Residents of Northport will finally be able to buy freshly brewed Starbucks Coffee without crossing the Black Warrior River into Tuscaloosa, although the java giant has still not committed to opening a standalone cafe there.

Like any other international franchise, Starbucks looks at a number of socio-economic factors when deciding where to open a new location, reportedly including neighborhood income, vehicle traffic volume, length-of-commute statistics, reports on the prevalence of smartphones in the area and more.

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Whatever it is, Northport is missing something Starbucks believes is necessary for a cafe to thrive in the area. Meanwhile, the Druid City boasts five locations, counting those inside Target and the University of Alabama's Ferguson Center, and the sixth may soon be under construction. 

Jeff Hogg, the president of the Northport City Council and the chairman of its retail development committee, took to Facebook Thursday morning to announce that Starbucks has agreed to test the waters there.

According to Hogg's post, Starbucks will offer a limited coffee menu inside a bistro planned for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel which is nearing the end of its construction on Bridge Avenue off Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard.

Hogg and other city leaders broke ground on the 100-room, $15 million hotel in Summer 2020 aiming to have it open the following year, but like so many projects, construction was delayed several times by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and unexpected site problems.

Now the hotel is nearing completion, although there has been no announcement yet about when it will celebrate its grand opening and begin booking guests.

For more exclusive stories about restaurant and retail development throughout west Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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