy to see new business that produces jobs and contributes to the community in this economy. Spudnuts!!!! :)

Agree with Col. Forbin - SPUDNUTS ROCKS!

William said: "booo! I can only make a guess here, but do you work for UVA or the government? Almost seems that you have never had to live in the ââ?¬Å?real” world. I’m sure we would all like to have a Mayberry Utopia here in good old C’ville, but perhaps you should start living in reality."

@ William - No.

And quite the opposite. I've been out on my own supporting myself since before graduating highschool, no family to back me up, and I'm in my mid-30s now. I've lived in multiple parts of the country as well, and worked at more jobs than my age thanks to the vast amount of temping I've done in at least four states (though I've worked in more than that, at non-temp jobs as well), which means an extreme exposure to multiple job industries and the ways of the world.

An observant person can tell just by the way I sound/write that I'm not a small town podunker with limited life experience. You're not very good at reading people are you?

And since when is cringing at big box stores and mega retail chains a sign of somebody who lacks life experience? If anything it shows the opposite - somebody who's been around, and doesn't like what they're seeing in the world. Those who've never been anywhere are the ones who don't see it and don't know any better.

there used to be a dunkin donuts on the site where arch's now stands on emmet st, then it was a donut connection or something like that before the building was torn down. i wonder if booooo remembers that. i guess cville was slipping back then too.

I love Spudnuts. :)

Seems like you commenters have dunkin more than your donuts.
Relax and enjoy yet another beautiful weekend in paradise.

Another vote for Spudnuts!!!

Just wish they had some nice cream filled Eclairs! :)

booo! I can only make a guess here, but do you work for UVA or the government? Almost seems that you have never had to live in the "real" world. I'm sure we would all like to have a Mayberry Utopia here in good old C'ville, but perhaps you should start living in reality.

Actually cya...many corporate chains hire people that they then try to turn into robots. The thing about corporate owned mega chains (and I'm not saying this is the case with Dunkin Donuts, I'm just making a point in general) is that they have a uniform standard of dress and code, sometimes even dictating how their employees must speak. For instance, certain phrases and word choices must be used in lieu of others, almost to where the employees have to interact as if from a script. It's understandable on the one hand because corporate HQ wants people to be able to go into any one of their chains nationwide and have the same identical experience - same exact interior look, uniforms, menus (if applicable) and way of talking. It's comforting to many people if they're away from home to have that. I however am not one of those people. When I go places I want to see stores/shops and eateries that reflect that area's unique location and culture. Something that screams "You are here!" not "You are anywhere, and what does it matter anyway cause it all looks the same!" When I'm traveling through new towns and only see a prevailance of businesses like Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Subway, Arby's, Wal*Mart, Target, Pet Smart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dairy Queen, Starbucks, Home Depot, Blockbuster, Applebee's, Chili's, Staples/Office Depot, Best Buy, etc., I cringe a little inside, like, 'ugh.' No unique idenity, no unique culture. At least Cville does have the unique Mom n Pop and culture options...but so many towns in middle America don't. They only have mega retail chains, with nothing else going for them. Very disappointing when passing through them. And Dunkin Donuts in particular has always been so....tacky to me. I don't know what it is about that place. I though Cville was better than Dunkin Donuts. o_O We're slipping people. :D

@Boooo - What if you learned that Dunkin Donuts is not really a "chain" of restaurants, as you assumed, but a franchise. (Do you know the difference?) What if you learned Dunkin' only does business through its franchisees? What if you learned the franchise owners are local people like you and me that realize that some people - maybe not you - like to do business with familiar brands that offer consistent quality. (Or maybe those people just like the nostalgia of getting the same donut their parents used to treat them to when they were 8.) What if you learned that the franchise owners use local insurance agents, employ local accountants and bookkeepers, bank at community banks, and use local architects, contractors and sign makers in their buildout? What if you learned these local owners give back to the community by advertising in local high school football programs and providing thousands of baked goods at local charitable events such as the Women's 4 Miler? What if you learned that at their grand opening today, the owners asked for donations to a local school for autistic children in exchange for a travel cup that will provide the donor free coffee on Mondays for the next 15 months?

Andy and Randi Rod are those owners and they live right here in Albemarle County. A chain? Their only chain so far are two other stores they have dared to open in Ruckerville and Palmyra in the midst of a crummy economy, somehow managing to create jobs for many people in our local economy.

Please think again when you "boo-hoo" a small business person doing their best to add back to the grid of our local economy.


