‘Globe Starbucks’ opens on DeRenne Avenue in Savannah

The transformed property at 11 E. DeRenne Ave. highlighted by the recently opened Parker’s convenience store and a Chick-Fil-A added the final piece to the puzzle earlier this week. Sitting between the two is a Starbucks, which opened for business at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6. Regular hours will be seven days per week, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the store location is updated on the Starbucks mobile ordering app.

Savannah residents may know the property on the corner of DeRenne, Abercorn and White Bluff streets by a massive globe, which became a focal point for the community when the commercial plans were first announced nearly three years ago. The ‘Globe Starbucks’ has an especially unique drive-thru lane with an entry on one side of the globe and an exit on the other. Yes, this means you can now “drive around the world” to get your venti or grande.

The store’s manager said that the new location technically isn’t a new location. The nearby Starbucks location in the 12 Oaks Shopping Center on Abercorn Street closed for good at the beginning of the month. Employees and management from that store moved over to the DeRenne store at that time, and the DeRenne location will have the same phone number as the 12 Oaks store. Those are minute details, according to the manager, but they qualify the Globe Starbucks as a “relocation rather than a new location in terms of wording.”

In September of 2020, the Chatham County Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission approved original plans for the DeRenne Avenue project. At that time, the future of the globe – a natural gas storage tank at the same location since 1958 – was in serious question. 

Some thought it could be relocated somehow, but many believed a soon-to-be owner of the development would opt to get rid of it altogether, mostly to avoid high costs and inconvenient construction dilemmas. But in the months after the commission’s approval, a sizable number of Savannahians took to social media to express a fondness for the admittedly random and rundown globe in the hopes of saving the giant sphere.

In July of 2021, Greg Parker, founder of Parker's convenience stores, purchased the 3.4-acre site for $4.7 million. He and the Parker’s Corporation evidently heard the citizens, and true efforts to keep the globe began. Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, Parker soon saw the globe as a potential attraction and asset. Blueprint plans were altered to include the globe and muralist Eric Henn (who did the original art on the sphere in the 90’s) was hired by Parker in January of 2023 to give it a fresh new look.

Parker told local media in 2021 that while he wasn’t originally aware of the public’s interest, he recognized it pretty quickly once the globe’s status became shaky. Parker responded with a world-saving effort that is now essentially complete.

“We respect the fact that many Savannah residents feel a strong connection to the globe and consider it a local icon.”

About The Author

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon has been writing in Savannah since 2016 and is host of Hot Grits Podcast. Follow Travis on Twitter/Instagram @JaudonSports. Email him at travisLjaudon@gmail.com

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