We have four coffee-house chains in the area, in addition to local places.

My favorite is Diedrich Coffee, with a couple dozen locations in Orange County, two each in LA and San Diego… and three each in Houston and Denver. (In the last few months, Diedrich has started selling T-shirts that say, “Venti, Schmenti.”)

Then there’s Kelly’s Coffee and Fudge Factory, which had about five locations the last time I checked but now has about thirty scattered around Southern California with one more in Lake Havasu… and according to their website, they’re opening one in Riyadh. Yes, Riyadh.

And then there are the international chains. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is all over the American Southwest and Southeast Asia. Starbucks, of course, is everywhere.

At one point we had all four chains in one mall. The first phase of the Irvine Spectrum had a Diedrich Coffee attached to the Barnes & Noble, before the bookstore hooked up with Starbucks. The second phase added a Coffee Bean. The third phase added a Kelly’s, and the Barnes & Noble moved to the new section… and added a Starbucks coffee bar inside. Unfortunately the Diedrich’s was off in a corner, and without the bookstore to bring people in, it eventually closed.

Edit: I can’t believe I forgot these, but if you really look for them, you can find Peet’s and Seattle’s Best. Neither has many stores in the area, though.

2 thoughts on “Chains of Coffee

  1. I forgot about Gloria Jean’s, probably because they seem exclusive to malls (and I can only remember seeing the one in Main Place). They do apparently have two more in the county—both in malls.

    This morning’s paper has a notice that It’s a Grind, where we usually had breakfast during last year’s Comic-Con, has opened three stores in Orange County.

    Yep, here in Orange County, home of Richard Nixon and bastion of conservatism, there are five million places to buy lattes.

  2. What about Gloria Jean’s? That’s a chain, isn’t it? And I know there’s at least one of those in OC.

    I think my favorite Dietrich’s swipe at Starbucks is the slogan, “If we were on every corner, we wouldn’t be special.” But I’m still more likely to go to Starbucks than Dietrich’s, which MAY be because they’re on every corner!

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