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Caribou Coffee to open on Central Avenue

Veronica Brezina



701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. GoogleMaps.

St. Pete resident Michelle Mathis has secured a longterm lease for the former Banyan Café space at 701 Central Ave., next to the Morean Arts Center, for the first Tampa Bay Caribou Coffee 

Mathis, who has a background in hotel and restaurant management and is the owner of Wake Up 727, signed a franchise agreement with the Minnesota-based coffee chain in 2022.

“We love the thought of the first local Caribou Coffee location opening in downtown St. Pete – it’s nostalgic and aligns with our culture,” Mathis said. 

She is currently renovating the 900-square-foot space, which will have indoor and outdoor seating. She’s expecting to open the shop in the mid-to-late summer and will hire 15 to 20 employees. 


Publicity photo.

The shop will feature artwork portraying St. Pete’s landmarks and popular destinations. 

The Central Avenue location is one of several Caribou Coffee shops Mathis said she plans to open in Pinellas County. 

Last year, Caribou Coffee announced it would have shops in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa. The Midwest chain has 325 company-owned and 142 non-traditional locations nationwide, and 282 franchise shops in nine countries as of late 2022, according to the company’s website.  

Caribou Coffee’s shops offer a variety of drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, cold brew, flavored espresso, nitro coffee, lemonades and teas. 

The shops also serve baked goods and breakfast sandwiches. 

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