Bluestone Lane, a coffee chain known for healthy eats and Australian hospitality, announced this week it is expanding beyond major urban centers in the U.S. and will be in suburban locations around the country by the end of 2021.
The chain, founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York City, currently operates more than 50 locations around the U.S., including those in NYC, California, and Washington, D.C. It also has a few locations in Canada. New locations are slated for Manhattan, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, but the company is also moving outside of major cities, partially in response to the pandemic-induced mass exodus to the suburbs that’s been happening for some months.
New Bluestone Lane locations will include parts of Orange County and San Diego, suburbs of New York and DC, as well as the chain’s first-ever cafes in Texas.
Bluestone is one of those smaller restaurant chains that was able to quickly react to the pandemic and keep business alive as a result. When we spoke in July of last year, CEO Nicholas Stone told me the company pivoted all of its locations to takeout formats and pieced together a tech stack to build its own in-house app to enable faster service for customers. Multiple different third-party software pieces help power the experience, which, from a customer point of view, is as seamless as any other well-made ordering out there nowadays. Which just goes to show, you don’t need to spend millions of dollars to rig up an effective in-house order and payments platform.
Stone told me last year that the company will continue its focus on tech for the foreseeable future. Supporting that statement, digital ordering will be the norm at new locations Blue Stone opens this year. The company said this week it has also successfully piloted a “mobile-enabled drive-thru experience” in Los Altos, California, and will bring that format to other suburban locations in the future.