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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Historic Stary Arbat Chosen as Site for Second Starbucks

Starbucks will open its second store in Russia on Moscow's historic Stary Arbat before the end of the year, the company's president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Cliff Burrows, said in an interview Monday.

After almost a decade of delays and legal wrangling, the world's largest coffee shop chain is set to open its first Russian store Thursday in the Khimki Mega mall, to the north of the city.

"We are very excited because of the heritage and tradition of the [Stary Arbat] location, which will be our first site in Moscow. We have chosen it because of its unique blend of history," Burrows said.

As of yet, Burrows said Starbucks was concentrating its efforts exclusively on Moscow and taking it "one store at a time." He refused to offer figures for further expansion.

Despite concerns that a number of local chains have cornered the coffee shop market, Burrows said the number of such cafes in the city was still relatively low in comparison with other Western capitals. "With the growth and the excitement around the [economic] development in Russia and the size of the population, then for us it is a very important market," Burrows said.

In 2008 the Seattle-based Starbucks is set to open 2,500 stores, 900 of which will be outside of the United States, Burrows said. Russia will be the 43rd country in which the chain operates.

Although Burrows said the Moscow stores would offer the same experience as any other Starbucks outlets around the world, some of the food would be customized for the local market. As elsewhere, Burrows said, the chain's food and drink would be pitched as premium products and at a varying demographic.

He said the firm had faced no additional difficulties opening in Moscow, either with finding real estate or staff.

After first registering its trademark in Russia in 1997, Starbucks faced a convoluted legal challenge after the trademark was hijacked by a Moscow lawyer specializing in unused patents.