I'm reading through the Daily Star's reporting about Cooperstown's Stagecoach Coffee's desire to expand to Oneonta. The company is looking to set up shop in a residential neighborhood close to downtown, specifically at 31 Walnut Street in Oneonta. The company would need to obtain a zoning variance, and work would need to be done to get the location off the ground.

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The new location would be open early to late daily and the company foresees creating 15-20 new jobs when the new location comes to fruition.

Neighbors Object

What caught my eye within the Daily Star article was the objections of neighbors, particularly long time resident Andrea Pontius. She feels that the neighborhood is going downhill due to student rentals. The article quoted her lamenting the noise in the evenings when the bars let out, usually between 11pm and 2am.

Stagecoach Coffee - Cooperstown
Stagecoach Coffee - Cooperstown

I'm not quite sure about what a coffee shop has to do with evening noise generated by students. If Stagecoach Coffee is open from 6am-9pm, has no exterior noise, and doesn't sell alcohol, what issue could residents possibly have? Typically, coffee shops of this ilk do a brisk business in the early morning, catering to thirsty professionals on their way to work. I'm failing to see what the issue would be with them coming to the neighborhood.

Let's not forget that this is an established local family business. Dunkin' or Starbucks this is not.

Now I know how much we hate to say "in other places" here in Oneonta, but hear me out. In my travels, some of my best culinary and otherwise experiences have taken place at out of the way places tucked into quiet, residential neighborhoods. Places like Chef Vola's in Atlantic City, or the super out of the way places I'd frequent in Portland, OR or Austin, TX. In my opinion, Stagecoach Coffee should be welcomed with open arms to the neighborhood. The location will bring jobs, and with it a positive economic impact to the neighborhood, and Oneonta as a whole.

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