Chicago, Coffeee lovers and all ye in between get ready because the world’s largest Starbucks, Chicago Reserve Roastery, that spans five-floors, 35,000-square-foot located in the former Crate and Barrel building on Michigan Avenue, will open to all on Friday November 15 starting at 9am. The Starbucks Reserve Roaster is located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.
This is no ordinary Starbucks around the corner, although Chicago has many of those too. You’re probably wondering, aside from the size and location, what makes the Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery so special? Besides being the largest of them all globally, this location will make the sixth Starbucks Reserve Roastery across the world and third location in the U.S.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago location will be the only Starbucks location in the U.S. to offer features such as on-demand liquid nitrogen gelato. “Designed to pair with Starbucks Reserve® coffee, nitrogen gelato is mixed by hand, with every scoop made right on the spot and offers another way for customers to enjoy specialty Starbucks Reserve coffees. Nitrogen gelato previously debuted at the Milan Roastery when it opened in September 2018.”
The largest Starbucks Reserve Roastery will also be the first location to offer not one, not Two but THREE main coffee bars at the Roastery, which in total offers seven brewing methods, including espresso, pour over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex®, Clover® and cold brewing.
- Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Upon entering the Roastery, visitors can visit the Reserve coffee bar on the main level, where baristas are crafting classic espresso beverages such as cappuccino, latte and cortado.
- Experiential Coffee Bar: The third floor is home to the Experiential coffee bar which provides customers the opportunity to immerse in the art, science, and theatre of coffee. It features elevated brew methods and pairings, as well as specialty Roastery creations and brew comparison flights.
- Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar: The barrel-aged coffee bar is found on the fourth floor and showcases a variety of spirit-free coffee beverages whose beans have been carefully aged in barrels. Here, visitors can explore a menu of cocktail-inspired coffee creations exclusive to the Chicago Roastery, including the Smoked Cold Fashioned (a lightly sweetened whiskey barrel-aged cold brew with aromatic bitters, smoked tableside), Minted Cold Brew (whiskey barrel-aged cold brew, shaken with mint syrup and served over pebble ice) and more.
“The design of the Chicago Roastery was inspired by the iconic Chicago landmark, and the city itself,” said Jill Enomoto, vice president of Roastery Design & Concept for Starbucks. “We embraced the building’s natural light, married it with shades of classic Starbucks greens and intentionally wove in design features to encourage customer exploration and highlight the love and respect we have for coffee.”
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago, after having private VIP preview on Tuesday where Chance the Rapper, Common and DJ Oreo along with Nascar legend Richard Petty were guests of honors, will opens its doors to the public on Friday, November 15 starting at 9am. Starbucks Chicago Reserve Roastery celebrates the company’s heritage and is a tribute to the roasting and the craft of coffee. Visitors will be able to see, hear and learn about coffee’s extraordinary journey through intentional and unparalleled design, while enjoying a menu featuring unique beverages exclusive to this location. The Chicago Roastery joins locations in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York and Tokyo.
Starbucks’ rich history with the Windy City, dates back to 1987 when the company opened its first store outside of the Pacific Northwest and had a total of 11 retail stores and served as the foundation for the company’s national growth strategy. Nearly 32 years later, there are 796 company-operated stores in the region where Starbucks employs more than 18,100 partners (employees). The Roastery employs nearly 200 people, including roasters, baristas, commessas, bakers, and mixologists.
“Over the past five years, we’ve created the ultimate immersive experience around all-things-coffee in spectacular Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in flagship cities around the world. This week we are delighted to open our doors on the sixth global Roastery in an iconic building located on Chicago’s renowned Magnificent Mile…These Roasteries amplify the Starbucks brand, serve as innovation hubs, and create experiences for millions of customers around the world.” – Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO
So there’s coffee, what else is there at this spot you ask? Introducing the dedicated Arriviamo™ Cocktail Bar, just like the one available at Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations in New York and Milan. Inspired by the Italian tradition of aperitivo, the Arriviamo Bar will be a destination for customers looking for a carefully crafted cocktail. Located on the fourth floor, the Arriviamo™ bar features an assortment of traditional and unique cocktails, all concepted by local mixologists Julia Momose, Annie Beebe-Tron and Rachel Miller.
In addition to a menu of classic cocktails and a selection of local Chicago beer and wine, exclusive specialty cocktails featuring Starbucks Reserve coffee and tea that nod to the culture and traditions of Chicago include:
Roastery Boilermaker: A Chicago riff on the classic beer and a shot, this cocktail is inspired by a Stiegl Radler and includes Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew, Koval Four Grain Whiskey, local favorite Malort, grapefruit bitters and a sidecar of Rhine Hall Bierschnapps.
Pour Over Bijou: An ode to Chicago’s stunning architecture, particularly Louis Sullivan’s jewel box style, this classic cocktail pour-over features Nikka Coffey Gin, Carpano Bianco, Green Chartreuse, and Liquore Strega extracted through Starbucks Reserve Coffee.
Lake Shore: Inspired by icy paletas, this cocktail offers a taste of Chicago summer that’s good all year round, with Teavana® Zen Clouds Oolong, El Tesoro Añejo Tequila, mango yogurt syrup, mango popsicle, lime juice, lime zest, and sea salt tincture.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is a working coffee roastery where Starbucks Roasters will be small-batch roasting Starbucks rarest single-origin coffees and blends called Starbucks Reserve. The coffee roasted in Chicago will be served exclusively to visitors of the location, available in handcrafted beverages as well as freshly scooped whole bean coffee.
In addition to coffee beverages, Roastery visitors can enjoy food at Princi™, Starbuck Reserve’s exclusive food partner, the renowned artisanal boutique bakery and cafe founded by Italian baker Rocco Princi. Princi will offer guests on-site baking of fresh breads, cornetti and focaccia, pizza and salads, plus cakes and tarts. A full menu of items will be available on the second floor Princi bakery, while select items will also be available throughout the Roastery for customers looking to pair their coffee with a savory or sweet bite. Exclusive to the Chicago Roastery will be a bakery conveyor that has been designed by Starbucks to transport fresh baked goods from the Princi bakery on the second floor, to the Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar on the main level.
All this talk about food and coffee, we can’t forget about how Starbucks Reserve Chicago has entwined local collaborations into this location. Artwork from local Chicago artists that tell stories and encourage customers to explore can be found throughout the building’s five floors. Artist Eulojio Ortega @ChicagoMuralist painted a mural that spans the roastery’s staircase across all five floors that pays tribute to coffee farmers and the regions where the beans are grown and harvested. Customers can also purchase limited-edition merchandise from Chicago-based visual artist Mac Blackout to take home with them.
To further show support for the city of Chicago, Starbucks is creating a positive impact with the launch of $10 million investment into four established Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) to drive economic opportunity in the city. The investment, dispersed among Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund, Local Initiative Support Corporation and IFF, is expected to generate more than 500 loans toward supporting Chicago’s small businesses, community development projects, and the economic vitality of the city’s underserved neighborhoods.
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pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Founder and Editor, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.