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2 Clawson Eateries Close Up While Another's Fate Looms

Dunkin' Donuts and Great Sport Coffee are officially out of business. Is a fast food joint next?

First came Dunkin' Donuts, followed by Great Sport Coffee and now, there's a theory that Burger King may follow suit.

The closing of these establishments last week has many folks around Clawson buzzing with speculation, and wondering why these longtime city businesses are packing up and leaving town.

Patch spoke with Clawson City Manager and Finance Director Mark Pollock recently who gave us an insight into what's contributed to the downfall of these eateries.

Dunkin' Donuts is First to Go

For years, weary-eyed drivers made pit stops during their morning commutes on 14 Mile Road, just east of Main Street to Dunkin' Donuts for their daily morning coffee and bagel. 

Since last week though, the shelves have been cleared and a sign has been posted, alerting customers to visit the 14 Mile and Crooks location down the road in Royal Oak from now on for their java fix.

According to Pollock, Dunkin' Donuts in Clawson was looking to expand at one point into a larger store, merging with Baskin-Robbins to create a complete drive-thru destination. Though Clawson forbids drive-thrus within the city, the request went to the Zoning Board of Appeals for special consideration, and was later approved. However, the Dunkin' Donuts franchise went on to deny the same request and the plan was no more.

Pollock speculates that the closeness in proximity to the Crooks location, just one mile away, may have also made business too much to compete with.

Great Sport Coffee Is Out of Here

A few days later, Clawson saw the closing of another coffee shop in town - Great Sport Coffee. The closing of the business was made known to city officials for quite some time, as the business' lease headed toward expiration.

Pollock points out that the owners of Great Sport Coffee wished to remain in Clawson, just not in a downtown location due to higher rent and a limited customer base. The city assisted the business in looking for another building within city limits, but Pollock is not aware if anything resulted from the search.

"When the businesses come to us, we try to help them out as much as we can," Pollock said.

Burger King: Is the Chain's Time Up?

While it's still selling hamburgers and fries for now, Burger King on 14 Mile may be the next restaurant headed for the same fate as the coffee shops.

A possible move-out may occur as early as the end of this month, as the owners claim they do not receive great business from the Clawson location, said Pollock. There has been some talk of building refurbishment, but no plans have been brought forth to the city.

What's Next?

With two currently vacated properties and another one possibly in the works, what will happen next?

While Clawson is sad to see the businesses leave the "little city with a big heart", there still might be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Pollock notes that there may already be a potential customer looking at the Great Sport Coffee location. While there is no word on the Dunkin' Donuts property, he does not see it being empty for very long.

