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Starbucks opens its first shop in urban North Lake Co.

Starbucks' first coffee shop in Hammond, shown here, opened at 7843 Indianapolis Blvd. in 2016. The company plans to open a second in the Robertsdale neighborhood in 2019.

Just two years after opening its first coffee shop in north Lake County, Starbucks is bringing a double-shot of frappuccinos, lattes, and cold brews to Hammond.

The Seattle-based coffee giant, known for its strong and often sugary coffee drinks, aims to open a $1.5 million, 2,100-square-foot standalone store in the Marina District redevelopment area on Indianapolis Boulevard near the Horseshoe Casino, Five Points and the Chicago border.

Plans call for the Starbucks to open in an outdoor shopping center anchored by Walmart in Hammond's Robertsdale neighborhood by early 2019.

"They were interested in this location before they built the last one, but it takes a while," Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said. "A lot of Hammond residents commute into the city and will stop on the way, as will people headed to the casino who want a little extra caffeine."

In 2016, Starbucks opened its first location in Hammond in a strip mall at 7843 Indianapolis Blvd., across from Cabela's, just south of Brightwood College and just off the Borman Expressway. It's proven to be a popular, bustling spot, especially with those using the interstate and students at nearby Purdue University Northwest.

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"It's very busy," McDermott said. "There's often a wait in the drive-through. It can be too packed."

Starbucks' investment in a second Hammond location shows the city is growing and companies continue to give it second and third looks, McDermott said.

“Starbucks and Hammond are a great fit for each other," he said. "I think that they have realized, based on the success of the store located at 80/94 and Indianapolis Blvd., that a second location will only continue to not only serve the residents of Hammond, but also be a success for their company. With this new location opening, both our borders are covered. Next, we’ll work on other locations throughout the city."

Starbucks is the type of well-respected brand with social cache that will help spur more investment and bring in more new businesses, McDermott said.

"It's another national brand that's coming in, and that's a positive," he said.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.