Sorry for responding to your one sentence rant with a one sentence rant. I guess that makes both of us F**Ls. So you tell me: what's the fourth option? My "binary brain" knows of emtpy store, independent store, corporate backed store. Well I guess we're at least trinary. I'll give you a sec to consult Webster for the definition of "trinary." I hadn't realized that mom and pop were banging down the doors to open a shop at the former Ritas space, and were forced out by our corporate overlords. It's probably because mom and pop didn't exist. Do yourself a favor and attempt to read your tripe without bias. You'd probably wish you could delete it.

For the record, I prefer independent shops where there is an option. Obviously everyone who wants to own a store and can afford one already is. And there's still space left over. Anywhere you go you find both, and there's nothing inherently wrong with it, as long as they're paying their taxes. They are paying their taxes, right?

lets not forget that corporate stores still hire people, not robots. it might not be mom and pop owned, but you can bet it is mother and father staffed.

Boooo, you ROCK.

Where did I say that an empty storefront is better than a corporate mega chain?

Hmmm, let's see......could the alternative to a "corporate mega chain" be an "independently owned Mom 'n Pop store"? Wow, imagine that.....more than just two black and white, either/or binary thinking options exist.

Bad logic. Can't think. Not too bright. = FAIL.

You can thank the monopoly that owns the real estate on the Corner for the influx of "corporate megachains". You think in this economy mom n' pops can afford the premium rent down there? No way. They're all heading to the cheaper and abundant retail space opening up everywhere else in town (with PARKING!). Trust me, you get rid of the chains and you'll be left with empty storefronts down there. Just look at the Downtown Mall.

Really, booooooo!? An empty storefront is better than a "corporate mega chain?" Relax.

(btw my comment was in response to Jim, forgot to mention that....)

@Mighty Horse - That is a good point, and it avoids resorting to black/white bad logic thinking that puts words in people's mouths. I just hate seeing chains like "Wal*Mart" and "Dunkin' Donuts" and other Fat American staple chains that plunk down everywhere making every town and city have the same bland, homogenized look to it. I love going onto Google Street View and seeing what other places look like, including other countries, so one time there I am clicking on a random street in London, and the image opens up to American Subway Sandwich shop, with this ancient gothic looking cathedral directly across the street when you pan around. o_O ahhhhh! There's no escaping the homogenized corporate mega chains.....

Just say no to corporate mega chains. boooo!

The freshman 15 just got way easier.

JJ Malloy, you don't remember rita's because it was open for only a few months. then it "closed for summer vacation" last year & never reopened.

Back from the first trip. The place is swamped. The staff is clearly not really ready. They should have had a few more days of a soft open.

Northerners are used to lightening fast service at DD. The Corner location will probably need a few months to get there.

I hope the management is different from the one north of the airport. I went in there and asked for a "medium, cream, two sugars" and the dude said "uhhhh...medium what?". Dude, at every other DD in the country, that means coffee. I think I waited five minutes there for a toasted bagel with cream cheese.


Donuts are valium.

If many saw them made, they would toss their donuts immediately....

dunkin' donuts rocks! sorry boo!

chouva - don't understand why you think a local small landlord is "screwing" anybody just because they're trying to get the most out of their investment.

Why don't you fix that "problem" by buying some land at the corner yourself and leasing it to local folks at less than market rates? We'll all thank you for it.

Col. Forbin the current corner Bodo's is currently in a building built for ...BURGER KING!. Oh the horror! No wait- students didn't go there and they closed it down. And then a local business made a fine product and flourished there.

But using Wal-Mart as a punching bag is quite the knee jerk reaction for a thread like this. It's a kind of like Godwin-ing a thread in politics.

St. Halsey, the building where Burger King once stood, and where Bodos now is has been there longer than Burger King (nationally) has been in business. It was not built for Burger King. There were several other things there before the King...

Gasbag, you might want to lay off the doughnuts. What, are you about 4 Bills now? A doughnut every once in a blue moon is fine to eat, but they are about the unhealthiest things you can put in your stomach. They have no redeeming healthy factor in your diet and are purely bad for you. But they sure do taste good. I love the Donut Man's. Awesome!

Burger King Corporation began franchising in 1959- I thought that building was built in the 70's when it was a Burger King. They were other buildings there before it but the bricks and construction seemed new to me then. I don't argue that there were other things before that, just that at the very least, that building was completely refaced (if not rebuilt) on that spot.

