It's been rumored to happen for some time, and now it appears it may become a reality. At least, that's what Starbucks is hoping for.

According to The Two River Times, The Borough of Atlantic Highlands has "cleared a path for Starbucks to bring the first of its cafés to the Bayshore’s Route 36 corridor." And that's a big deal for this part of New Jersey and the northernmost part of the Jersey Shore.

Currently, Starbucks doesn't have a location in this region, which stretches along the coastlines of the Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays. The proposed area is along route 36 North near First Avenue in Atlantic Highlands.

Former Burger King on Route 36 in Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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This spot is currently occupied by a shuttered Burger King, which closed its doors in the summer of 2020. Ever since that closure, many locals have speculated as to what might occupy the former fast-food joint.

Former Burger King on Route 36 in Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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Perhaps one of the most talked-about possibilities on social media was of a Trader Joe's moving in. Although that did get locals talking, this particular plot of land is simply too small to support a store of that nature.

Other rumors included a dollar-type general store, another fast-food joint, or a relocated Dunkin. That latter rumor was related to an existing Dunkin location on the other side of route 36 that lacked a drive-thru. Since then, however, that particular Dunkin location on the southern side of 36 renovated its existing store and added a drive-thru for its customers.

Starbucks logo
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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Prior to this, rumors of a Starbucks looking to move in have also swirled around. But up until recently, it was just that.

Now that the Atlantic Highlands planning board has given the green light to proceed, it's looking more likely that this area of the Bayshore region will finally get what it's been waiting for.

Artur
Artur
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Concerns about Starbucks moving in

One of the biggest issues raised within the area is the impact a new Starbucks may have on local businesses. Although this concern is valid, it most likely wouldn't change much and have a minimal impact at best.

Starbucks mobile pick up Starbucks manager fired NJ Park Ridge barista spit in cop drink
Starbucks mobile pick up (courtesy Starbucks)
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The primary reason has to do with who Starbucks' primary customers would be. For the most part, their customers would be those commuting and passing by along Route 36. Locals would likely remain committed to the small local businesses they've grown to know and love.

For example, one of the most popular coffee shops in Atlantic Highlands, First Cup Coffee, would probably continue to thrive thanks to the relationship they have with locals and the product it offers.

Downtown Atlantic Higlands, NJ, along 1st Ave.
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This is commonly the case with most small businesses in downtown areas. The chains are usually located along major highways where the typical passerby is more likely to stop. And it's a smart practice for towns to want these chains for that very reason.

As much as we'd like those driving by to stop at a local mom-and-pop location, they're much more likely to visit something familiar to them. And if time is of the essence, leaving the highway in search of something less familiar to stop at is probably not going to happen.

Northeastern Monmouth County, NJ
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A first for the route 36 Bayshore region

Regardless of what ultimately moves in, it'll be a vast improvement for an abandoned building along a major highway. Based on the chatter across social media, a Starbucks finally entering this region of New Jersey would be welcomed.

So for all those who visit this particular Jersey Shore region for vacation and weekend trips, get ready. A Starbucks along Route 36 in the Bayshore region might soon become a reality.

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Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

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