Philly food and drink scene

Saxbys taking over HubBub Coffee at Three Logan Square

Friday’s the location’s last day; the transition will take 3 weeks.

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Updated 5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 12, will be the last day for HubBub Coffee at Three Logan Square.

There are plenty of other java options in the area — that two-block swath surrounding the Comcast Center is already home to a Wawa, Passero’s, Au Bon Pain, Green Line and multiple Starbucks — but coffee and tea drinkers who frequented the 1717 Arch Street HubBub won’t have to change their habits a whit: Saxbys is taking over the space.

“I actually looked at that Three Logan space four years ago, right before HubBub opened there,” CEO Nick Bayer said, “but foolishly passed on it.”

The Saxbys brand strategy has changed, however, and the company is now focusing on dense urban markets, both in college areas and in high-traffic downtowns. Finding real estate in those kinds of neighborhoods is never easy, Bayer noted, so he’s thrilled to be able to take over the HubBub spot.

Bayer has known HubBub owner Drew Crockett for years, he said, and during a recent conversation Saxbys execs threw out a feeler: “We love that spot, by the way, so if you ever wanted to part ways…”

Crockett called the switch “a great opportunity for both of our companies.” He wants HubBub to focus more on product, he explained — cold brew in particular — and has some other exciting projects in the works. Leaving the Center City location, which Crockett launched in January 2013 as his first brick-and-mortar after several years as a mobile operation, gives him time to fast track those plans, he said.

Part of Saxbys new strategy is to make every location unique, so the drink options and menu won’t mirror any of the other Saxbys outposts. Expect signature coffees, lattes and cold brew, plus a selection of sandwiches and light fare — “probably a bit more food than HubBub,” Bayer offered.

Bayer expects the 1717 Arch cafe to reopen in around three weeks, after extensive renovations to bring the space in line with Saxbys culture and brand. If that sounds like an aggressive timeline, it is: This will be one of eight to 12 new locations the company plans to open this year.

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