I guess I'll have to check the Holsinger photos- what was there before BK was there in the late 70's?

Worse than Nazis, MightyHorse, Wal-Mart is run by a soulless, heartless, corporate machine, who by right of a recent Supreme Court decision, can now act as an individual, and contribute mega dollars to any political campaign it chooses. It can do this without disclosure, or impunity, and is the poster child for the decline of the American Empire. You should be very wary. At least with Nazis you could see the evil in front of you. Not so with Wal-mart, it's all hidden in rollbacks and smiley faces.

There is definitely some contempt from familiarity going on in our fair city. The University our neighbor built is part of a dual UNESCO World Heritage site, along with Monticello, and deserves a little more consideration. We can do better than plastering the Corner in corporate logos.

People are entitled to their opinions. You're welcome to eat there. But tourism represents real dollars in the local economy. I support all zoning decisions that preserve the unique history and character of Charlottesville, especially near the University, the downtown mall, and Monticello. Nobody books a bed and breakfast for a romantic weekend in Manassas or Lynchburg. There's a reason for that.

Let's support businesses that promote and preserve the unique flavor of Charlottesville.

Just to clarify - I am not paid to blog for clients. Now that is just hilarious. I am biased towards my clients for many reasons, but everyone else here is biased in one way or another and expressing those biases here. My clients did not direct me or ask me to comment here.

I commented only to clarify a bad factual misconception about the new Dunkin' store: that it was not owned and operated locally and is just another a nasty "chain" descending upon our villa.

Anyone who know me knows I am a huge local source advocate. But, I am not so myopic that I don't see the benefit of a franchise like the one that just opened in vacant space on the Corner, owned and operated locally. It takes all types to make our City run. What Boo Boo may disdain, someone else might like.

And, as noted above, Spudnuts WAS part of a national chain. If you favor Spudnuts' blueberry doughnuts or the 50's like atmosphere, that's great. But don't point it out as an example of a pure local food source because it also was once part of a dreaded corporate chain (and not even a franchise such as Dunkin').

What happened to Krispy Kreme's efforts to take over the world?

Some of you guys have some serious issues. Please move back to whatever utopia you left behind.

Booooo! I've lived my entire life here. Get over yourself. Read Cheri's response. There is nothing wrong with having choices in our free world, and that would include nationally recognizable brands. If you don't like what's happening here in Charlottesville, move. I'm local and think that change can be a good thing and way less disturbing than empty store fronts. I've watched with pride as Charlottesville grew from barely a trainstop that also happened to have a state school to a bustling, eclectic, quirkly, fun place to live. Sure there are moments things don't look so rosey, but it is negativity like you spew that brings down the quality of life for everyone. FYI I am not a business owner, a realtor, an elected offical or employeed by tourism. I try to spread my money around supporting local and general business in the area. And PS You must be a lot of fun at parties. I know that this morning when I end my shift I'm going to go out of my way to support my new favorite donut shop on the corner, strictly because I know that somewhere you will be irked.

@**** - Dunkin Donuts will operate only with Owner/Operators now. The family that owns this location operates their own locations. They are not mega-wealthy people that operate out of NY and just send checks and employ people to operate for them. They are simply a family that thought it would be interesting to own their own Dunkin Donuts locations, and invested a large portion of their personal worth into opening their own restaurants. To dismiss the risk that any business person has made over the past 2/3 years during this horrible economy is shallow on your end. Anyone willing to invest any money, regardless of how wealthy someone is deserves a Thank You from all of us for doing anything to help revive and rebuild this economy.

Cheri is dead on with what she has said. The disdain some people have for local business owners that live and spend money right in their community is down right shameful. Dunkin Donuts is 100% owned by the Franchisee. They lease or own the property, they build the building on their own, they pay all the taxes and utilities and every other operating expense.

That location will be paying taxes to the city and state, and in this day in age where many cities are in debt and can't balance a budget, any income should be welcome. Would people rally rather have empty store fronts not contributing anything than a locally owned franchise? As Cheri stated, they are already in the process of making donations to local charities/schools. This is probably more than can be said for many of the local mom/pop owned locations in the area.

And to all of you mentioning nothing but donuts, do some research. Dunkin Donuts is known primarily for their coffee. Donuts are not their primary product, but simply as a side item for their amazing coffee. A coffee shop on a university campus, how tragic?

