The Berkshires New Starbucks is Beginning to Take Shape
The new Starbucks in Lee is beginning to finally take shape. The former Friendly’s on Housatonic Street in Lee has been under construction for months. According to the Berkshire Eagle, Lee’s Planning Board approved the plan last February by the Charles River Realty Group to develop the property.
For months construction has been underway that started reducing parking spaces on the property from 54 to 37 to allow for better traffic flow around the building to the drive-up window. This flow would allow for an estimated 13 vehicles to wait in the drive-up line without causing issues to traffic on the busy Housatonic Street based on the article posted here last year.
The Starbucks will certainly give Dunkin’ some stiff competition as it would be a Munchkin throw away from the Dunkin’ located almost directly across the street. Close to the connector on and off the Mass Pike that stretch of roadway is heavily traveled and has undergone a resurgence with the success of the Cana Provisions dispensary the recent renovation of McDonald's and the town repaving that stretch of roadway last summer.
On a historic note, Friendly’s was launched by the founders S. Prestley and brother Curtis Prestley from East Springfield in 1935 according to Wikipedia. Their headquarters were later developed in Wilbraham. The company has changed hands a number of times since Prestley’s sold the company to the Hershey Food Corporation in 1979. The Lee Friendly’s was the first of its kind and sadly closed in 2019. Friendly’s has gone through a number of bankruptcies, the most recent was a Chapter 11 filing in 2020. Friendly’s is still operating in the Berkshires in Dalton and Winsor and just reopened the Friendly’s down the Mass Pike in Westfield.
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