Alex Rogals/Staff photographer

A new Starbucks location is coming to Washington Square shopping plaza on the southwest corner of North and Cicero Avenues in Austin.

The coffee shop is opening inside of the building at 4925 W. North Ave., which was last used as a Pizza Hut location. This would be the first West Side Starbucks outside of Galewood, which already has one location at 7112 W. North Ave. and another under construction at 2001 N. Harlem Ave.

In early October, local residents noticed an “Opening Soon” sign go up on the property’s fence. The phone number of Harlem Irving Companies, the developer that owns Washington Square, was listed on the sign, but the company did not respond to repeated calls seeking comment by deadline. Starbucks did not respond to phone calls by deadline.

The West Side doesn’t have many coffee shops. Breakthrough Ministries operates Bridge Café at 3219 W. Carroll Ave., and Lawndale Christian Health Center operates the Green Tomato Café at 3750 W. Ogden Ave. Beelove Cafe opened last year at 1111 S. Homan Ave. in Homan Square, and Monday Coffee currently has a residency inside of the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

The new Austin Starbucks would be located a few blocks south and one block west of the Hermosa location, at 1941 N. Cicero Ave.

Alex Rogals/Staff photographer

Norridge-based Harlem Irving owns a large portfolio of shopping plazas and mixed-use developments, mostly in Chicago and its suburbs. Washington Square is currently its only West Side property. The plaza had a number of major tenants over the years, including an Old Navy.

The plaza was among several that were looted during the late May 2020 civil unrest, but the stores eventually reopened.

Austin Chamber of Commerce Director Khalilah Johnson said the Pizza Hut left the building “a few months ago,” and she was happy that the building wouldn’t stay vacant for much longer.

“We’re excited to have the Starbucks coming to the location,” she said. “Any opportunity to fill a vacant space is always welcome.”

Johnson said that neither the Starbucks nor Harlem Irving reached out to the chamber, so she had no information about when the coffee shop might be up and running.

“I’m hoping that they will reach out soon and I hope that they’ll join the chamber,” she said.


Igor Studenkov

Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Austin Weekly News since 2015. His work has also appeared...