CHICAGO – The world's largest Starbucks opens Friday in Windy City.
The site will open Nov. 15 on the Magnificent Mile as the company's sixth and final Reserve Roaster, an immersive, theatrical experience devoted to roasting and brewing small-batch coffee from around the world.
Somewhere between a shrine for beans and a Willy Wonka coffee, the roastery has three coffee shops, a cocktail bar and a selection of food from the Italian bakery Princi – each with a distinct Chicago flare.
Chicago payout goes with existing locations in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Milan and Seattle, which opened first Reserve Roaster 2014.
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Why did Starbucks choose Chicago?
This is not the first time Chicago has claimed the world's largest Starbucks or a company first.
The Seattle chain opened its first store outside Pacific Northwest in Chicago in 1987. Starbucks then built its first airport in O & # 39; Hare International in 1993.
A few years later in 1995, Starbucks built a 4,000-square-foot space on Rush Street which was the biggest at that time.
"This roaster is a representation of the relationship Starbucks has had with the city of Chicago," says CEO Kevin Johnson at a press preview Tuesday. "Chicago has been a market where we innovate and try new things."
The roastery employs almost 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, "Johnson said.
The white building, originally built in 1990, was a long facade of the city's Magnificent Mile. Jill Enomoto, vice president of Roaster Design & Concept for Starbucks, said that designers played the building's natural Roastery's 56-foot steel chest, which holds and transmits beans, runs straight up the middle of the building's glass atrium, while long, thin, winding rods carry coffee to each of the bars throughout the rectangular structure.
"All your senses – your sights, your smells, your sound – are wonderful in a building like this, "said 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, "stands the wall art." Thank you. "
What can visitors eat and drink?
Unlike other Starbucks sites, which serve coffee blends, the Roster serves only rare coffees, roasted on the spot in small portions. The new site is expected to roast 200,000 pounds per year at 25 kilos.
On the ground floor, visitors can observe the coffee roasting process and try classic espresso drinks from the Reserve Coffee Bar. Visitors can also go 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 a plethora of pistons, tubes and cylinders at the Experiential Coffee Bar, where barista boils and brews coffee blends.
There is also aged coffee at Barrel-Aged Coffe e Bar on the fourth floor creates mixologists alcohol-free coffee drinks from aged beans in the Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrel. (The Roaster labels their ice cubes with a signature "R" and smokes their cold brew to order.)
"The Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar here in Chicago is the only one of its kind. We are considering this spearhead of thin-aged innovation," said Shiami Ranasing, a Starbucks partner, which is how the coffee giant refers 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 in New York and Milan – and taste a variety of drinks made by three local mixologists, including "Union Stock", "Lake Shore", "Pour Over Bijou" and "Roastery Boilermaker", which, true to the windy city, include a shot of bitter liquor Malort.
Visitors can see pastries circulating the monastery on a bakery carrier. , but the full selection of Princi groceries is only available on the second floor, with limited choices throughout the store. The café offers fresh bread, cornetti and focaccia, pizza and salads, cakes, cakes, cannolis and more.
"Everything is special ", Italian baker Rocco Princi said about his food Tuesday.
For those in the mood for something cold and sweet, the roaster 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 design standards for Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design. "This is based on our ongoing efforts to address our environmental impact and ensure that we offer our customers coffee in the most sustainable way," Starbucks said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that more than 340 Illinois Starbucks stores are now operated with 100% renewable energy from wind power generated in Illinois – including Reserve Roaster, which is the first Starbucks Roaster site 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 lenders to pursue financial opportunities in Chicago.
The roastery also has several local artists throughout the store, including Mexican-born Chicago artist Eulojio Ortega, who spent two months Roastery's fire staircase in a five-story mural depicting coffee farming.
Starbucks has planned a grand opening for Chicago's Reserve Roastery, located at 646 N. Michigan Ave., before 9 a.m. Friday, November 15.
The opening hours of the site are from 7 to 23 Monday to Thursday, at. 7.00 to midnight on Friday, from 08.00 to midnight Saturday and from 08.00 to 22.00 Sunday.