Coffee Towne adds drive-up booth
Mike O'Grady coveted a small piece of the Grandview Shopping Center parking lot for several years before securing it this spring.
The owner of O'Grady's Coffee Towne wanted exposure on the well-traveled Crater Lake Avenue and Roberts Road intersection even before he opened a coffee shop and deli six years ago.
But it wasn't until the Exxon gas station fronting Crater Lake Avenue and Eastside Market closed last year that the spot O'Grady wanted became available.
In April, CoffeeTowne Drive-Thru joined the ubiquitous ranks of coffee drive-up stands citywide.
"The drive-throughs have been dipping into our market share," O'Grady said. "People want convenience and have been going elsewhere. The drive-throughs have put the squeeze on us and we're trying to get our market share back."
O'Grady's new venture is just part of a makeover for the center that has a total of more than 35,000 square feet of retail space.
Four businesses occupy, or soon will, the 16,200 square feet formerly occupied by a market: The Outdoor Store, Colex Express, a Washington Mutual Bank training center and a combination convenience store/deli.
Last summer, Joe's Bar and Grill was opened by the former owners of the Hungry Woodsman when the steakhouse was displaced by construction for the north Medford Interstate 5-Highway 62 interchange.
The 4,000-square-foot sports bar replaced the Golf Swing Shop.
O'Grady said his store in the center's back building, a couple of doors down from Bruno's Pizza, has long catered to students from nearby North Medford High School, where he was a member of a Black Tornado track and field state championship relay team 30 years ago.
"We have a good rapport with the kids," he said. "We crank up the music at lunchtime. What's nice is getting to know them when they're freshmen and knowing them all the way through high school. A lot of them come by to say good-bye before going off to college."
But when lunchtime ended, so did most of the business. That meant O'Grady needed to stretch to grow financially.
He began to feel the pinch of drive-throughs five years ago.
"I've been negotiating with (owners) Reggie Breeze and Myron Corcoran for a while," O'Grady said. "I told them long ago I would like to put in a coffee drive-through."
While the original store opens at 6:30 a.m., the drive-through opens 5:30 a.m. weekdays, 6:30 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.
Both stores use beans roasted by the Good Bean Co. of Jacksonville.
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail