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New Tully's drive-thru replacing R&R Espresso stand
Tully's Coffee is planning to open a drive-thru store at the former R&R Espresso stand in the Rite Aid parking lot across the street from Mercerdale Park. The stand is at the corner of S.E. 32nd Street and 78 Avenue S.E.
It will be the first drive-thru-only store for the coffee company.
According to Scott M. Pearson, an Island resident and president and CEO of Tully's, the kiosk will be open for business by mid-November.
"We jumped on it two days after it closed," he said. "I drove by it and I thought, 'let's do this.'"
It will be a first for the company.
"Tully's has not done a small format like this before," he added.
Contractors hired by Tully's have been at the site gutting the tiny building and will be redoing the wiring, flooring, the plumbing and even the roof. Tully's has ordered a new awning.
The new location will not replace the existing store next to the Sculpture Park on S.E. 27th Street, Pearson said.
"We hope to invest more in the future in the existing Tully's location," he explained. "We'd love to have a bigger store on Mercer Island. But the new spot is a way to give the same service and a great cup of coffee to Islanders."
The tiny food kiosk has been around for many years.
Former R&R Espresso owner Andrey Litovkin told the Reporter last summer that he was forced to close down after sales dropped dramatically. Litovkin, who also owns a remodeling business, said it was very hard to make the decision to close. He said then that he was not planning on selling the business because he believed that when the lease is up in a year's time, the building would be torn down. Before Litovkin took over, the stand was owned by Richard Hager and his daughter Kristin Kevil who owned and operated the business for 19 years.Pearson and his wife have three daughters. Two of them attend Mercer Island High School, and one is in college.