20200201-LOC-Dunkin

WINCHESTER — A Dunkin’ franchise opened this week at the intersection of Routes 10, 78 and 119, nearly a decade after it was first proposed in that location.

Plans to open the popular coffee and doughnut shop at 4 Warwick Road, introduced by Keene-based developer S.S. Baker’s Realty, had been ensnared for years in a legal dispute with a nearby grocery store. However, a N.H. Supreme Court ruling last year — the court’s third time weighing in on the Dunkin’ development — allowed the project to proceed.

The store’s drive-thru opened Monday, according to Christine Salema, the managing member at S.S. Baker’s Realty. The interior, which will also include a convenience store, is set to open March 10, she said, as will the Mobil gas station on site.

“We’re very excited,” Salema said Tuesday. “ ... We’re looking forward to a nice relationship there. Everything’s going well.”

The Winchester Planning Board approved the Dunkin’ in 2013, a year after rejecting the development due to concerns it would disrupt traffic flow at the intersection.

The owner of a nearby grocery store, Kulick’s Market, later challenged the project, arguing that it would create unsafe traffic flow and environmental problems, while also appealing the development on procedural grounds. The state Supreme Court rejected those contentions in 2016 and again in January 2020.

In addition to the new Winchester store, S.S. Baker’s Realty operates half a dozen other Dunkin’ locations in the Monadnock Region — in Keene, Swanzey and Hinsdale — according to Salema.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.