Cheri, you forgot to mention that they (local DD franchises) also hire local attorneys, and that you are in fact the local attorney that they hired. As such, you opinion of the value they add to the area isnt totally unbiased.

what is this place next to? I don't remember Rita;s

Regardless of the lack of disclosure, Cheri makes an important point about the how local a franchise really is. . . the owners of the new Dunkin Donuts are taking real risks with their real money right here in Charlottesville when everyone else (including our local boutique store owners) are not opening new stores etc. Although there has been an uptick in talk (and some action on water street) in new development (and re-development), there has been precious little happening in the ground. Trades people are becoming increasingly under-employed and we all know someone looking for a job. Think about that before you weigh in against someone spending money and taking an investment risk in our community.

So they hired a local attorney to push their donuts on blogs? Interesting.

Booo Dunkin’ Donuts was here in the 70's 80's and 90's on Emmet street where Arches is now. See that's a local place and this just returns us back to balance. Charlottesville has room for all.

BTW Spudnuts is part of a chain-
How do you feel it about it now?

It's amazing how ideas and morals get thrown to the side for the love of MONEY!!!

More Spudnut history for those who love them:

Are they less tasty now that you know the truth, locavores?

I still love Spudnuts, and I'm glad they don't have a gang of attorneys and right-wing capitalists trying to goad me into buying them.

You need/can to be goaded into buying donuts Col. Forbin? They are just fluffy pieces of delicious fried dough and sugar that don't know law or politics.

Don't go to Dunkin' Donuts if it offends you but begrudging the opening of a business in this economy seems to height of silliness. The corner is a tough place for new business, I wish them all the best and hope they make really tasty donuts.

Col. Forbin. Correction. One attorney and at least one left-wing capitalist, capitalists seem to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes these days. I would be shocked if Dunkin Donuts has any affect on spud-nuts, I'm more worried that students would make the choice to eat a bagel from DD vs. Bodos. . .that would be a sad choice indeed.

WalMart is just a store. Let's put one on the Corner. Maybe a McDonald's too.

I don't know these folks personally, but I doubt they're taking much of a risk. Way I heard it, this franchisee will be operating 6 or 7 stores locally, don't know if those are all stand-alone locations or some kiosks mixed in? Most national franchisers switched long ago from the owner/operator-as-individual-franchisee to the person-of-significant-net-worth as local or regional franchise operator formula. Mix in well researched store-demand and analysis, including traffic counts and you don't have a whole lot of downside. If these folks are going to be running the show from Greene to Fluvanna and everything in between, then they're probably worth a couple mil, and this is just an investment, by means of which the rich will get richer. If there's an up-by-the-bootstraps story in these people's past, it probably happened at least a generation ago and now they're local corporate shills for a company that wouldn't have touched them when they were up and coming go-getters!
side note:
[where I grew up there was a Carvel franchise that had been around so long that their contract didn't require such things as buying disposables like napkins and straws and plastic utensils from corporate headquarters. They could dispense plain white napkins instead of logo-ed ones! Oh the humanity!
For years Corporate tried to bully this store into a renegotiation that would allow them their pound of flesh but he resisted and instead spewed forth colorful anti-Carvel vitriol at anyone who came through the door. This from the local face of the corporation! Around retirement age he either gave up fighting or they wore him out. His shop closed to be replaced by a soulless corporate facade devoid of personality. Business plummeted.]

here's what I don't get. this space has been vacant for awhile, right? and no smaller independent local business has stepped forward to try to move into it, right? so aren't we better off with a dunkin donuts there than just vacant space? i don't have a problem with this. obviously i'd prefer a local independent business being there rather than a national chain/franchise. But it's not like CVS coming in and kicking out several pre-existing local businesses like satelitte which wanted to stay in business. that was offensive. this seems completely different.

so, st. halsey, you're basically saying that wal-mart is run by nazis?


MightyHorse Those who invoke Godwin are doing just the opposite but you probably knew that. And then not so fast proves my point by saying- You can start a war to dominate the planet by force and exterminate whole classes of people (about 10 million) for their race, religion, or sexual preference but you still won't be as bad as Wal-Mart. This is what passes for discourse and critical thinking, I guess.

Could be St. Halsey, and lets not even get started on BP. Only about 4 million to worry about in the gulf region. Critical thinking is subjective, as the individual corporations begin to control all aspects of our collective lives. Discourse at this point is still allowed except for in our schools, and media.

Next time you're in Lynchburg Col. Forbin try the The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast it's highly rated and quite nice or Ivy Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast.

They have good food and are locally owned by fine people