One of the hottest — and, evidently, coolest — coffee outlets in America is headed to Santa Fe.

And it’s landing on the site of a onetime strip club.

Demolition began last week on the closed-down Cheeks property to make way for a Dutch Bros drive-thru and walk-up coffee shop — a java franchise that has created a cult-like phenomenon nationwide and created a vibe where baristas are sometimes referred to as “bro-istas.”

The Grants Pass., Ore.-based company is arriving in Santa Fe after opening its first New Mexico store in July 2020 in Rio Rancho. Dutch Bros has since debuted eight drive-thru locations in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Las Cruces.

City Land Use Department building permit plans confirm Dutch Bros will build a drive-thru location with no indoor seating at 2841 Cerrillos Road, the location of the Cheeks club that closed Dec. 17 after offering adult entertainment since the late 1980s.

Phoenix-based Accelerated Development Services bought the 1.84-acre property through a listing by Albuquerque-based Pegasus Group, which manages shopping areas on both sides of Zafarano Drive.

The 950-square-foot Dutch Bros structure fills only a bit of a 30,000 square-foot pad, and an Accelerated Development official said the company is looking for another business to help fill the area.

“We’re trying to get one more national tenant. We don’t know if that will be fast food or fast casual,” said Trey Eakin, executive vice president at Accelerated Development. “We’re just now getting under construction. People will start coming to us.”

This is Accelerated’s first project in Santa Fe, with one prior New Mexico engagement as a minority partner in rehabilitating Market Center Crossing, near Eubank and Lomas boulevards in Albuquerque.

“I have an affinity for Santa Fe,” Eakin said. “We think all of Cerrillos Road is good if we can find other properties to acquire. Some of the older properties built in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are rehabilitation opportunities.”

Eakin did not confirm Dutch Bros is the tenant for the former Cheeks property, but Dutch Bros is one of Accelerated Development’s lead tenants and the company represents Dutch Bros in about a half-dozen states.

“We’ve been wanting to get them into Santa Fe, but it’s taken a while to find a site,” Eakin said about an unnamed coffee vendor.

Dutch Bros did not respond to phone or email messages from The New Mexican.

Dutch Bros for many years was the largest privately owned U.S. coffee chain, even with less than half its current store count. The company went public in a September initial public offering at $23 with the stock now above $60.

Annual revenue was $497 million in 2021, a surge from $186 million in 2018.

Hugely popular in the Pacific Northwest since its establishment in 1992 by brothers Travis and Dan Boersma, Dutch Bros in recent years has blanketed the Southwest and now has more than 538 locations in 13 states.

Dutch Bros opened its first Texas location in College Station in January 2021 and now has 69 locations in the Lone Star State. Utah got its first Dutch Bros in October 2020 in Provo with 18 now in place in a state that frowns on caffeine.

The year 2017 was when Dutch Bros growth started to surge. Until then, the coffee chain added about 20 new locations a year with a presence in only seven Western states. Since then the average doubled to 52 new locations, with 70 new Dutch Bros added in the first pandemic year of 2020 and 97 in 2021.

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