Building on the concepts of extravagance and largeness already established in five other international cities, the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago is the largest of them all.
Opening this Friday on Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s busiest shopping corridor, the Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Reserve Roastery spans some 35,000 square feet across five floors.
While heavily branded, spectacularly designed Starbucks Reserve roasteries routinely cause news media to draw comparisons to theme parks or Willy Wonka, the Starbucks Chicago Reserve Roastery can’t help but draw comparisons to a giant department store. The building itself served as a Crate & Barrel flagship for 27 years.
Upon its official public opening this Friday, the roastery will feature three separate coffee bars: a Reserve bar with more traditional espresso-based and filter coffee drinks; an “experiential coffee bar” with more options; and a barrel-aged coffee bar, featuring coffee beans that are roasted after being aged in spirits for “cocktail-inspired coffee creations” such as a Smoked Cold Fashioned (lightly sweetened whiskey barrel-aged cold brew with aromatic bitters, smoked table-side).
The sprawling retail concept will also feature a nitrogen gelato bar featuring Starbucks’ nitro cold brew; an Italian-inspired cocktail bar under the name Arriviamo; and a Princi bakery. All these brand concepts are being replicated from one or more existing Starbucks Reserve roastery locations, though each Reserve Roastery has its own unique interior design and architectural elements that reflect the surrounding city.
The Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery is the company’s sixth Reserve-brand roastery cafe. It follows Reserve Roasteries in Tokyo (2019), New York (2018), Milan (2018), Shanghai (2017), and the original Reserve Roastery in Starbucks’ home city of Seattle (2014). The company has not announced any plans for future Reserve Roasteries.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago opens this Friday at 9 a.m. at 646 N. Michigan Avenue at the intersection of Erie.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page for contact information.