Reddest Wing December 07, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I agree Katie...Cup.cake sure didn't last long (at 13 and crooks) only to be followed by Love and Buttercream...lol I haven't been by there in a few days...but I don't give that place much longer. Seems people see a show on Food Network and figure 'Hey! I can do that!' Uh, no. You can't. Not for long anyways....
Haulin T Male December 08, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Tsk Tsk, My fingers are but in usable, so I take short cuts......... I thought the humor was at the level that would smack back at you. as usual these blogs turn personal, so should I take public asst. and buy Drag - on.
Haulin T Male December 08, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Not sure if that is accurate. B'ham does not Contract Troy, Rochester Hills does not contract Troy, Sterling Hghts does not contract Troy. But Clawson does I think, Clawson tried to make the lanes of the roads (14)(Main) smaller to get people to stop. Now the people are using Crooks and Roch. Rd. Clawsom took decades t o figues out that West to East traffic was by passing Clawson, all thos empty buildings are empty for a reason. most of them filled the buildings behind Thunder Bird bowling. on and on
Reader December 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Not sad if Burger King goes, that place is filthy!
Haulin T Male December 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Open till midnight? oh no, they close when staff feels like it. 11.40, 11.55, so on. I am afraid to go in side. so I believe you.
Haulin T Male December 09, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Yes Troy is combining the K-mart parcel and the vacant buildings parcels behind K-mart, for a "Large Retailer". As I was guessing at why McDonald's would be moving, ? yes for an Livernois Entrance, no closer to the truth was I. Troy has quite a bit going on, Quick pick or 7/11 is coming with several, plus a shoe horned in one in Clawson. there will be one almost every major corner, including the some what quiet corner of wattles and crooks, here is an unusual build, Brother Rice H S, has asked for the use of 3 lots on. drive, to build a state of the art Ball field, in Troy, with add ons to follow, (lights?) originally they were seeking the right to build behind the Jewish Cemt. and st columbines church .
Carey Gustafson December 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I want to hear more about this IKEA rumor at 15/Livernois!
Jennifer M. Cline December 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Why does Clawson not allow drive thrus? Isn't this a law that should be taken down? How many establishments currently have drive thrus? Did they all have to go through a special process to get them?
Haulin T Male December 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Carey: The key word is """"RUMOR""""" been floating around for a couple of years. Ikea was rebuffed back in the late 90's early 2000, why would it be OK now ? Cause it is in the South end? South end of anything is the "Red Headed Step Child" First time through, the store wanted to be on Big Beaver, the "Golden Corridor" the City had a vision, and it wasn't a BLUE BUILDING, with yellow letters. (nothing more)
Haulin T Male December 10, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I am not real sure where this "Clawson does not allow drive through's", came from. I have heard that before. They might not be at the top of the list, but they are all over Clawson. I know this if Clawson doesn't want them Troy and Madison Hght's will take them. They Take up a lot of room. Here are the ones I did from memory. 1) 4 fast foods at 15/Main (juice, taco, wendy's, KFC) 2) 2 bank types at Main & Philips across from each, by well stay facility. 3) Isn't Horton's a drive thru. Y/N ? 4) Bank just b4 the 4 Corners on Mainuse to be wayne Oalland. 5) D. Donut's! was just approved for a drive thru, b4 closing 6) A & W -------- Grand Fathered in. but still a type of drive thru. 7) 2 car washes cars on prop & driving thru Roch.& Main 8) Burger King 9) 3 Gas Stations (City) Main, Washington, & 15/Crooks 10) Taco Bell "TYPE" (copy cat on 14) is it Del rio ? 11) 2 fast food's on Crooks & 14 (Taco bell & Checkers) (ralley's) 12) Did I miss one ? ------------------ 19 drive through's ....... They are service industry types, not destinations type of businesses.. a small city can only have so many b4 it gets a name. (& an image) what did R O do on Woodward, Although I use R O did, actually it was the land became very $$$$ so all the drive inns had to close amongst ???? past their time. What do you think about John R and 14 area.... or Clawson own Rochester Rd.
Bryan December 10, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I will miss them too!
Bryan December 10, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I just can't get around the thought that Troy wouldn't let a big business that would drive huge numbers of visitors just because the building would be blue and yellow....
Haulin T Male December 11, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Bryan: Couple of House cleaning items.: They were to go in to Sw/east corner of 16/Roch. (Hooters) 330,000 sq. + -, concern was size and color, parking was to be under the building, so to blend in with the stores across, same side. Ikea is a Swedish company, hence the Blue with yellow trim. the blue is not soft, and can be found using the Pan tone Specs. Try to think if all the houses on your street were white, or red, and new neighbor comes in an paints his Solid deep blue.. would you be happy ..... he has a right to, sure ..... but if he is asking for site plan approval, when in Rome strikes a bell. http://www.lambertsonline.net/2011/12/ikea-and-city-of-troy.html , you also can go back to 2001 .......... I am trying to help you......... Troy is that the city who spent 1 million to try and keep Hooters out, and off Big Beaver, ever go by there at night, parking is at a premium ........ I don't do wings with shin .........
Haulin T Male December 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Jen: when you said law, I think of Law as being the higher type, that trumps all local law. Sorry. again local ordinances are a form of law. There are some zoning areas that makes it hard to put in a drive thrpugh in Clawson and other cities. Having said that, Clawson has the ZBA, (Zoning Board of Appeals) all cities have an appeals board. What most don't under stand, is that you would have to work very hard, to not get approved by the ZBA concept, In one city, there has not been a " Not Approved" in over 7 years,
Haulin T Male December 12, 2012 at 02:06 PM
One thing I see that Clawson wont allow is medical massage parlors, water or hydro type massages they could allow, is it possible that B King, has caught the attention of the O C H D, is that why they might shut down? for a new kitchen, by guess by and by golly. a lot of speculation.
