Rockwell’s Morning Glory Coffee receives permit for drive-thru location in former ABC store

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2024

ROCKWELL — The members of the Rockwell Board of Aldermen voted on Monday to approve a special-use permit that will allow Morning Glory Coffee to move into the old ABC building on East Main Street.

The special-use permit was required because the coffee shop owner, Madison Straight, wanted to put a drive-thru window on the building, which is only allowed under town ordinances with a permit. It was applied for by the coffee shop and the current owner of the building that formerly housed the ABC store, Rockwell local Terry Medley.

Straight clarified to the aldermen that the building would be entirely based around the drive-thru, with no inside seating or serving offered.

“We are super excited to have the opportunity to move into a permanent location, so that we can serve the town more hours and more options, and to just be able to be a part of this community officially and permanently. That’s what we’re hoping to do is just continue to grow the community and provide a place that people look forward to coming to in Rockwell,” said Straight.

Both Medley and Straight stated that they also wanted to use the opportunity of reopening the store to preserve a building that had been a part of the town since its construction in the early 1970s.

“One of the biggest things we heard when the new ABC store was built was that that building would stick out, that no one would move in it. So I want to applaud Terry Medley and the Morning Glory staff for taking on this project and moving into that building,” said Alderman Dillon Brewer.

Straight told the aldermen that the coffee shop would be open from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays through Fridays and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. She said that because the brick-and-mortar location could be safer for her and the employees, that she may look into opening even earlier in the morning to catch more commuters.

The store and surrounding property would be renovated so that drivers would enter on the western side of the building and exit on the eastern side of the building, adjacent to the gas station. The drive-thru windows would be on the exit side and the parking lot would have space for two separate lines in an effort to keep vehicles waiting off of the road, said Straight.

Medley said that he agreed to the conditions that Zoning and Planning Administrator Shelley Williamson had placed on the permit, which included landscaping in the front of the property, a fenced-in dumpster pad and signage and painting that indicated to customers that the exit was right-turn only. However, he wanted to know the timetable that he would be expected to adhere to if the permit was approved, saying he could have the specified renovations done by the start of July. Mayor Chuck Bowman said that as long as he was working towards the renovation goals in good faith, that the town would accept his timetable.

Previously, Morning Glory Coffee has set up a mobile trailer at events and in the empty lot across from the Ace Hardware, approximately a block away from the old ABC building. The shop has been in business since 2020, when Straight opened it up with help from her family in Rockwell. Since then, the trailer has become a popular spot in Rockwell for coffee drinkers.