Earlier this year, a report from the Princeton Zoning Officer noted that Sakrid Coffee was operating a coffee shop at 300 Witherspoon St, the old ‘Princeton Packet’ building (Report: “‘TigerLabs’ Relocating To Witherspoon Street“). At the time, it was not obvious that this was true, but a planning proposal that will be heard by the Princeton Zoning Board indicates that Sakrid Coffee are very serious about opening a new outlet at the Witherspoon Street site! The town is currently considering an application to make it happen.
The 300 Witherspoon St site is currently home to home decor store ‘Homestead Princeton’, and will also soon include the co-working space, ‘TigerLabs’. Sakrid Coffee want to open company offices, a coffee shop, and a coffee roastery at the same location. Sakrid currently operate a coffee shop at the corner of Nassau St and Chambers St in downtown Princeton. The new coffee shop would utilize 3,400 sq. ft of the existing building and use existing on-site parking. No new construction would be required, but the application requires a ‘d’ variance to roast coffee beans on-site, because local zoning bans “slaughter houses and all food processing plants”. A variance is also required because there is no loading dock servicing the site.
The Princeton Zoning Board of Adjustment will consider the application at their regular meeting this coming Wednesday, March 22. One neighbor has already written to ‘Town Topics’ to object to the proposal to roast coffee beans on-site. The applicant says that beans will be roasted for up to 4.5 hrs per week, requiring two or three vehicle trips to move beans on and off the site. A ‘clean stream afterburner’ and exhaust stack would reduce smoke and coffee aromas by up to 90%. The glass-walled micro roasting room would provide “Experiential Retail” for consumers to enjoy the sensory experience of witnessing how their coffee is crafted at the café. By roasting their coffee beans in Princeton, Sakrid could also close down their existing roastery in Moonachie, NJ, eliminating the 110-mile round trip required to bring beans to their coffee shops.
Related materials (via princetonnj.gov):