See the First Photos of Chicago's New Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the Biggest Starbucks in the World
On Friday, Nov. 15, the Second City gets a first: the world’s largest Starbucks. But this isn’t your neighborhood, PSL in a holiday cup spot: it’s one of the brand’s Reserve Roastery stores, telling top-notch cups of coffee on top of a menu of custom drinks, cocktails and Princi bakery delicacies. Take a look inside the 35,000-sq.-ft. space before it opens to the public on Friday.
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Starbucks spent two years converting a former Crate & Barrel store into the Roastery, which features five levels of coffee delights. On the first floor, coffee is roasted fresh all day, every day, and distributed to various spots in the store after resting in a 56-ft. steel cask.
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A train station-like timetable greets guests and explains what coffee is being roasted as they walk into the space. Roasters make up some of the 200 staffers at the giant location.
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The cask is the centerpiece of the shop, designed in part by Jill Enomoto, vice president of Roastery Design & Concept for Starbucks. The piece features eight tubes that transport roasted, rested beans to vessels on the first and second floor, where coffee is brewed.
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If you find a flavor you like, you can buy the fresh-roasted beans from the Scooping Bar on the first floor.
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The first floor features a mural made of coffee info cards, which also showcase the store’s unique coffee blend offerings.
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The first floor is the spot for grab-and-go coffees and sandwiches and snacks from Milan-based Princi bakery. Baker Rocco Princi is a longtime partner of Starbucks, and has a standalone bakery/Starbucks coffee shop in Chicago’s West Loop.
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To get from the first to second floors, hop on the Midwest’s first spiral escalator, which circles the cask. The layout of the store was inspired in part by the former Crate & Barrel; Starbucks designers kept the original facade of the historic building, using its natural light and Scandinavian tinge for the tan and green shades throughout the space.
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The second floor is for sweet tooths, with expanded Princi offerings (try the cornetti!) and a craft coffee bar where baristas whip up delicacies. There are sweets from the local Chocolat Uzma, too, designed to be paired with the Starbucks blends.
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A high-tech custom conveyer transports freshly baked goods from the second floor Princi bakery to the first floor.
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Designers opened up the former Crate & Barrel fire escape, making it a useable staircase for visitors with a five-story mural by local artist Eulojio Ortega. His work pays tribute to the coffee growing process, inspired by the farmers of Costa Rica.
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Coffee enthusiasts can grab a seat at the third-floor experiential coffee bar and watch their custom creations come to life.
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The fourth floor boasts the Arriviamo bar, featuring wines in addition to custom cocktails created in part by three local female mixologists. Cocktails inspired by Chicago feature heavily on the menu, in addition to drinks similar to those found in Roastery locations in N.Y.C., Tokyo, Seattle, Shanghai and Milan.
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In a nod to Crate & Barrel — and the art of barrel-aging — the fourth-floor bar offers drinks like Whiskey Barrel Aged Cold Brew and Mulled Spiced Coffee. (There are spirit-free offerings, too, like a refreshing Minted Cold Brew.)
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Above the stunning fourth-floor bar area is a roof deck, which will open next spring.
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