Haulin T Male December 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Jen M Cline: on the surface Clawson DDA does not allow Drive thrus, in their area, But since they Okay'd "D D" two put in a drive thru, (ZBA OK'D) They will / do Ok. I am saying this so some one can not say I was wrong..
BC March 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Whats the City's plan to bring in business and keep it here? Lots of empty buildings in Clawson. These are major roads in a centralized location to surrounding communities. Need a parking plan and development project to get things moving
Haulin T Male March 17, 2013 at 01:48 PM
like a Hunter House......... woodward and Maple, oh that be B'ham, where dieting is fashionable....... except after a a cocktail party, when fur coats are seen walking in and out.............
Haulin T Male March 17, 2013 at 02:15 PM
A lot of businesses are tired of the political tension of the DDA, are forced to pay higher taxes, (by law ) but won't participate, that is why you see the same 4 people working their events, including the CM wife, just so these events can be put on. The mayor volunteers but is told all is covered, every thing is OK, The DDA has turned into a political power play, by un-elected people, who hover in the back ground any time you have a conversation in the common area of City Hall, or allows her "henchman" as I view him lol to speak for her. Why did Dr Kalkan leave the DDA area? he is thriving in Berkley, seems he has to use one of his day offs, to handle the added bus.Clawson can only copy other cities...... they have hit the wall, with what they have to work with. they need a different Atmosphere, Climate Control is not working. DDA needs to get rid of the double standards. it is an anchor.
Haulin T Male March 17, 2013 at 02:36 PM
BC, you have a new owner of the Pub now called Dooley's, he wanted to do a beer tent for St Paddies day, the DDA voted to recommend to the city that only DDA sanction events, be allowed to use city parking lots, so it effectively shut down an inspiring General manager, (Lincoln park mean while has a 7500 sq ft tent serving over 400 lbs of corn beef..... etc as do many local communities) just an example. Away around this dooleys has joined a non DDA pub crawl, connecting area Irish pubs, by Bus, there are like 4 or 5 pubs, and the buses leave on (?) every 1/2 hr. Using a city parking lot on a Sunday is /does it hurt any one? Might even put a destination in some ones plans. I hear they even wanted to go in with Black lotus , and have a Two Fer. nice. neighbor . So st paddy's day was shot down. Now we have a new Mexican reast. in town, and "Cinco De Mio" is on the horizon. uh wonder what now, I hear they want to put up a tent or two, not in a city parking lot, no sir, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin, perhaps Piza Hut would allow them to use their parking lot, since it is a cluster " " in that area. that reminds me, the next parking war will be Pizza hut complaining about all their spaces being used by ................. across the alley
Haulin T Male March 21, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Bumpy's, Popular eatery, close at the end of Month? most never had a clue. Burger King is history, What would or could possibly go in there, (the owners blame Clawson for not supporting, (?) gee I remember the place was packed, when they were .69 was it.......... they have been here since they started the name Burger king.... that's a lot of support, I would say, let's see, since the early to mid '70's .......or did the lack of support go hand and hand with the lack of quality , and SERVICE, closing before set time, saying things under their breath, at customers..... Funny how that can turn on a place.......... BUT Bumpy's ......... money or retirement ?
canseeallsides March 21, 2013 at 08:01 PM
What is Bumpy's?
Haulin T Male March 21, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Grumpy's just seeing if you were asleep......
cw March 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM
I have gone to Burger King a few times over the past few years and each time the shake and slush machines were down and they either screwed up or didn't have he food I was ordering.
Sandy G March 22, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Amen canseeallsides.
Sandy G March 22, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I would love to see an IKEA go in the old Kmart spot. I know it is Troy but it will help out our entire community with revenues & employment. Looking forward to see what ends up in that spot.
Sandy G March 22, 2013 at 02:49 PM
That Coffee Shop always seemed shadey to me. Kinda happy to see it gone. I am pretty sure something better will be in that spot soon enough.
Sandy G March 22, 2013 at 04:09 PM
It is about time BK has closed. Their service was terrible. Took forever in the drive-thru. My order would end up being wrong or cold. It has been that way for many years. I can't believe it didn't close 5 yrs ago. Sad to see a big establishment go but happy to see it gone. I just wonder how outta towners thought of that place. The employees were very rude. Never smiled. Horrible service. Filthy. Kids area was a germ feast. I can bet it has probably never been sanitized. And the bathrms. Well, I won't go there. Yuck!!! If I were an outta towner, it might be my first & last impression of Clawson. Just sayin'. DD, big Clawson donut shop for sure but not surprised it closed. It needed to be remodeled badly. Then you got DD & Tim Hortons down the road. Sorry it is gone but I understand why. Sport Coffee, good ridons. Won't be missed at all. Sooooo shadey.
Haulin T Male March 24, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Some thing ($$$$$$) got Mickey d's to move, ome thing or some thing big. to open in May they need to move faster, they are starting below ground, and bigger then one would think. 15 main, Ikea or Menards, think about it how big can menards be....... they are tearing down the Ford Wixom Plant , and recycling a majority of old building. along 96............ but they just opened a big one, with another due on Van Dyke......... well Orange and blue has 3 and one 4 in the same area, Tell you one thing it is being handled by Troy in closed session........ if it is one of these it will or could shut down ace and aco in claw town
Haulin T Male March 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Grumpy's, might not be the last to close up, watch for the other shoe to drop, in that area. Hope not. B K , (must of been a franchise location) their equipment seems to have been confiscated by the Tax man, (means it will be in spring auction out at building 16 Oak. Co. D Donuts, building is up for sale, owners are 250K in debt, they contracted to have their pole sign taken down. (as per city ord. on pole signs) they seem to be out, out of business, as of now no Detroit Donuts.

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