CHICAGO – The biggest Starbucks in the world open Friday in Windy City.
The site will open Nov. 15 on the Magnificent Mile as the company's sixth and latest Reserve Roaster, an immersive, theatrical experience dedicated to roasting and brewing small batch coffee from around the world.
Somewhere between a shrine for beans and a Willy Wonka coffee, the Roaster has three coffee shops, a cocktail bar and a selection of food from the Italian bakery Princi – each with a distinctive Chicago flare.
The Chicago payout joins existing locations in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Milan and Seattle, which opened the first Reserve Roaster in 2014.
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Why did Starbucks choose Chicago?
This is not the first time Chicago claims the world's largest Starbucks or company first.
The Seattle chain opened its first store outside Pacific Northwest in Chicago in 1987. Then in 1993, Starbucks built its first airport location in O & # 39; Hare International.
A few years later in 1995, Starbucks built a 4,000 square foot location on Rush Street which was the largest at that time.
"This roaster is a representation of the relationship Starbucks has had with Chicago," said CEO Kevin Johnson in a press preview Tuesday. "Chicago has been a market where we innovate and try new things."
The roaster almost employs 200 people, many recruited from Starbucks locations across the country, occupying the five-story, approximately 35,000-square-foot Crate & Barrel building on the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street. "For us, this is truly a dream. The building history here is very unique, "said Johnson.
The white building was originally built in 1990 and was a long-standing facet of the city's Magnificent Mile. Jill Enomoto, vice president of Roaster Design & Concept for Starbucks, said that designers played by the building's natural light and textured. Roastery's 56-foot steel jug, which holds and transmits beans, runs straight up the middle of the building's glass atrium, while long, thin, winding bars carry coffee to each of the bars throughout the rectangular structure.
"All your senses – Your sights, your smells, your sound – are amazing in a building like this, "says Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal, who collaborated on the project with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
The Roaster dedicates a" love letter "to Chicago on the fourth floor.
" Chicago, you inspire us. Your people, your city, your architecture, your music, your art. Your neighborhoods and communities, "sounds the mural." Thank you. "
What can visitors eat and drink?
Unlike other Starbucks locations, which serve coffee blends, the Roaster only serves rare coffee, fried on the spot in small batches. The new location is expected to roast 200,000 pounds per year in 25 pounds.
On the ground floor, visitors can observe the coffee roasting process and taste classic espresso drinks from the Reserve Coffee Bar. When the brothers prepare the beans, visitors can see in real time where they originate. Visitors can also cycle in the Midwest's first curved escalator, which offers a 360-degree tour of roasting and brewing below.
On the third floor, viewers will spy on a variety of flasks, tubes and cylinders at Experiential Coffee Bar where baristas cook and brew coffee blends.
It's barrel-aged coffee. In the fourth-floor Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar, a mixologist are non-alcoholic coffee drinks from beans aged in Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrels. (The Roaster labels their ice cubes with a "R" signature and smokes the cold brew to order.)
"The Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar here in Chicago is the only one of its kind. We are considering this tip of barrel-aged innovation," says Shiami Ranasing, a Starbucks partner, and that's what the coffee giant shows to employees. "It's really about the purist expression of coffee innovation. You actually age green coffee beans in whiskey barrels and convey all these unique flavors."
On the same floor, visitors can experience the Arriviamo Cocktail Bar – also featured in New York and Milan – and taste a variety of beverages made by three local mixologists, including "Union Stock", "Lake Shore", "Pour Over Bijou" and "Roastery Boilermaker," which, true to Windy City, includes a shot of bitter liquor Malort.
Visitors can see pastries circulating the monastery on a bakery, but the full range of Princi foods is only available on the second floor, with limited selections throughout the store. The café offers fresh bread, cornetti and focaccia, pizzas and salads, cakes, tarts, cannolis and more.
"Everything is special," Italian baker Rocco Princi said about his food on Tuesday.
For those in the mood for something cold and sweet, the monastery has hand-mixed liquid nitrogen gelato.
A Roaster powered by wind
The Chicago Reserve Roaster is a LEED-certified building, which means it meets the Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design building standards. "This is based on our continuous efforts to manage the environmental impact and ensure that we offer our customers coffee in a most sustainable way," Starbucks said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that more than 340 Illinois Starbucks stores are now powered by 100% renewable energy from wind power produced in Illinois – including Reserve Roaster, which is the first Starbucks Roaster location to be wind power.
Starbucks says it exercises corporate social responsibility in other ways as well. Last month, Starbucks announced its plans to invest $ 10 million in four community lenders to run a financial opportunity in Chicago.
The Roaster also has several local artists throughout the store, including Mexican-born Chicago artist Eulojio Ortega, who spent two months transforming Roastery's fire stairs into a five-story mural depicting coffee farming.
Starbucks has scheduled a grand opening for Chicago's Reserve Roastery, located at 646 N. Michigan Ave., at 9 a.m. Friday. November. .
The on-site hours will be 7am to 11pm Monday to Thursday, from 1 p.m. 07:00 to midnight Friday, from 08:00 to midnight Saturday and from 08:00 to 22:00 Sunday.