Fans of Dutch Bros. Coffee – the largest privately-held drive-thru coffee chain in the United States – will be able to get their fill soon in Lathrop.

Last month the Lathrop Planning Commission approved a request for a development that will add both a Dutch Bros. Coffee location and a Sonic Drive-In to an existing development that already houses a Panda Express location.

The second phase of a development at W. Lathrop Road and Old Harlan Road, the project will feature a shared drive-in for all three of the businesses and will add 24 parking spaces to serve walk-in customers that will have easy access from Lathrop Road at the I-5 offramp.

The area has become one of the central commercial cores of the community in recent years with the addition of the Save Mart shopping center nearby that included the city’s first Starbucks location and a host of chain and independent businesses that serve residents of Woodfield Estates, Historic Lathrop, and new development west of I-5 as well as freeway travelers.

With the widening of Lathrop Road completed, access to the new development that will house the three businesses – which is located across from an island of land created by the construction of the new Harlan Road – will require improvements such as a signalized crosswalk at Lathrop Road, a sidewalk along the frontage of the existing Chevron location, and re-alignment of Old Harlan Road at Harlan Road to allow for left turns for traffic headed north back to Lathrop Road.

The Sonic Drive-In – the third in the South County after Tracy and Ripon both added locations – is planning on being open daily from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and will serve both drive-through and walk-up customers that order at stations and eat at picnic tables outside of the restaurant. The business also allows customers to drive-in and order from the windows of their vehicle and consume the food that is ordered in their car which is brought out by car hops reminiscent of a 1950s drive-in.

Neighboring business owners were able to raise their concerns with the project during the traffic impact phase of study, and those issues were mitigated to the satisfaction of all parties before the matter was brought before the Lathrop Planning Commission.

The meeting was the first in the city held via teleconference after Governor Gavin Newsom announced that public gatherings were not in the best interest of public health – allowing residents to view the meeting online and call in or submit public comments for the record. That process is expected to continue until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

There was no timetable for construction or the possible delay of development because of the pandemic discussed during the meeting.

For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the staff report, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us