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.
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.