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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.

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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