We learned last winter that the first Dunkin' Donuts to debut in the Bay Area would be out in Walnut Creek, and now that has come to pass. East Coast transplants who want a taste of that signature bland coffee or one of their mediocre doughnuts can rejoice and jet out on Highway 24 to treat themselves this weekend.
Yes, yes, I know. Many people love Dunkies. I grew up on the East Coast, in fact, and had the occasional Boston Kreme though I don't recommend the jelly. And given how the chain really is everywhere, especially in New England, it was a gathering spot for all kinds of people, from working schmos who saw each other every day grabbing their six a.m. coffee, to teenagers who congregated there after school and smoked cigarettes on the curb. And people say this is this "best cheap coffee in the country," which among fast food chains is probably true, with a small cup ringing in around $1.19.
Dunkin' Donuts did exist in California in earlier decades, and had a Bay Area location or two as of the early 1990s, but the company only had about a dozen locations in the state and decided to fully exit the market by the late '90s, as the LA Times explained. Now, though, they're back with much bigger plans for about 200 locations in the state in the next few years.
The Walnut Creek location at 1250 Newell Avenue had its grand opening this morning at 5 a.m., and locals flocked for fresh doughnuts and the aforementioned coffee, as well as photos opportunities with Cuppy, the mascot I never knew existed for the brand. And as KRON 4 notes, the location will be open until 9 p.m. every night, and it has free wi-fi.
And as ABC 7 reports, as of 8:49 a.m., the place had already sold over five thousand doughnuts.
People in SF who are fans but not super-fans can rest assured that we'll have our own Dunkin' Donuts here in the city come fall though the exact location of that one has not been announced and there will be a whopping 24 more Bay Area locations apparently coming within a year.