New Dunkin’ Donuts serves up excitement in San Carlos

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Rachel McCrea

The store's neon sign glows before sunrise on opening day.

Rachel McCrea, Staff Writer

Dunkin’ Donuts has taken over the East Coast, and now it’s coming to take over the west.

The chain opened its San Carlos location on Oct. 17, adding to its growing list of Bay Area stores. Dubbed a “next generation” store, it boasts cold drinks on tap, free Wi-Fi, and a spacious, modern design.

The Bay Area has been eagerly awaiting the chain’s opening day and welcomed the East Coast-based chain with open arms.

“It’s an amazing market,” said Vishal Shah, a spokesperson for Dunkin’. “The people are great, and there’s a lot of people here from other parts of the country as well who miss Dunkin’, so we’re trying to bring it to the people as much as we can. There’s a very loyal following — it’s very cool and awe-inspiring.”

Dunkin’ Donuts is also looking forward to establishing itself in the community.

“We want to be a part of the community with every store we open up,” Shah said. “We want to be the place where people can come and hang out; a gathering place is what we’re striving for.”

With this new location, the chain is redefining itself. The store, aiming for an audience on the threshold of Silicon Valley, is outfitted with unique features tailored to the next generation of consumers. USB charging ports allow customers to recharge their devices while sitting at the community tables, and colorful window decals advertise the free Wi-Fi available. Cold beverages, including iced coffee, cold brew, and even green tea, are poured from a tap system on full display next to the glass donut cases.

“It’s a much more vibrant way of selling coffee,” said Shah.

One of the most popular additions is the Dunkin’ mobile app. It allows customers to order ahead, then pick up their orders in-store. This is especially popular with students.

“Teens that don’t usually get breakfast can order online, pick it up, and leave. It makes it faster to get food,” said Mikayla Nguyen, a sophomore at Carlmont High School.

These modern features have so far been a big hit with the teens.

“I’m excited for free wifi and the online app,” sophomore Alex Nyholm-Goncalves said. “I’m excited to have a new place to hang out.”