Stella Nova coming to Park and Robinson

Published Friday, June 1, 2018
by Molly M. Fleming

OKLAHOMA CITY – One of the most prominent corners in downtown will have a new tenant by fall.

Irish Realty founder John Kennedy is bringing his coffee shop concept, Stella Nova, to the Robinson Renaissance building. The shop will fill the entire 3,000 square feet at the southwest corner of Park and Robinson avenues.

Construction will start in two weeks. Kennedy said he expects to open by September. Stella Nova will have an entrance from each street.

Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort retail broker Vicki Knotts handles the leasing at the Robinson Renaissance building, which is owned by the state Commissioners of the Land Office.

The space was last occupied by 200 Park for Her. Knotts said she started getting calls about the space before the clothing store closed. Banks were interested in the site, but she sought a retailer. That became a challenge as well because the building has a food court in its basement, so a potential restaurant couldn’t compete with those tenants.

“(The space) could have been anything,” she said. “(The owner and I) had to vet them very well when they came in the door.”

Kennedy said he didn’t initially have plans to bring Stella Nova downtown. This will be the third location. The other stores are at 4716 N. Western Ave. and 1415 W. Main St. in Norman.

When the corner site became available, Kennedy said he had to consider it. He worked with Irish Realty’s Kelli Lay and Lacy Young on the concept as well.

“I think Park and Robinson is still the epicenter of downtown,”  he said. “I love that location.”

Kennedy has a long history with the building. His grandfather once had a doctor’s office on the 12th floor. Irish Realty’s first office was on the sixth floor. His mother worked at the Russell Stover Candy Co. store that was once in the exact space where his coffee shop will open.

“This is good luck,” he said.

Stella Nova offers specialty blended, locally roasted coffee, and fresh baked goods. Local artists have their work on display on the wall. An art piece from the Chickasaw Nation’s Exhibit C art museum hangs in each location as well.

Kennedy said he likes the other coffee shops in downtown, so he thinks this will complement the scene. Stella Nova will be isolated from the other central business district shops. Clarity is at Main Street and Hudson Avenue, and Coffee Slingers in on Broadway Avenue in Automobile Alley.

“The convenience of our location will be helpful,” he said. “It’s better for people to have choices. When I go out to eat, I don’t eat the same restaurant every time. I don’t see us as competitors. I think we’re enlarging the coffee market in Oklahoma City.”

Knotts said Kennedy was the right tenant because he has an established concept, which is doing well at his other locations. The Park and Robinson location could be the start of a nationwide concept, she said. He has good financial support as well.

“We’re excited to have him,” she said.

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